Sympathy For Oskar

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At the time of the production of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close in 2011, the United States was in the midst of the ten-year university of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Therefore, many of the emotions and grievances surrounding the horrific events were brought again to the surface and relived. Because the film surrounds the terrorist events and Oskar’s response to his father’s death, it is no surprise that most of the sympathy towards Oskar was heightened after learning about the cause of Thomas’ death. Because of Oskar’s difficulty with social interactions and communications, he would often face judgement and rejection by society and those around him. As Oskar would interact with the “Blacks,” he would sometimes come across …show more content…

Though a study by Danielle M. Martin states that overall public awareness and social understanding about autism has increased while negative stigmatizations have decreased, autism is often a subject of extreme sensitivity and even disillusionment (Martin). If you are not a parent or in direct contact with an individual with autism, it can be incredibly difficult to know how to interact or understand individual’s with ASD and their social difficulties, severe anxieties, and sensory issues. For example, society had difficulty perceiving Oskar with his autistic tendencies as there were many critics of the portrayal of Oskar in the film. Such critics were said to have “issues with the way children and autism behave and speak” according to Autism Key’s Michelle Conzalez (“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Familiar”). Not only this, but they also targeted Oskar’s jarring voice, by calling Oskar “The Brat,” and attacked his lack of social grace, ultimately concluding that he was “too rude or arrogant to relate the world” (“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Familiar”). In response to such negative and judgmental reactions, one mother with an Autistic daughter replied, “It’s really interesting (but not surprising) to hear of people’s contempt for the mannerisms of this character portrayal. There really is a low threshold for tolerance for people with this disability. I have experienced the disdain of strangers firsthand, while trying to maneuver through everyday life with my Autistic daughter” (“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Familiar”). As a result, the presence of autism in both films and in society are often criticized and discriminated against. Though there still is overwhelming support and understanding of individuals with ASD, one must also be aware of the ever present unawareness and judgement of this

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