Dig. Wass.

Terrorism an the Child narrator - 9/11 through the eyes of Oskar in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Nicky Jan

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Seminar paper from the year 2017 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Frankfurt (Main), language: English, abstract: The representation of the events of September 11, 2001 had been widely criticized for different reasons: due to the disturbing nature of this art, negative media attention and the traumatized public the latter was meant to be the target audience commemorating the tragic event, but on the contrary, refused to advertise the terror of that day. Even the course of time had barely changed the situation. Aside from the domestic criticism, the international community also blamed the American artists for the alienation (due to the Islamist nature of the attackers) and inability to produce ethical art (Duvall and Marzec, 382-383). Although the representation of 9/11 still remains a highly disputed topic in the society, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, drew attention of the public in its attempt to picture the events of the 9/11 through the perspective of the child, Oskar Schell. The issue of trauma had been discussed by various authors both in form of theory in fiction, yet this still remains a very complicated topic to write on, which balances on the verge of being disrespectful to the feelings of those concerned. Yet Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close manages to discuss the aforementioned topic with the extreme precision and efficiency, mainly due to the careful choice of the narration tone and the media, which allowed to deliver information on such a sensitive topic. Thus, the research focus of the paper can be expressed as follows: the child narration as the indispensable tool for the accurate representation of the traumatized memories. This paper’s accent is mostly on the trauma triggered by the events of 9/11, as they are of the immediate importance to the main narrator, Oskar, yet the study does not exclude references to other tragic events mentioned in the novel. Therefore, the implications of the research concern the overall study of trauma and its representation in the literature through the perspective of the child, based on the case of the Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

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