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Incredibly Close Grief

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The Evolution of Grief Published in 2005, Jonathan Foer's fiction novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close takes it's readers on an intriguing journey into the life of a boy named Oskar Schell. The novel follows the nine-year old as he travels around all of New York City in search of secrets behind a mysterious key and the connection it has to his father, Thomas Schell, who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. On his journey, Oskar accumulates many friends who aid Oskar’s grief as he aids them with theirs. As Oskar’s story blossoms, so do those of his Grandfather and Grandmother, who co-narrate the story with their grandson. These three narrations come together to introduce and develop a theme of grief. All characters within the novel grieve over something. They grieve of the loss of a father, a son, a sister; they are grieving over a marriage that lacks love; they are grieving for solutions that can never be resolved. Foer uses an assortment of characters to acknowledge a theme of grief that is slowly eliminated by Oskar’s uplifting spirit. Oskar’s grandmother is a critical character who strongly acknowledges the theme of grief throughout the novel. Like all characters in the novel, Oskar’s grandma experiences a great amount of grief- perhaps the most of any character. After her family fell victim to the Dresden bombings during World War II, the grandmother was left alone to live a life filled with sorrow. She later later is united with her sister Anna’s boyfriend, whom she marries. After the grandmother gets pregnant in hopes of saving her unsatisfying marriage, her husband leaves her. To top off the sorrow of her life, her son, Oskar’s father, was of course killed in the twin towers. Oskar’s g... ... middle of paper ... .... He interprets and realizes that there is nothing that can be done about his fathers tragic death, and therefore his grieving is lifted. Oskar uttered emotion, which in turn resulted in the loss of misery from his father’s demise. An evident theme of grief is clearly ascertained throughout the novel. However, it can also be seen that Oskar relieves this theme and as the book comes to a close, so does it's apparent theme of grief. It was his own grief that permitted Oskar to amend the others from their grief and allow them to discover a life full of prosperity. For this reason, it is grief that unites humanity and gives society a sense of peace. Therefore, it is grief that is extremely loud but also what brings us incredibly close. Foer uses an assortment of characters to acknowledge a theme of grief that is slowly eliminated by Oskar’s uplifting spirit.
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