To Live, to Love, and to Grieve.
-Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
A Novel by Jonathan Safran Foer
What does it mean to be human? It is to live, to love, but most to grieve. In the wake of one of America’s greatest tragedies a young boy learns what it means to grieve. Oskar and the world around him are sent into turmoil faced with the loss of many loved ones, faced with grief. What is grief?
All of the characters in the novel are grieving. They are grieving for the loss of a father, a mother, a sister; they are grieving for the marriage that will never satisfy; they are grieving for the words they will never get the chance to say, the words they will never hear; they are grieving for the…show more content…
Black’s own grief and his process of mourning. Oskar does for Mr. Black what he couldn’t do for himself. It was Oskar who after learning of Mr. Black’s disability, the inability to hear that he thought of “Something else. Something beautiful. Something true” (pg165) When he turned on Mr. Black’s hearing aids for the first time in a long time he witnessed the depths of Mr. Black’s grief crying as he heard the sound of his own voice. Grief in this instance is the realization of loss, the regret of moments he has missed, sounds he never heard, and memories he will never make. If it had not been for Oskar’s quest Mr. Black would have continued to live in his own silent lonely world.
Speaking of silence through the novel both Thomas and Oskar are faced with the inability to say what they need to say. In Thomas’s instance he physically represents the inability of speech. The inability may result from a fear of the truth, but it also dwells on the things that need to be said verses the things that are actually said. In example Oskar comes face to face with this inability during the hamlet play. As Yorick Oskar doesn’t have many lines; however he imagines having the courage to speak out, to say the things he could never really say. “Succotash my cocker spaniel, you fudging crevasse-hole dipshittake!” (pg. 145). This imagined outburst defines the silent rage and grief many in this novel