jounal 7 - Jonathan. 'What's he saying?' the hero asked me....

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I think one of the techniques that Foer uses that makes this book so great is the humor. Alex acts as a translator, and the words and phrases he use as well as his personality are hilarious and add a great deal to the novel. Because Alex is translating, we have a subjective narrator. We can never really be sure if what he says is true and we always have to think about the things that he will be subjective towards. This is not only true of the reader, but true of Foer the character as well. Foer only knows what other people are saying through Alex, and Alex frequently doesn't tell Jonathan the truth about what people are saying. He always does this on purpose, although his motives vary from time to time. When Grandfather is cursing at Jonathan, Alex translates to make the words nicer so as to not offend
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Unformatted text preview: Jonathan. 'What's he saying?' the hero asked me. 'He said it will not be long,' I told him, another benefiting non-truth' (57). Alex tells these lies to make things better. Sometimes Alex does it on purpose to make himself sound better or to make his town sound better. Sometimes though he does it on accident. When Lista was telling her story, Alex had to translate the entire thing for Jonathan, and without meaning to he would leave out a word here or there. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but when it's the only form of knowledge you have it is, because it just makes it so subjective. So much meaning is lost in the translation, and so much of the book is translated, that we as readers have a hard time understanding the true meaning and depth of everything that is going on....
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