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Multimediality in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is chiefly recounted by a nine-year-old individual namely Oskar Schell. This narrator is defined as a tambourine-player, butterfly collector and jewelry maker, and a geek who likes to make quotes from Shakespeare. In addition, he constantly comprehends inventions that are almost impossible. For instance, amazingly long ambulances that link every structure to a hospital. This book deals with multimediality and multimedial texts due to the fact that there are thick layers of meanings within its context. These meanings make their developments around words such as multimedia, media and multimedial communication. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is an accomplishment of evasion, boosted with dozens of impractical photographs, rainbow colors and typographical plans, whose disposable effect is to divert the reader from severe truths and reality. The book promises to take the reader Ground Zero, but helplessly deviates in the direction of the Land of Oz. The aspect of multimediality is present when the author applies several photographs that are full of controversy to depict the harsh truth and reality of the September 11th tragedy that caused traumatic outlooks among many people in the United States and the globally. Basically, the narrator uses the concept of multimediality to present the aspect in himself (Oskar Shell), his grandmother Schell, and his grandfather Schell.


Oskar is a very complex character for the following reasons. First of all, at the age of nine years, he is has a very high intellectual ability. Second, Oskar chains mature opinions and ideas with an inclusive behavior as a representative of a child. Oskar states that “I could invent a set of kettles that sings the chorus of ''Yellow Submarine'', which is a song by the Beatles, whom I love, because entomology is one of my raisons d'être, which is a French expression that I know. Another good thing is that I could train my anus to talk when I farted” (Foer 1). He is thus a good definition of a thinker. The author applies multimediality with this character in the introduction of the book whereby he introduces him as ‘WHAT THE? This title has different effects and defects to a critical reader. Firstly, the defect is Oskar's expression of a usual nine year old boy and the positive effect as the reader gets to know on completing the novel is to signify the mind of a disturbed New York boy. This is actually the man function of this title. Oskar’s father had died in the infamous 9/11 terror attacks.

Throughout the book, Oscar states that he is in ‘heavy boots’. “I got incredibly heavy boots about how relatively insignificant life is” (Foer 86). He applies this metaphor in unconscious manner to show the level of his traumatization. However, he only applies these words in situations whereby he is overwhelmed by grief and anxiety. “My boots were so heavy that I was glad there was a column underneath us” (Foer 163). Oskar later discloses to the reader that his father was simply a regular dad, and not a Great Man and this is enough to give him ''heavy, heavy boots” (Foer 159). For Oskar, the life of his father's life and his death are something exceptional and extraordinary to him.

Grandfather Schell

Thomas Schell Oskar’s grandfather is the second victim who has suffered a deep trauma as a result of the happenings of 9/11 terror attacks. In order to display the trauma of grandfather Schell, the author applies multimediality in order to bring out the defects of the trauma to Oskar’s grandfather. Thomas Schell presents himself in the inactive role of a sufferer in the book, it is vital to note that he was active in the Second World War. The similarity between Thomas Schell and Oskar is in the aspect of constant thinking as an effect of the trauma. Thomas states that “thinking is killing me” (Foer 215) and Oskar’s states that “their teeth would start to grow into their own faces, which would kill them. That's how my brain was” (Foer 46), this signifies an outstanding comparison. Thomas is a direct victim of the Second World War and a subordinate victim of 9/11 attack, whereas Oskar is a victim of 9/11 attacks. However, the outcomes in both of them are the same, traumatized being. Multimediality is also presented by the author in the chapter that begins with two black and white photographs that are graphically isolate the chapter from the earlier one. “These photographs both lighten and clarify the final point of communication'' (Foer 20). The photographs, with the words ''Yes'' and ''No'' tattooed on the hands of Thomas Schell present a change of communication approaches and conventions. In addition, these photos can be compared with the image of the front cover page of the book. It is vivid for any reader that the hand on the cover is packed with information. Therefore, the tattoos on Thomas’s hand imply that his life can only be broken down into simple yes or no and limited gestures. This comparison can thus be seen as an association of over-information and under-information and might have an outlook for the condition before and after 9/11, or a traumatic event in common.

Grandmother Schell

Oskar's grandfather stated that “the impossibility to say everything there is still left to say”. This is relatively the opposite for his grandmother, as she states that “in stark contrast to Thomas, Grandma is a talker” (Foer 117). The chapters ‘MY FEELINGS’ consist of a letter that Grandmother Schell discourses to Oskar and is a glaring contrast to Thomas Schell’s' technique of expression. Grandmother Schell states that she wanted to convert to a real American' (Foer 79). The only way of attaining her goal seemed for her to reach a great proficiency in English. However, learning phrases and reading magazines all the times did not lead to the outcome she wished for (Foer 80).

“One million pieces of paper filled the sky. They stayed there, like a ring around the building. Like the rings of Saturn. The rings of coffee staining my father's desk, the ring of Thomas told me he didn't need. I told him he wasn't the only one who needed” (Foer 225).  The above is a representation of two main aspects of Grandmother Schell's in communication. First and foremost, the structural characteristics are at first glimpse the most outstanding feature. Via leaving three spaces subsequent to every full stop is the foremost contrast to her husband's arrangement. These spaces emphasize on the reading understanding, which the reader makes while learning concerning Grandmother Schell. Her style is strenuous, and despite the fact that she writes in a detailed manner, most of the materials that she shares with the reader is terminated. This is evident in her sentences that are empty, or it can be referred to as her “dreaminess of tone”' (Foer 70) replicates her inner emptiness.

In conclusion, it is vivid that the author of the book ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ has applied the aspect of multimediality to bring in effect hand defects how Oskar, his grandfather and his grandmother have been affected by trauma as a result of the Second World War and the 9/11 terror attacks. Jonathan Foer decorated such incredible pictures with his writing so as to have a representation of delivering the intended message to the reader. Oskar’s grandparents have suffered both of them. The book is more about these general feelings that are experienced by all people rather than the experience of 9/11. 9/11 represents the setting for this story and the author applies different aspects of multimediality in order to bring about the effects and defects of trauma.

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