extemly loud and incredibly close- values

Essay by bonnieblatchfordHigh School, 11th gradeB+, July 2014

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The novel, Extremely loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer, is a controversial novel focused on the grief and loss suffered by a young child, Oskar, after the death of his father in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York. Released just 4 years after the event itself, this novel brought upon very controversial debate about not only the release time, but also how Foer showed humanistic view rather than a patriotic or politic perspective.

Foer's novel was quite controversial when it first appeared. It was confronting for the readers to be faced with such raw imagery and stories so soon after their loss. A number of viewers worried about the appropriation of using the 9/11 tragedy as a fiction novel. Several experts stated that it "still feels too close, to fresh in the memory... To difficult to render in fiction" while others found it "strangely healing."

The main viewpoint of the novel is one of a humanistic perspective. Foer leads us to consider his own value system and way of thinking, rather than following the dominant set of values, by viewing the 9/11 tragedy with a wider context of human suffering. His humanistic views can be reflected in numerous choices in the construction of the novel. He focuses the story of three generations of the Schmitt/ Schell family, A German family destroyed in the Dresden bombings with the only survivors immigrating to America. They show the continuing inheritance of loss from one generation of humans to the next. He brings this damaged family to America, only to have them suffer in the 9/11, bringing them, as well as the reader, to realise that nowhere is safe. Foer also evokes our sympathy to the innocent, through the character of Oskar, a damaged and confused victim of these...