September 22, 2018, 07:13:47 AM

Author Topic: A Story Told in Pictures  (Read 509 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

September 14, 2014, 06:05:08 PM

paint it Black

  • Notorious Mass Murderer OR Innocent Singing Sensation
  • Forum Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 697
One of the things that makes Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close uncommon as a novel is the inclusion of Oskar's photos, which include both pictures he has taken with his grandfather's camera and those that he has collected.  Do you think the photos that we see from Oskar's collection enhance the story?  Why does he keep them in a book that he calls "Stuff That Happened to Me", even though most of the things never happened to him?

One of the most haunting images in Oskar's collection is that of a victim falling to their death from the burning towers.  In an attempt to discover just how his father died, Oskar has enlarged this photo to see if it might be his dad.  We also see that he's made copies of other photos of this man as he fell, allowing it to be used as a flip book.  At the book's conclusion, though, Oskar tears these pages from his book and reverses them, so the man appears to be rising.  How do you interpret this?  Did it imply anything to you about Oskar's future?




Cuppa is discussing Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.  Please join us!
Logged
November 07, 2014, 06:13:17 PM
Reply #1

paint it Black

  • Notorious Mass Murderer OR Innocent Singing Sensation
  • Forum Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 697
Please don't mind me jumping in and replying first to my own topic.  :ashamed:

I felt really moved by Oskar's connection to the pictures of the man falling from the tower.  It is one of the most emotionally raw events from that day to me; imagine the dilemma of having to choose whether to burn to death or jump to your death.  It's horrific.  And to think that a child was forced to wonder about whether his father had made that choice was really moving.  Oskar missed his father so much and needed closure so badly that he was willing to put his hopes into knowing that his father was the man in the photograph.  At least then he'd know for sure what became of him.  By the end of the story, I don't think Oskar had the same strong need to know the falling man's identity.  And his collage at the end of the book showing the man falling up was wonderful.  You could just see that Oskar was beginning to take control of how 9/11 had overtaken his life.

Oddly enough, I had an interesting experience regarding this collage the first time I read this book.  I enjoy listening to music, and I am a fan of the group Radiohead.  The day before I saw this collage for the first time, they released some new music, including this song, Supercollider.  Although I've never read anyone (including the artists) interpret the song this way, I have come to believe that this is a song about 9/11; the line, "I put the shadows back into the boxes" came instantly to mind when I saw Oskar's flip book showing the man who had jumped heading back up and (presumably) into the tower.  The other line in the song that connected me to this was, "I see an angel hanging over the balcony".  :'(  And of course the title of the song could point to what happened that day.  Anyway, this song is really powerful for me now, and I'll always remember that it coincided with my first reading of this book.

Cuppa is discussing Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.  Please join us!
Logged