Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

by

Jonathan Safran Foer

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close can help.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Symbols

Keys

The key that drives the plot of the novel is the one that Oskar finds inside the envelope labeled “Black” in the blue vase in Dad’s closet. This key forms the basis for Oskar’s expedition… (read full symbol analysis)

Doorknobs

Throughout the novel, Jonathan Safran Foer occasionally inserts photographs of doorknobs into the text. Grandpa took meticulous photographs of everything in his apartment, including doorknobs, so the collection of doorknobs comes in part from Grandpa’s… (read full symbol analysis)

Telephones

Telephones and answering machines are a crucial form of both communication and miscommunication in the novel: though people use the telephone to connect and to relay information, often, the telephone can become a source of… (read full symbol analysis)

Letters, Notes, and Notebooks

Letters and writing are important aspects of both the novel’s content and its structure. The sections of the novel that Grandpa narrates are letters to his son. Grandma writes letters to Oskar. The letters that… (read full symbol analysis)

Science, Mathematics, and Invention

Oskar is obsessed with scientific ideas and objects: he loves Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, he names his cat Buckminster (after the inventor Buckminster Fuller), and he is constantly “inventing” new ways… (read full symbol analysis)

Get the entire Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close LitChart as a printable PDF.