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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

By Dave Eggers

Samantha Phillips

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Background on
Dave Eggers Where and when
was he born? Boston, MA How was
he raised? Eggers was raised in a suburb of Chicago with older sibilings Bill and Beth, and younger brother Christopher (Toph). His father was a lawyer and his mother was a school teacher. The children had a happy childhood except for their father's alcoholism, which resulted in his frightening and unpredictable personality. 1970 Lake Forest, IL Style North Berkely, CA Other Major Works Setting San Francisco, CA Eggers' Education and
the Beginning of his Writing Career! Dave and Toph found their niche in San Francisco, where Dave's independently owned magazine, Might! is produced. Almost immediately after their parents died, all the Eggers children moved to North Berkely, CA. Soon after that, Bill, the oldest, moved to Los Angeles. Imagination Dave Eggers attended the University of Illinois to get a degree in journalism, but his studies were interrupted by the death of his parents in 1991, both within 32 days of each other. His father died of lung cancer and his mother with cancer in the stomach. Then Dave Eggers and Toph moved to CA, where Dave temporarily worked in graphic design for a local newspaper. Soon he took over another local free newspaper with his friend David Moodie (Cups). Gradually this newspaper evolved into the satirical magazine MIGHT! Dave and Toph were raised with their parents and two older siblings, Bill and Beth, in Lake Forest, IL. Both parents died of cancer within months of each other, and the whole family moved out to California. The story
behind the story! Eggers uses imagination and creativity in his writing to his advantage. His exaggerated, comedic thoughts and opinions about his surroundings entertain the audience. He and Toph have fun playing frisbee and catch several times in the novel. In one instance, he describes the park that the boys are playing in as a "laboratory for experimental people-making - the mixed race/ethnicity capital of the world." He further describes the different races of people interacting with each other in strange situations, just like different substances and solutions interact in a laboratory to create various compounds. Opinion Through his writing, Dave Eggers is constantly making others aware of his opinions about various events and people. His sarcastic, negative comments also show his humorous personality. He uses opinion when describing the first issue of Might!'s opening spread. He tells what each picture is showing and then what he and his colleagues' opinions of the ideas behind the pictures are. His goal is to show the audience of his magazine how modern and unique his generation is.
For example...
"Over a picture of a spoiled-looking young woman: Nope, we are NOT spoiled and lazy!
Over a display of guns for sale:
Nope, we do NOT think guns should be sold at counters, like this one there." Nope! Comedy! Humor plays a HUGE role in AHWOSG. Eggers' sense of humor left us laughing out loud while reading this book... :D At one point in the story, he describes the types of foods he and Toph eat. He creatively constructs a menu that details every food that they cook and consume. Some menu items include: The Saucy Beefeater, The Crunchy Chicken, The Mexican-Italian War, and Gavin MacLeod and Charo.
(p. 76) When Dave Eggers was twenty one years old, both his parents died of cancer within a month of each other. The whole family was shaken up and moved out to California, where Dave raised his younger brother Toph all on his own. These events inspired Dave to write a memoir of his life, which he published in 2001. Toph ;) Dave The screenplay for Where The Wild Things Are
(which he wrote with Toph)
What is the What
How We Are Hungry
The Unforbidden is Compulsory Or Optimism
You Shall Know Our Velocity!
Sacrament (A Version of You Shall Know Our Velocity!)

Coediter of McSweeny's Plot! Dave's parents are both suffering - his mother from stomach cancer and his father from lung cancer. They both die, and
the Eggers children decide it's time for a change. They move across the country to CA. Dave gets custody
of Toph, and Bill moves from San Fransisco to Los Angeles. VOCABULARY! :) Themes! The Importance
of Family The most significant theme in AHWOSG is that through family love and support, a person is able to endure emotional hardships. After the death of their parents, Dave and Toph had to fend for themselves and find their own place in the world. Though it was hard for Dave to experience a semi-"normal" social life as a 20-year-old, he hired various babysitters to help him out. In the end, he always ended up grouchy after dates, and realized that the person who makes him happiest "at the end of the day" is Toph. (p. 73) “I think we both know that Toph is funnier,” Dave says.
Toph does not comment. Dave and Toph briefly
lived an easy life in a nice
house in North Berkely, but
soon they moved to
San Fransisco. Humor :D “Humor relies on a large amount of surprise,” Dave goes on. “If you expect it, it’s not as funny.”

