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Literature Review of the Novel “About Schmidt”



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    1. About Schmidt is a story of Warren Schmidt who experiences a lot of personal turmoil and emotional pain as he travels down the road of grieving. Schmidt, a retired insurance man, becomes a sponsor to a Tanzanian child to whom he narrates the ups and downs of his life. After his wife suddenly dies he discovers that she had a secret affair with a friend long ago.

    This struggle was added by the fact that his only daughter is going to marry someone that he disapproves of. He was living a very wasted life and has pondered over the fact that he hasn’t had strong control in his life. This is when he decided to see his daughter to convince her not to push through with the wedding. He continued to persuade his daughter not to marry but failed. In the wedding itself, he has shown great sympathy to his daughter successfully concealing his disapproval. He then went back to his home and read letters about the Tanzanian boy. Apparently the boy becomes inspired and felt loved with Schmidt’s stories. Then he realized that his life is not useless and someone had even benefited from it.

    2. Retirement from work is an expected loss because it is a personal decision but at the same time the person looses the opportunity to still grow as a person and to elevate his career. The sudden death of his wife and the fact that she once cheated on him is a traumatic loss because it caused a lot of emotional pain on him; there is also unresolved old loss issues. Also loosing his daughter to a man he doesn’t approve of is another loss where he showed problem with closure by ending up accepting what his daughter ended up doing despite the fact that it’s not what he wants for her.

    3. The story shows that the lack of support for Schmidt’s grief became one of the reasons why he felt that he is useless and is soon going to die. His wife died and his daughter weds a man he doesn’t want; everything was going against him. In the end, he realizes that the Tanzanian boy becomes his primary support with the understanding, sympathy and affection that the boy had shown.


    Mini-Lecture 6 from Loss, Grief & Coping module

    Literature Review of the Novel “About Schmidt”. (2016, Jun 10). Retrieved from

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