Essay on Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close By Jonathan Safran Foer

1666 Words 7 Pages
The newfound fame of autism has come with increased visibility and societal understanding; however, it has also trapped the disorder within the confines of metaphor. It is not an uncommon literary technique for authors to use an autistic character as a comparison to discuss the fact that no one is communicating their wants and needs. In his novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer takes this common trope and pushes it one step further. With no semblance of chronology, the novel chronicles three generations of Schells as they navigate through difficult times, including the Bombing of Dresden and the Attack on the World Trade Center. Throughout the novel, relationship after relationship suffers because the characters are not simply unwilling to communicate, but instead seemingly incapable of sustaining any real dialogue. The novel’s lead protagonist, Oskar Schell is an autistic, nine-year-old boy still reeling from the loss of his father in the terrorist attack on September eleventh. Although he does not always do it in a socio-typical way, Oskar is the only character capable of communicating what he needs to those around him. The adults around him follow conventional social scripts, however, despite their seemingly effective attempts at communication, they are incapable of actually telling each other what they need. Much like Oskar communicates outside societal rules of conversation, Foer disregards the standard definition of what it is to write a…

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