Extreme Grief and Incredible Love
Death in any person’s life is tragic, whether sudden or unexpected. Everyone experiences it at least once throughout a lifetime. In the novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, the reader meets several characters that lose people very close to them. Each person has a certain way of dealing with the death, but overall his or her grief is out of love. These two emotions are triggered by one another. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close displays few characters that show any sign of moving on with their lives. Grief takes over and seems to stay forever. Characters such as Oskar, Grandfather, Mr. Black on the floor above, and Ms. Black in the Empire State Building experience grief almost as a punishment. Their lives can no longer be lived properly because their loved one cannot do the same thing. All of the blame and guilt they feel extremely alters their everyday life. In contrast, Oskar’s mom shows much more stability than these other characters and attempts to move on from the loss of her husband. People take different approaches after losing someone and the mother here wants to help her son as much as she can through it. Death is a major theme in this novel and the journey of people who are grieving over loved ones helps to shape the meaning behind it all. Foer picks these characters specifically that suffer greatly to show how people react to death can change his or her life forever.
Oskar Schell is a very unique nine-year-old who suffers the tragic loss of his father at this young age. While searching through his father’s closet, Oskar finds a key in an envelope with the world “Black” on it. Thus begins the journey of searching for every person in NYC with the last name Black. He even admits, “every time [he] left [the] apartment…[he] was getting closer to [his] dad” (52.) However, he gets very caught up in everything and finds himself in a big struggle. The relationship between the two was so...
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