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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close : Questions


What is Oskar's quest throughout the novel? What is he searching for and why is it so important?

How does he feel about his father, and how do we know?

How does he feel about his mother, and how do we know?

What does Oskar learn about trauma and healing? How do his feelings change?

Grandma and Grandpa

What is/was Oskar's grandpa's relationship with his grandmother like? What is the point of nothing and something places?

What is the  grandpa's relationship to words? Why does he stop speaking?

Where does the grandma write all her letters to Oskar? Why? What is she doing there?

What is the grandpa's goal in writing letters to his son? Why does he eventually put the letters where he does?

From the Book


What is the status of belief in this novel?

What is the nature of language in this novel?

What is the nature of love in this novel?

What is the effect of the mixed media in this novel?

What does Oskar learn from beginning to end in the novel? What experiences, encounter, and conversations throughout the novel allow his feelings and beliefs to change? What can cause change, growth, healing, and connection in this world?


Setting and Structure

What are your initial reactions to this book? Did you like it or dislike it? Did you find it confusing to read?

What is the structure of the novel? How many different stories does it contain? Which characters tell their stories? How do the stories intermingle within the book?

What is the exact setting of the novel? During what span of time does the action unfold?

Look at the photos contained in the novel? How do they relate to the written words? Do they contain clues? What do they tell us about the novel?


Questions adapted from Study Guide: Questions for Close Reading

Prepared by Dr. Mary Holland - SUNY New Paltz, Department of English

Used with kind permission of the author