The novel begins sometimes after the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City. Here we meet Oskar Schell, a nine year old boy, who lost his father in the terrorist attack on the twin towers. He fells a great loss towards his father. They had a very close relationship.
“Dad?” “Yeah?” “Could you tell me a story?” “Sure.” “A good one?” “As opposed to all the boring ones I tell.” “Right.” I tucked my body incredibly close into his, so my nose pushed into his armpit.
He longs for his father, which the following passage will illustrate. Oskar goes into his father’s closet because it smells of him, he misses him. He can’t talk to his mother about it, because he thinks she doesn’t feel sorrow anymore:
“Even though Dad’s coffin was empty, his closet was full. And even after more than a year, it still smelled like shaving. I touched all his white t-shirts. I touched his fancy watch that he never wore and the extra laces for his sneakers that would never run around the reservoir again. I put my hand into the pockets of all of his jackets. (Page 36)
This is the passage where Oskar found the key and the quest begins.
“I didn’t do it!” I hollered, but they didn’t even hear me, because they were playing music too loud and cracking up too much. I zipped myself all the way into the sleeping bag of myself, not because I was hurt, and not because I had broken something, but because they were cracking up. Even though I knew I shouldn’t, I gave myself a bruise. I started to clean everything up, and that was when I noticed something else weird. In the middle of all of that glass was a little envelope, about the size of a wireless Internet card. (Page 37)
Oskar’s grandmother lives across the street. They keep in touch with a walkie-talkie. Oskars grandmother had to accept much loss in her life. She lost her family, her home, her country, but she continues to survive. In a letter she describes to Oskar why...