Summary Of The Novel 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close'

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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a 2005 novel written by American author, Jonathan Safran Foer. The plot revolves around nine-year-old Oskar, who is trying to find closure in relation to his father’s death in 9/11. The central theme portrayed throughout the novel is that grief and trauma can impact individuals differently. The author explores this concept of grief and trauma through the use of literary techniques such as characterisation, narrative POV and allusion.
Narrative POV is a technique utilised to portray that trauma can change a person’s outlook on life. In the letters that Grandpa writes to Oskar’s father, he states that he was not always like this and he gradually lost his ability to speak traditionally. After what happened in Dresden, Grandpa’s outlook on life changed and he became depressed and suffered from guilt making him refuse to move on from the events that occurred in the past. By hearing from Grandpa’s POV, it allows the audience to connect with him easily because the letters are personalised, allowing the audience to hear his
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Grandma, although she does not know how to live, is attempting to, unlike Grandpa who cannot bring himself to try. When Grandma decides to get pregnant and break one of the rules they both had set, she chose life and love over grief and the past, opposed to Grandpa, who is unable to tolerate the idea of continuing to live and love like before. The trauma Grandma went through in Dresden led her to take a huge risk such as getting pregnant and committing herself to that child and the future. This is significant because it shows that although she is suffering from grief and trauma she is persisting through the pain whereas Grandpa is unable to. By using characterization Foer, is able to portray to the audience that what matters is how the world is seen through one’s eyes and how their perspective can be altered by their past

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