Postmodernism in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Postmodernism in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

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Where does truth lie? Postmodernism is a literary movement of the twentieth century that attempts to show that the answer to this question cannot be completely determined. Characteristics of postmodern works include a mixing of different genres, random time changes, and the use of technology that all aid in presenting a common postmodern theme that truth doesn’t lie in one story, place or person. The novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer encompasses these postmodern characteristics combining together show how the truth cannot always be attained.
Intertwined within the novel is the presence of many different genres including letters, articles and magazine clippings, and pictures. At first sight there is the whole book, a novel written in Oskar’s point of view, which tells of his trials and tribulations growing up in a post-September eleventh world. After closer examination, numerous letters from different characters are found placed within the story to provide an insight into the feelings of other characters. There is a letter from Oskar’s grandmother, letters from prisoners and other people for handwriting samples, and letters from Stephen Hawking among many. Also within the book are magazine and newspaper articles that relate to the story in different ways. For example the article about Chandra Levy parallels Oskar’s story of loss and continuous search. The other articles are apart of the game Oskar played with his dad. Oskar’s dad circled newspaper articles in red as clues to the answer to a search for item. Finally tactically Foer placed pictures relating to the novel throughout the book. The picture of the “Sixth Borough” (or lack of it) complements the story of the sixth borough and the picture ...


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...of others. In today's society, the Internet is the primary means by which people search for "truth”. Foer tries to point out that in the society based on the truth still cannot always be found.
Through the use of many postmodern characteristics Foer has created a book that concerns with the questions, where does the truth lie? And how does someone obtain the truth? At the end of the novel Oskar never really finds what he was looking for, His questions are all left unanswered. By ending in this manor Foer suggests that the truth can’t be found not every question has a yes or no answer. People can choose to go through life constantly attempting to achieve the answers to life or they can choose to accept things for what they are. Truth can be defined as the body of real things, events, and facts. But knowing the definition still leaves the question does truth exist?

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