Extremely loud and incredibly close
1. Which voices can be found in this book? Who is the main narrator? Are there other narrators? Oskar is the main narrator.
We can also read letters from his grandfather and his grandmother.
* Why can we find these letters? Why are they important? Because there are lots of things that Oskar doesn’t know about the past. We need more narrators. For example, he doesn’t know anything about the bombing in Dresden. That’s why the letters are important to understand the whole story.
* While the book takes place largely in the present, there are also “flash backs” to WWII, in Dresden, Germany. In 1945, the American air force bombed and annihilated the entire town. Thomas Schell and the grandmother both experienced the U.S. attacks on Dresden. While both lost the entirety of their families, these two characters offer a troubling perspective on the effects of war and grief.
2. List themes from the book.
* 9/11 => Not only did the attacks leave the nation in a state of terrible grief, it was also the catalyst for America’s War on Terrorism, launched by the Bush Administration.
* Death => death of a child, of a husband, of a father.
* Coping with loss => mourning, grief => All of the characters within the novel are grieving. They are grieving for the loss of a father, a mother, a sister; they are grieving for a marriage that will never satisfy; they are grieving for answers that will never be found. Nearly every character is dealing with loss. Oskar lost his father; Thomas Schell lost his childhood love, Anna, and his unborn child and later his ability to speak; the grandmother lost her husband, her son, her sister and her parents; Mr. Black lost his hearing; and William Black lost the key his father had left for him before he passed.
* Quest (“looking for”) => it’s an important theme is American literature * “truth” – white lies => Oskar wants to know the truth about his father. He...
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