Close is a wonderful example of a novel that deals with the many facets of life after a tragic event. The choice of love over fear is thrust upon the characters through inconsolable grief (Jain).
Each of the main characters in the book has lost someone who they care about greatly, and they all must find different and unique methods of coping with this fact whether it be writing letters to an unborn son or going on a city wide search for a lock. The irony of the title is that tragedy is loud and close, but the people who can share and relieve grief such as family are all too quiet and far away (Jain).
The major theme of the book is death and the ways one comes to terms with the loss of a loved one (Gina).
Jonathan Safran Foer, the Jewish-American Author of this novel as well as Everything is Illuminated, a book about the Holocaust, did not experience a great loss while he was growing up (Solomon).
He was born in 1977 in Washington and later went on to be the valedictorian of his high school and study philosophy in college (Solomon).
In other words, why does Foer want to write about tragic events such as these?
He says, “Both the Holocaust and 9/11 were events that demanded retellings (Solomon).
” He also stated, “As a writer, I am trying to express those things that are most scary to me, because I am alone with them. Why do I write? It’s not that I want people to think I am smart, or even that I am a good writer. I write because I want to end my loneliness. Books make people less alone (Solomon).
My life is a Sundance The book Prison Writings by Leonard Peltier is an inspirational story of a martyr in today's time fighting for the rights of his people, the Native Americans. The book is a biography explaining the events that led up to his being wrongly convicted and his experienced being imprisoned for a crime that he did not commit. Leonard Peltier, now in his twenty-fourth year of ...
” The author thus writes of these tragedies to help others alleviate their solitude. One of the characters that deal with this theme is Oskar’s mother.
She loses her husband, Thomas, in the World Trade Center collapse. Although they never find his body, she has a funeral with an empty casket as a way to manage with the death. She also attends a group for people that have lost loved ones. Because he lost his wife and daughter in a car accident, Ron also goes to the group, and it is here that Oskar’s mother and him meet. Oskar does not like that his mother spends an extensive period of time with Ron because he is afraid that if she falls in love Ron would replace the memory of his father.
Even though Oskar thinks that his mom does not share the same extent of pain as he does, she cries quite frequently but never in front of her son. As Oskar pushes away from his family following the same flight as his grandfather, the tension in the story lies in the hope that in the end he will choose love over fear (Jain).
Oskar’s grandmother not only loses her son, but also her family and friends in the bombings of her native city of Dresden, Germany. She also is without her husband after he leaves when she is pregnant.
Because she lost her family in the bombings, it creates a dysfunctional relationship with her husband based solely on this shared loss. They need rules just to live in society and create something and nothing zones so they can live in peace. It is almost as if they have to have each other just because they both lost so much on the fateful night in Germany. When her husband Thomas leaves, the grandma states that she used up all her tears and now feels empty. Although this does happen, she still attempts to keep living. The grandfather’s situation is much more saddening.
He completely lost everything that he defined himself and loved in the Dresden bombings. The loss and grief that remains of his first love and parents torture him eventually rendering him mute and dependant on a daybook along with his tattooed hands (Jain).
Because of this he thinks, “The meaning of my thoughts started to float away from me, like leaves that fall from a tree into a river, I was the tree and the world was the river. ” When he finds the sister of Anna, he asks her if he can make a sculpture. She eventually realizes he is trying to recreate his first love after he could never find her during the bombings.
Seamus Heaney: Physical and Mental Digging In the poem "Digging," Seamus Heaney seems to use his father's and his grandfather's digging into the homeland ground as a comparison to his writing and development of his poetry. Heaney's father and grandfather use their shovels to work with the land, and Heaney is now using a pen to work on his ideas to write poetry. The beginning of this poem starts ...
After this, they get married, but one of their first rules is that there will be no children. He is still afraid of losing something that important once again. The grandmother does get pregnant even though they have that restriction. Shortly after this, he left back for Dresden trying to find himself. The grandfather did not want their son to turn out like him. Instead, he wished for him to actually enjoy life and make the most of it. He obsessively wrote letters to Oskar’s father explaining himself to him (Jain).
Thomas Schell never completely comes to terms with losing everyone that he loved in Dresden as well as himself. Both grandpa and grandma both try desperately to explain themselves to their descendants in an attempt to create a normal life after tragedy (Jain).
Oskar’s self punishment stems from the five phone messages from the “worst day” which he hid from his family, and how he desperately tries to hold onto everything that reminds him of his father. “The secret was a hole in the middle of me that every happy thing fell into,” he says. Oskar has to find a way to stay close to his father fter his death. The searching of the lock and key is representative of the growth of Oskar’s character from disbelief and grief to acceptance. The effect of the tragedy on him was enormous causing him to lie compulsively, invent situations, give himself bruises, create a Stuff that Happened to Me book, get “heavy boots”, and develop fears mostly because of his “inventing” what could happen to him. He also feels that he is alone and has no one to share these feelings with not even his mother. Not only does he not respect his psychiatrist, but he also feels his mom is not mourning as he is.
However, at the end of his journey he meets his grandma’s renter. Although Oskar does not know it is his grandfather, he feels comfortable enough to tell him his circumstances. He allows himself to show his grandfather the only part of his father remaining that nobody else had: the phone messages his father left at the house on the “worst day”. Oskar finally revealed the messages to somebody helping to alleviate the self punishment they have caused him. The two of them devise a plan that will put their minds at ease. “He wrote, ‘Why would you want to do that? ’ I told him, ‘Because it’s the truth, and Dad loved the truth. ‘What truth? ’ ‘That he’s dead. ’” They decide to dig up the casket of Thomas Schell. Oskar knew that the casket was empty but the only way to substantiate this to his mind was to dig it up. Oskar had finally come to terms with his father’s death, and was finally able to move on. It also gave Oskar’s grandpa a chance to finally give his son all the letters he had written, but had never been able to send. Each character in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is faced with the difficult passing of a loved one. They all have several ways of coming to terms with this.
The Tempest by William Shakespeare Plot Summary The Tempest takes place on an enthralled island somewhere between Africa and Italy, that has been inhabited by a benevolent magician named Prospero, his daughter, Miranda, a misshapen monster who is a servant of theirs, Caliban, an airy spirit, Ariel, and several other spirits and nymphs. Prospero was the Duke of Milan, until his traitor brother, ...
It is a wonderful book in the sense that it shows accurately what it is like after a tragedy such as September 11. Jonathan Safran Foer does an excellent job of handling the specific emotions of each character as well as the multiple story lines. All in all, this is a great novel showing the theme that the characters all lose someone who is important.