9/11 Allegories

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Let the Great World Spin is told through a diverse cast of characters in order to establish what Colum McCann describes as “a 9/11 allegory.” The novel functions as an allegory for 9/11 with Corrigan and Jazzlyn representing the Twin Towers, their accident representing the terrorist attacks, and the diverse narrative revolving around them representing the experiences of the people who witnessed the fall of the Towers. Moreover, in his interview with Bret Anthony Johnson McCann describes his experience on 9/11 as “a deluge of images” and “small intimate moments,” such as a car littered with flowers instead of parking tickets, his father-in-law covered in ashes, and supermarkets selling out of eyewashes. Consequently, the exploration of multiple narrators and their connections to the accident, both large and small, seem to be a reflection of McCann’s experience of “deluge.” Not only is the…show more content…
No other cities come to mind that have such a well-known history of both tragedy and multicultural interaction. While other cities have experienced similar acts of terror and devastation, the event of 9/11 stands out due to its impact on American culture. Additionally, New York has a large population consisting of many different cultures. It is home to many different stories and lives that overlap and intersect every day. Famous phrases about New York such as it being “the city that never sleeps” are exemplary of the city’s endless activity, providing an atmosphere of “spin” for the novel. McCann goes as far as to define the novel as his “love letter to old New York” and when clarifying his desire to write about the city he explains that, “Even the garbage can be acrobatic.” McCann’s personal connection to New York, his allegory for 9/11, and the rich history and background of the city seem to make it the only reasonable setting for the
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