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EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE ESSAY- COLLIN GIULIANI The novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

by Jonathan Ofer is based upon a 9-year old kid named Oskar Schell, trying to find the answer to a lock that fits a key. This could lead to discovering answers about his father, who died in the attacks of September 11th, 2001. The attacks on 9/11 are the outline of this story. On Tuesday morning on September 11th, 2001, it was a crystal clear day in New York City. But in an orchestrated terrorist attack, led by Al Qaeda, three cities in the northeast were shocked by terrorism. These cities were Washington DC, on a flight that attempted to hit the Pentagon (an unsuccessful attack), Shanksville, Pennsylvania (the attack was thwarted by passengers on the flight), and New York City. The terrorist attack on New York City was the most successful attack for Al Qaeda, as the Twin Towers, who were etched into the New York City skyline, were torn down as planes flew into the towers. The leader behind this attack was Osama Bin Laden, who led Al Qaeda. After the attacks, Osama lived in a secret, undisclosed location for ten years in Pakistan. On May 1st, 2011, nearly ten years after the devastating attacks, naval forces from the United States tracked down his location, which happened to be a gorgeous mansion in Pakistan, and killed him. Thousands of people that were working in the Twin Towers that day died, either by jumping out of the building due to the unbearable heat, directly from the contact when the plane hit the building, trying to escape and dying then, or by dying when the building collapsed. The latter was the case for Oskars dad in the novel, who was waiting for a helicopter to rescue him from the building, but the building collapsed. Hundreds of firefighters died as well, trying to rescue people or by searching through the rubble and dying by breathing in excessive amounts of ash. The events of September 11th left the entire country in a state of shock. Thousands of families in the New York metropolitan area and across Long Island who had family members working in the towers that day lost a loved one. However, following the days after September 11th, the entire country stood together united as one. Following the attacks, the true American spirit showed, as well as strong sense of nationalism and patriotism. Currently, the site where the Twin Towers once stood is a memorial known as Ground Zero. Fountains and memorials of those who died in the attacks highlight the area. Every year on September 11th, the names of those who died in the attacks are said in a ceremony. The aftermath of 9/11 included tighter security at sporting events and airports to ensure that nothing of this nature would ever happen again. The days of September 11th remain scarred into the hearts of Americans who witnessed the event and watched it live. Between the buildings coming down, the planes colliding into the buildings and the photographs of people jumping out of the towers, September 11th, 2001, is a day that will live in infamy for the United States of America.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a novel written in 2005 by Jonathan Foer. The protagonist in this novel, Oskar Schell, is a nine-year-old boy living in New York City whose father died in the attacks of September 11th. Oskar is determined to discover the world around him and learn more about his father, and wants to connect himself to his deceased father. As he is learning about the attacks in his homemade laboratory, he finds a lock with the name Black on the back of the lock. This leads him to go to every person in New York City with the last name Black to find a key that matches the lock. Oskar hopes that by pairing the two up, he can become closer to his father and find out answers that he previously had not known. Many references to the attacks of September 11th are stated and well documented in this novel. For example, Foer spreads out the phone calls that Oskars Dad left the house throughout the novel. The first stated that something major just happened (which happened to be the plane crashing into the First Twin Tower), but that everything was going to be okay. Throughout the book, the tone of his phone calls gets somewhat more anxious, as this is apparent after the plane crashes into the Second Twin Tower, which is the one that he worked in. As time progressed, from putting the towel on his body to keep himself warm, to crying for help after the First Twin Tower collapsed with no help in sight, to then breaking up the conversation when the Second Twin Tower collapsed (which ultimately was how he died), Jonathan Foer beautifully portrays realism of the event through a fictional novel. While the phone calls by Oskars Dad was the most blatant reference to the attacks of September 11th, there were other notable connections to the event throughout the novel. These connections begin early in the novel, when Oskar is quoted on page three writing, sometimes I think it would be weird if there were a skyscraper that moved up and down while its elevator stayed in place. So if you wanted to go to the ninety-fifth floor, youd just press the 95 button and the ninetyfifth floor would come to you. Also, that could be extremely useful, because if youre on the ninety-fifth floor, and a plane hits below you, the building could take you to go the ground, and everyone could be safe This led to the assumption that Oskars Dad died when the building collapsed, which was later proved to be true towards the latter portion of the book. Other notable references occur through the work of photography placed throughout the book. For example, pictures of Oskars searches throughout his time in his laboratory are placed accordingly throughout the book. This ranges from pictures of Arthur Ashe Stadium (site of the U.S. Open in Flushing, New York) to a man holding up a skull, to two turtles playing with each other. The artwork throughout the novel ties into the context of the literature, as exemplified on page 325. Oskar is quoted saying, I ripped the pages out of the book. I reversed the order, so the last one was first, and the first was last. When I flipped through them, it looked like the man was floating up through the sky. The corresponding artwork showed a man jumping from one of the Twin Towers in reverse order, which correlates to the previous context.