IB1 Literature 4B
14 December 2013
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Commentary
Loss is not something anyone can feel the gravity and fully understand unless they have gone through it themselves. It is something that re-shapes life and, if one has the ability to come out the other end sane, provides one with a new outlook and mindset. Such transitions and the journeys through loss are well exemplified by Jonathan Safran Foer in his novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. He takes the reader on the character's journeys of loss and allows the audience to develop an emotional understanding of the consequences of loss. By limiting the novel to the scope of a narrative, Foer is effectively able to develop the characters' mindsets and therefor allows his audience to understand how bearing a loss causes one to act-out in an attempt to gain closure.
Foer displays the effects of loss on three major characters in the novel: Oskar, Thomas Schell Sr., and Grandma. Oskar, being the protagonist of the novel, is the character the audience is first exposed to. Foer is able to shape the story by putting it in perspective of Oskar, also providing the reader with the opportunity to understand his thoughts. Oskar's loss in the story is his father, and it is one that takes a major toll on his personality. Foer's language when taking the audience on the journey of Oskar's search for closure exemplifies this change in personality. Oskar begins by making jokes at his father's funeral, a time that is very sensitive to everyone who knew him. He asks the limo driver, "have you already had un oeuf?" (6). Oskar is joking at this time, and seems to be finding something to distract him from the...