If suddenly certain people, including ones you loved, just disappeared from the earth–gone without a trace or explanation–and you were left to continue on, what would you do? Would you spend the rest of your days searching for answers, trying to assign meaning to something that may not have any because it would help you cope to be able to say there was a purpose to the sudden loss? Would you become obsessed with the space that used to be occupied by these people? Would you be jealous of those who were gone, since they–ostensibly–didn’t have to attempt to make sense of the situation?
That’s the issue the characters in The Leftovers have to deal with, and those are the questions they’re forced to answer.
If I were the type to interpret novels into explanations involving symbolism and bigger picture questions, I’d say the book deals with a pretty simple metaphor for life in general.
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