Extremely Loud and incredibly CloseAuthor: Johnathon Safran FoerAnalyst: Luca D’Alessandro Plot of The StoryThe story is about 9 year old Oskar Schell, attempting to come to terms with his fathers death, that occurred during the attacks on 9/11. He is rummaging through his fathers closet one day when he accidentally breaks a vase, and finds a key in an envelope with the word Black written on it. This sends him into a frenzied search for the lock that matches this key. ? After a visit to the art supply store, Oskar realizes that the word black is written in red pen, a detail he has yet to notice. When looking at the pen trial sheets, he notices that all the words that spell out a colour, are written in that same colour. This leads him to believe that Black, is a name. ? The rest of the story is Oskar setting out on an adventure to find which Black this key corresponds to. Along the way he makes a friend in Mr.
Black. They need each other, as Oskar gives Mr. Black meaning, and Mr. Black gives Oskar company.
Eventually as his search is nearly over, he gets a call from one of the Black’s he had visited, Abby Black. She says that the key belongs to her husband William’s safe deposit box. This is not the closure Oskar was expecting.
Sub Plot? Oskar’s grandma sends him a letter, broken up throughout the story, about what her life was like. This is his grandma’s way of explaining her life to him. Oskar’s grandma is a very private person, who is very distant with everybody, including her husband.
Her husband is referred to as “the renter” in the story, because he is renting a room in Grandma’s apartment. Oskar doesn’t learn who he is until the end. About Oskar Schell ? 9 years old? Although never clearly stated, he obviously has severe anxiety? “even after a year I still had an incredibly tough time with certain things, like taking showers, for some reason, and getting into elevators, obviously” (36)? Panicked by: bridges, germs, airplanes, fireworks, arab people on the subway (even though he says he isn’t racist), arab people in public places, scaffolding, sewers, subway grates, bags without owners, shoes, mustaches, smoke, knots, tall buildings, turbans. (36, 87) ? Only wears white to reflect nuclear radiation? Carries around a tambourine to deal with stress, bothers many people including art supply store worker (46) More about Oskar? Oskar Schell is very introverted:? Only has 2 friends, The Minch and Toothpaste, however they can’t be very close because we never meet them as the reader. ? The only friend we meet of his is the one he makes in Mr. AR BlackComing of Age? The conflicts in the story, Oskar losing his Dad, and Oskar trying to find the lock, result in a loss of innocence.? As the story goes on, he goes from a young, sheltered, introverted kid to an independent young man who is comfortable talking to others. ? He overcomes many of his fears given to him by the death of his father by facing them head on.
His devotion to finding the lock helps him to overcome these fears. ? “It’s that at the end of my search I wanted to be able to say: I don’t know how I could have tried harder. ” (160)? Overcomes his fears at various times throughout the story, like being in public alone, and walking over suspension bridges to get to different Black’s. ? Perhaps the most prominent fear he faces is when he must get to the top of the empire state building to find Ruth Black. Driven by his desire for closure, and encouragement of Mr. Black, Oskar makes it to the top of the building. Coming of Age? Oskar makes the transition of innocence to experience when he meets all the Black’s.
He has some very intriguing conversations with some of them, which shows how he is coming out of his shell of an introverted young boy, and becoming a more confident young man. ? Oskar also comes of age when he is able to leave his fathers death in the past. When the key doesn’t give him the answer he is looking for (although he doesn’t know what he was looking for) he decides to dig up his fathers grave. ? “And then a thought came to my brain that wasn’t like other thoughts.
It was closer to me, it was louder. I didn’t know where it had come from, or if i loved it or hated it. I just opened up like a fist, or a flower. “What about digging up my father’s grave?”” (259) Summary of Character Change? Before? Introverted? Innocent? Afraid ? After? Extroverted? Experienced? Confident