In the next section the story is taken up by Patty Berglund herself. Through the device of an analyst's suggestion that she write her life as a creative writing project, she tells us about her childhood, her family and how she met Walter, with "his unstoppable blush", and his friend Richard Katz. She also leads us off into the story of her intense friendship with a character called Eliza, who is vividly evoked, has several intriguing characteristics, but vanishes after about page 89.
" ...his mom ran away when he was little, and became a religious nut. His dad was a postal worker and a drinker who got lung cancer when Richard was in high school. Richard took care of him until he died. He's a very loyal person, although maybe not so much with women”.
Others may disagree but I cannot persuade myself that any of those conversations could ever have taken place between genuine flesh and blood human beings in anything resembling the real world.
Beyond anything, what stands out as shocking about the discussion of the Iraq war in Freedom is the author's barely disguised anti-Semitism in his tracing of its causes. He shows us Joey becoming involved with a rich Jewish family, the patriarch of which is "the founder and luminary president of a think tank devoted to advocating the unilateral exercise of American military supremacy to make the world freer and safer, especially for America and Israel. Hardly a week passed, in October and November, without ... an opinion piece in the Times or the Journal in which [he] ... expounded on the menace of radical Islam. They'd also watched him on the News Hour and Fox News. He had a mouth full of exceptionally white teeth that he flashed every time he started speaking."