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A Visit From the Goon Squad; Selling the General 
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Post A Visit From the Goon Squad; Selling the General
A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD
Jennifer Egan

Chapter 8: Selling the General



Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:18 am
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Post Re: A Visit From the Goon Squad; Selling the General
SELLING THE GENERAL 8

Lies and deceit dominate this chapter. Both Dolly and Kitty, previous minor characters, have fallen on hard times.
PR is concerned with image and status. If Dolly can get the public to ask different questions, such as ‘how does the general dance?’ instead of ‘how does he get rid of all the bodies?’, she can change The General’s image. She is used to the world of spin and untruths, so why then is she so surprised to discover that many people lied about being at the party which ruined her? Dolly also lies to Lulu about her father being dead. (I wonder if this was Dean, the film star we met in ‘Safari’. Dolly also co-operates with her daughters worries at loss of status, and never appears near the school or around Lulu’s friends.
I was also puzzled by Dolly’s comment when it seemed that the meeting between The General and Kitty was going to be a success. ‘For the first time in her life, she had done a helpful thing’. Changing the image of a murderous tyrant is helpful? For who?
Kitty tells Lulu that she loved acting but that the people in the acting industry were ‘monsters’ and ‘liars’. ‘They seemed nice at first; but that was all an act’.
She behaves this way with The General. Nice at first, and then speaks truths that nearly kills them all.
Again, I noticed that Egan uses birds at tense moments. They ominously line the walls and roof of The General’s compound, silently watching, their ‘long purple beaks curved like scythes’. And after Kitty is dragged away by the guards, ‘The jungle was eerily silent; just parrot calls and Lulu’s sobs.’


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Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:06 am
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Post Re: A Visit From the Goon Squad; Selling the General
Ooooh, good point again about the birds!

Isn't it interesting that when lies are told, when people play-act and deceive, there is not as much danger as when someone decides to tell the truth? I ahd the feeling the general, who was by all accounts a monster and really did need good PR, seemed the one most willing to deceive. He seemed to enjoy being--literally--brutally honest. So who really convinced him he needed good PR?


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Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:22 am
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Post Re: A Visit From the Goon Squad; Selling the General
I wonder if Kitty and the General lived happily ever after.



Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:11 am
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Post Re: A Visit From the Goon Squad; Selling the General
Ithink that was never the plan. It was all PR and a lie


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Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:22 pm
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