Trauma In Foer's Literature

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The effects of trauma have been studied thoroughly by many researchers, but because of the complexity and variety in every case of trauma, the researchers have had a difficult time pinpointing specific outcomes in trauma’s major effects on life. This exploration of trauma’s effect on growth has even manifested itself in today’s literature. The trauma-filled scenes in Jonathan Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close show characters who have become hostages of their own minds because of their inability to cope with their pasts from historical moments that affected them generationally. Even though there is a tendency in entertainment to minimize the difficulty of family relationships, in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly…show more content…
Odilia M. Laceulle, assistant professor at Utrecht University, suggests that “Children who reported more support by peers experienced slightly more growth with regard to appreciation of life. The findings seem to suggest that peers may help children become aware of their (increased) growth.” This decision to discuss emotions to help further support and closure is a concept Oskar did not execute for a decent portion of the novel. Instead, he begins an adventure that he believes he is completing alone as he shuts out his family and begins to lie to them to stay secretive about his task. He is able to keep track of how many lies he tells throughout the novel emphasizing that he is uneasy about this change within him, but feels that it is a necessary trait. Oskar openly discusses in flashbacks with his father, that he is an atheist (Foer Pg. 86). Research has theorized religious children that dealt with trauma showed a more successful growth process while dealing with said trauma as compared to the children with no religious preference and not as much support from family and friends, had a harder time with growth (Laceulle). Since Oskar is atheist, this information further supports reasoning for why Oskar is seeking such a unique path for closure. He struggles with this trauma differently than most children because independent religious choices are not common at this young age. His lack of religion also creates his internal struggle with life and death. Sien Uytterschout, and Kristiaan Versluys, writers of “Melancholy and Mourning in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”, state “Evident in Oskar’s musings about life and death is the struggle for a balance between self-destruction and self-preservation, also present in Thomas Schell and Grandma. Although Oskar voices an express
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