Characteristics of the Protagonist of the Novel ‘extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’

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The protagonist, Oskar Schell, is a very smart nine-year-old kid who is very broken after the loss of his father. Due to the loss of his father, Oskar becomes very fearful and lonely; he does not think anyone understands him. To help him get by, he invents things to turn chaos into order and he also writes to famous people who share his ideas. Oskar has always been anxious, but since his dad passed it has only gotten worse for him. He also feels some incredible guilt about the whole situation; he feels it is all his fault and he could have done something to help. In the beginning of the novel, Oskar is very imaginative and curious, while being ridden with many fears, anxieties and guilt.

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I think the climatic turning point for Oskar occurs when he receives the call from Abby Black stating that she may have some information about his key because he searches for eight months and this is the first sign of real hope for answers about his father.

Oskar finds a voicemail from Abby Black from months prior notifying him that she may have some information that he has been looking for. When he arrives at Abby’s house, she directs him to her ex-husband, William’s office. William and Oskar sit down and just start talking, come to find out, William has been indirectly looking for Oskar too. They pour themselves out into each other, as they both have lost their fathers.

Oskar is truly changed after speaking with William Black because he finally lets out the grief of not picking up his father’s last phone call. Someone is finally able to help him see his father’s death is in no way his fault. Additionally, Oskar is upset that he has searched for eight months for a key that does not lead to anything of his father’s. Oskar was hopeful this key made lead him to a secret about his dad that would make his death make more sense, but he has come up empty handed. Lastly, Oskar’s journey to find the lock to which this key belongs is now over, marking the moving on point from his father’s death. The only thing holding him onto him every second is the key.

Oskar is an inventor and because he could not find any closure from the key, he invents his own closure. Oskar creates a flip book in which people do not fall from the World Trade Center, they go back up into it. Oskar had to realize the harsh reality that his dad died tragically and no matter how he reinvents it, the only way his dad would have been saved is if the event worked in the opposite fashion. The last line reflects his inventive spirit that is shown throughout the novel.

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