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 trove of photographs. During the firebombing of Dresden, Grandpa burned his hand on a metal doorknob, which was all that was left of his home. The recurring photographs of doorknobs burn this visual motif throughout the novel like a scar. Throughout the novel, characters frequently stand on thresholds, both literal and metaphorical. Oskar has to meet every person named Black on his list by approaching his or her front door. When Oskar’s grandfather moves back into the apartment, he is relegated to the guest room. The doorknob also shows a lock, reminding the reader visually throughout the novel that Oskar is searching for the right lock that matches his mysterious key.
Doorknobs Quotes in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close quotes below all refer to the symbol of Doorknobs. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Mariner Books edition of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close published in 2006.).
Chapter 8 Quotes
He took a picture of every doorknob in the apartment. Every one. As if the world and its future depended on each doorknob. As if we would be thinking about doorknobs should we ever actually need to use the pictures of them.
Doorknobs Symbol Timeline in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The timeline below shows where the symbol Doorknobs appears in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2, “Why I’m Not Where You Are (5/21/63)”
Chapter 6, “Why I’m Not Where You Are (5/21/63)”
Chapter 8, “My Feelings”
...her marriage with Grandpa. Grandpa took pictures of every detail in their apartment, including the doorknobs. Grandpa used to go to the airport after work. At first, he would bring Grandma... (full context)
Chapter 10, “Why I’m Not Where You Are (4/12/78)”
Chapter 14, “Why I’m Not Where You Are (9/11/03)”