Themes In Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close

2146 Words 9 Pages
Everyone tends to struggle with communication every now and then. Sometimes, a person may be struggling to express their emotions or feelings about a particular event. Other times, perhaps they can’t communicate their thoughts to one another out of fear of hurting the person on the receiving end. The case could even be that people may be unable to verbalize what they need to say to one another. Often in Jonathan Safran Foer 's novel, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, characters tend to have a difficult time communicating with each other, whether in speaking or writing. The themes of fear, love, and mortality all contribute to the miscommunication between the characters in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. First, the theme of fear has a …show more content…
Love can affect people in so many different ways, and one of those ways is causing them the inability to express themselves to one another. In the novel, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, one can see how the death of a loved one can cause an abundance of trauma and miscommunication. One excellent example of this is focused on the characters Grandma, and Grandpa, also known as Thomas Schell Sr. (Grandma’s husband). When Thomas Schell Sr. was a young man, he was in love with Grandma’s sister, Anna, in Germany. He loved her more than anything in the whole entire world. He loved the unborn child she was developing within her more than anything as well, which we can see by a quote from Thomas’ letter to his son, “Your aunt told me she was pregnant, I was overjoyed… I kissed her belly, even though there was nothing yet to kiss, I told her, ‘I love our baby.’ (Foer, 215).” However, as he said in the book, “I should have known not to trust it, one hundred years of joy can be erased in one second... (Foer, 215).” Anna perished in the Dresden Bombing only a little while after Thomas Schell Sr. discovered she was carrying his unborn child. Taking his love and life with her, Anna’s death absolutely devastated him. Her death caused him so much pain and grief that he still doesn’t know how to deal with or heal from. The death of someone he loved so dearly is one culprit for causing miscommunication between him and his wife, Grandma. Grandma and him have so much trouble communicating anything and everything because of this trauma of losing a loved one. Due to the trauma of losing Anna, someone he loved so much, Grandpa can’t even speak anymore, which we see throughout the entire book and learn about from this quote, “...I haven’t always been silent, I used to talk and talk and talk and talk, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, the silence overtook me like a cancer… (Foer, 16).”

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