Toph says nothing. They then found
their niche and got Toph
enrolled in school. Dave
began hanging out with
friends again. Their life wasnt
perfect - the house was always messy, and Toph was always
late to school, but they
were able to make
it work. There are rumors that MTV's The Real World will be having auditions and shooting in San Francisco. As seen throughout the entire story, Eggers values humor as a way to connect with his friends and his brother. One night, Dave and Toph act out a skit, solely for their own entertainment. (p. 79)
Towards the end of the book, Dave and Toph are driving to the beach for the day, and while they are on the Golden Gate Bridge, Toph is making cow sounds at the pedestrians. (p. 349) Dave and his
friend, Marny, sign up for interviews. Dave's painfully long interview seemed to go pretty well. However, Dave
later gets a call saying
that he didn't make the
show - that a cartoonist
named Judd got
Dave's spot. Dave goes out
with his friend, Meredith, and
they are 'canoodling' at the beach
when a group of teenagers assaults them and "takes Dave's wallet, which had belonged to his father." After making a huge scene, he returns home and discovers that his wallet was there all along. Character Map! :D Toph becomes closer
with Dave's friends and
is acting more and more
cocky and adult-like. Insurmountable adj. incapable of being surmounted, passed over, or overcome; insuperable Toph and Dave's
relationship is becoming
weaker because Dave is
somewhat neglecting Toph and
spending more time
with women. Beth tells Dave
that when asked if she
wanted the ashes of their
dead parents she had said
no, without consulting
Bill or Dave.

Dave and his freinds
work on promoting, producing, and publishing Might! Magazine. Chartacter Map! :D Dave returns to
Lake Forest to the funeral
home to get copies of the
records of his parents. Above
the copier is a small brown
box labeled "Heidi Eggers."
Inside are his
mother's ashes. THE END! Dave then begins to
freak out and panic, and he
throws the ashes into the lake.
However, this also provides
him with a sense of closure. After their parents
died, Beth and Dave's goal was to
maintain a level of normalcy for Toph.
That's why they moved and raised him they way
they did. And while it didn't work out perfectly, in the end they were able to give Toph a fairly normal up-bringing. At the end, Dave is looking for a good high school for Toph. Also, even with all the
changes that have happened, the brothers are
still able to be there for each other and
do the things they love together,
such as play Frisbee (: Heidi Eggers Ludicrously adverb. causing laughter because of absurdity; laughable Ostensibly adverb. outwardly appearing as such; apparent, evident, or conspicuous noun. the theory that only the self exists,
or can be proved to exist. Solipsism Proclivity noun. natural or habitual inclination or tendency; propensity; predisposition Book Review!!! DOESN"T THINK BEFORE ACTNG
He gives Toph a huge speech when he was not in the correct place to be picked up at school, which includes a lot of vlugar language.
Even though Dave left his brother with their older sister Beth, he was not smart when he got with a girl in his room, and then Toph saw them.
When he had kidney stones he exaggerated a lot about his condition explaining that he was dying.
When Toph leaves Dave alone at home, he thinks a lot about the lives of other mothers and how they feel when they are left alone, and how he is now feeling.
The advertising that MIGHT! has in the bathrooms and when he thinks that people could understand the message in thousands of ways.
When Toph takes his school picture, he looks sad, and Dave is always worried about what the others think of how he is taking care of his brother. He doesn't want Toph to be taken away from him.
All of the events that he and Toph will continue to have and what people will think of them. Also always thinking about the future of his life and brothers with MIGHT!
When he includes the fake death of the famous person, he doesn't think about all of the consequences that would come with the published article
He is aware of all the sexually transmitted diseases, but continues hooking up with girls everywhere all the time
He continues to go pick up Meredith, when he knows nothing good would happen.
About the ashes of his parents.
When he leaves Toph, he is always thinking about the risks that he has with the babysitter, but overthinks all the ways he could find him dead.
When he thought he lost his wallet he was doing the impossible to find it, This was the only thing he owned that was previously his father's.
He cares a lot about Toph's education.
He likes change to help the family. (moving from Illinois to California, and then to New York, and when he is finding different schools for Toph.)
He is always trying to be like his brother, and do the things that he does.
when he is around Dave he is a lot more confident and feels a lot older.
Using vulgar language and with his freisbee moves.
He believes in his brother when he tells him to stay with the babysitter
When his brother was in the hospital, he just stayed with Beth. He had no idea of what was happening.
Many things are kept from him, because of his age.
He forgets a lot about time, example the instense that he forgot to wake Dave up for the open house at school.
He follows who he cares for like his brother. He follows in where he goes to school, and where they live.
When it comes to food he is so so picky.

When she was helping Dave get the paperwork for Tophs education.
When she helps out by taking care of Toph a couple times.
She doesn't help Dave when he and Toph are moving to California
She does not help raise Toph as much as she should
Beth takes the guardian title of Toph but doesn't help him in nearly anything
Doesn't tell Dave about their parents' ashes
Gets away from the family in their time of need, to start her OWN life :O
Beth is very sneaky in the way that she gets her benefits, being "gaurdian".
When the brother, Dave, comes to help at home she leaves quickly. PERSISTANT
Insisting that she didn't need to go to the hospital
Making sure that the house was clean and her children picked up after themselves.
Making sure the children's lives were as normal as possible when she was sick, and trying her best to still help them out.
She rarely complained about her state, and she was very brave when dealing with her death.

The miracles
He didn't talk to anyone when guests came over to their home.
When he is drinking he can do a lot of harmful things without realizing it
He never likes to be uncomfortable, so he usually quickly relocates. Dave Eggers Beth Eggers Father Eggers Mother (Heidi) Eggers Toph Eggers Currently, Dave owns and operates 826 Valencia, a tutoring program for kids, and he's the coeditor of McSweeny's.
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