A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan Essay

This essay will emphasize on whether or not the author of the story, “A Visit from the Goon Squad”, Jennifer Egan, thinks that adult behavior is shaped by one’s youth. The essay will focus on discussing the view of the author concerning whether one’s youth is responsible for shaping his or her adult behaviors.

The author has taken time to show her feelings and connections in relation to ones youthful experiences and their ultimate old age. In the short story, the connections between the characters are all based on the fact that they were all friends and had connections to each other in the past.

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The connection is still there many years later. The story revolves around elaborating the lives of key characters so as to show that the author supports the notion one’s youth is responsible for shaping his or her adult behaviors. The one factor that has changed is how they perceive themselves and the journey that they have taken.

This is because they are all at the story begins with great emphasis on Bennie. Salazar has been a music producer for a very long time. He has met very many people in his life and he has helped them produce the music that they were interested in, rock and roll. At the time, it was the genre of music that had the power to communicate to very many people. The connection to Sasha is drawn from the fact that Bennie hired her to work for him a very long time ago.

The journey for both of them has been long and tiring. In A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan notes that each and every character is as a result of the journey that he or she took during their youth. This has shaped their thoughts, opinions and all the things that make them who they are in the novel. The term goon has been used to denote the silent robber that has reversed the general perception of the timeline that family, friends, acquaintances and loved ones had together. At each and every step, the author shows that the negative thoughts and sentiments represented are as a result of the difficult years that they have had to go through.

“Times a goon, right? The sentiments presented show that the progress of each and every character may not be where they intended it to be. This is because of the very many things that they have experienced. Sasha has lived a life where she went from being a runaway in a foreign country who had battled with theft urges to a prostitute and many other emotional destabilizing factors. She also has a problem of kleptomania. This is represented by the fact that she grew up in a very violent home. The aspects of the things that she did all her life were a representation of what she had witnessed while goring up.

As much as Bennie had hired her, there were very many secrets between the two as they rarely discussed their personal life. There are a lot of twists and turns with their relationship because Sasha sleeps with a young man named Alex. Bennie came to hire Alex to engineer the comeback of Scott, Bennie’s high school friend. The author therefore shows that Sasha has hardly changed the behaviors that she had as a youth. She is still doing the same things that she did when she was young. For example, the author notes that, “Sasha lived in a foreign country where she battled with urges of theft and being a prostitute”. She has not changed most of these behaviors because the author notes that she still has a problem with kleptomania. She also sleeps with a young man named Alex.

The story by the author focuses on a few key characters that seem to reappear more frequently than the other characters. These are the characters that have been mentioned above such as Bennie and Lou. Lou has been described by the author as a coke-snorting music producer who loves to seduce teenage girls. Lou slowly became the mentor of Bennie, who was simply seen as a young and untalented bass player.

The author has depicted most of the characters as being the same throughout the novel. For example, Lou used to snort coke and seduce teenage girls. This tells us a lot about his character. In the story, he is later described as a pimp who convinces young and under age Jocelyn to accompany him to Los Angeles. Lou is even seen imparting his theories about women to his son Rolph who is only eleven years old. This is evident when he takes his mistress and his two young children on a tour to Africa.

Bennie is later depicted as an aging executive for rock music. The characters that he depicted as a youth are the same characters that he has now. This shows that his adult behaviors have been shaped by his youth. The author has used characters who are self destructive so as to show how one’s character can lead to their own destruction. As characters such as Bennie, Sasha and Lou grow older, fate is seen to lead them in directions they did not intend to go. This shows that they had no control over who they turned up to be. They are simply a product of what they were during their youth.

Another way that the author has used to show the world that one’s adult behaviors are shaped by the youth is through shifting the story back and forth in time. The author has used different timelines. For example, the author has depicted some of the characters in the late sixties through music that was popular at that time. The author then shifts to present day and also the near future so as to show us the similarities and differences in the characters during that period of time. The main aim of doing this by the author is to show that most of the characters have not changed and they are not about to change in the near future.


In conclusion, the author supports the idea that one’s youth shapes his or her adult behaviors. Jennifer Egan has managed to do a great job of creating underdog characters that are self destructive and bring themselves down. I agree with the author that one’s behavior during adulthood has a lot to do with how they were during their youth. The characters that have been reviewed in this story have been seen to remain the same from their youth to their adulthood. This can be used as evidence that one’s youth indeed shapes their behaviors as adults. Characters like Lou, Bennie and Sasha have not changed throughout the story.

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