I just watched a video that put me into my book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The video was taken by an NYU student named Megan. She and her roommate were awoken by the noise of the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center on 9/11. First Megan was talking to her mom on the phone as she did not know what had happened and was wondering if it was a bomb. They turned on the news and discovered that a plane had crashed into the building. At this point Megan zoomed in and realized that dark shapes were falling from the building in a way that was different from all of the paper floating in the air. She soon realized the shapes were people jumping. This is when I started to sob. I watched three people jump from the building to their deaths. Then there was an explosion. The girls began to cry and scream. I cried so hard my entire family rushed from different parts of the house to see what was wrong. I am still crying as I am writing this. There is something so different from seeing real people dying in a video than watching it in a movie. This may have changed my life.
Watching the video definitely transported me into the book, especially the parts where Oscar searches all the videos online of people jumping from the buildings to try to find his father. I have a small glimpse into how he might have been feeling during the search. This was an extremely loud and incredibly close experience.
I do not recommend that anyone watches this link ever, but it is now my new background source so I am including it in this post. http://www.history.com/topics/9-11-timeline/interactives/witness-to-911#/nyu-dorms/
The criticism’s were easy to find, but take forever to annotate and highlight (76 pages). I had a bit of trouble finding a photo of Louis Safran for a background source, but I found a different photo as a solution. http://forward.com/articles/12585/novel-illuminates-memories-of-lost-shtetl-/
I decided to do five background sources, because I was not sure if the three I did first were strong enough to stand on their own.
I am working on finishing the last abstract for the criticisms so they can all be turned in with my background sources tomorrow.
Also planning to watch the movie “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” for a fresh perspective!
There is a strong theme of forgiveness throughout the novel. The characters forgive others and themselves, taking steps to right the wrongs done to or by them. Oscar’s grandfather comes back and is able to bury his letters to his son as a way of finally being there for him. Oscar invents to make the world better. The final images of the novel are the epitome of this theme as Oscar reverses all that has happened to save his father in his own mind.
Use of photographs and illustrations in the novel is an interesting style. Foer is able to use the images to provide flashes into the characters’ world. The photographs illustrate and emphasize the key elements of the chapter and promote active reading. They also serve to break up the book, once again bringing forth the complex simplicity Foer tries to promote through limited word in the novel.
The rotating viewpoints allow for all of the stories to weave together. As we learned from Leslie Marmon Silko, stories are a web. They do not have a beginning or end and there is always more than one side of the tale. Foer is able to provide multiple perspectives on common events, often changing the meaning of the event for his audience. The diverse crew of narrators also allows for Foer to pull from the past in flashbacks of different times. This element is essential in Foer’s connection of world tragedies from multiple time periods.
Several traumatic historical events are referenced in the novel. Foer draws attention to the experiences of multiple generations and regions, managing to tie it all back to the more recent 9/11 attack. Foer describes the horror of World War II from the perspective of European and Japanese witnesses, the ones who survived but lost their family members. Obviously there is a direct correlation between their experiences and Oscar’s loss of his father.
Jonathan Safran Foer uses motifs of word, sound and weight in the novel. The weighing of heavy versus light is used constantly to describe the emotions of the characters, particularly Oscar. The motif of sound is presented most obviously in the case of the grandfather who cannot speak. However, sound also features in several other places including Mr. Black’s inability to hear which Oscar is able to recover for him and the sounds associated with the bombings in the WWII flashbacks. Single words are used to convey a deeper meaning many times in the novel. Foer emphasizes the limited use of word to create a message with Mr. Black’s biographies, the grandfather’s tattoos and notebooks, and the key envelope with the word “Black.”
Colleen is doing The Color Purple, so I am changing to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I checked and it seems to have enough literary criticism, so yay!
I am reading The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Just bought it and got started yesterday!
I have narrowed down my choices to “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, “Fahrenheit 451” by Rad Bradbury, “The Virgin Suicides” by Jeffrey Eugenides, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathon Safran Foer, an “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote. Sorry for the use of quotations, but I can’t italicize on my phone. I am going to look for good literary criticism to see which books will be best to research.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas takes places in Berlin during the Nazi reign. The film establishes a strong anti-war stance by focusing on the children of the war. Bruno’s innocence in his perspective of the boy beyond the fence emphasizes how the actions of the concentration camps are so vile they can not be comprehended by an un-jaded, young mind. When Bruno is killed along with his friend at the end of the film, the anguish of his family is shown. The filmmakers illustrate the pain of war through this final scene, equating the pain of Bruno’s family to the pain every parent in the concentration camp feels daily. We are all the same in death and the death of loved ones, no special treatment.
I’M NOBODY! WHO ARE YOU?
by Emily Dickinson.
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us - don’t tell!
They’d advertise - you know!
How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one’s name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!