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Symbolism, Imagery and Theme in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

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! Symbolism, Imagery and Theme in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close The novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close tells the story of Oskar, a 9 year old boy, who had a very close relationship with his father before he died in the 9/11 attack. His love for his father grew after he found a key in his fathers’ vase, which sent him on an adventure to find the lock that fits the key. Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of this book, clearly demonstrates the characteristics of literary elements. The novel proves these literary elements through symbolism, imagery, and theme. Examples of these literary elements include symbolism shown through the key, which represents the hope that Oskar will reconnect with his dead father; imagery utilized through…show more content…
This was easily identified in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close knowing that perhaps the only way out was to jump. Oskar Schell continuously uses the phrase “heavy boots” to describe how he feels throughout the novel. The author uses “heavy boots” to make readers visualize trudging through deep snow or mud. He uses the phrase to show that his current emotions are preventing him from moving and making progress on knowing more about the key. Oskar states “Every time I left our apartment to go searching for the lock, I became a little lighter, because I was getting closer to Dad” (Foer 52), meaning he would only have “heavy boots” if he was doing something that was unrelated to finding what his father had left him or if he was disappointed. From beginning to end, images displayed in Foer’s novel are indispensable for the verbal narrative. Elisabeth Siegel, contributor to an online collection of postgraduate American studies, says the images generate an immediacy that brings the characters’ experiences “incredibly close”. For example, the folder of Stuff That Happened To Me that Oskar created allows the reader to look into Oskar’s mind and understand what he has gone through. He includes pictures of a falling man in his folder, keys that look like the key he found in his fathers vase, and the Sixth Borough - the world that Oskar’s father
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