Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' is a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer about a boy coping with grief after losing his father in 9/11. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this novel.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close follows a young boy's journey towards closure after the debilitating loss of his father during the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Students will learn about grief and trauma while reading this story, and this asset will help lead discussion about the book.

Chapters 1-5

The questions in this section help students understand the characters, conflicts, and writing techniques used in this novel.

  • Describe the narration style of this story. What effect does the story structure and narration style have on the reader? Why do you think the author chose not to tell this story in chronological order? What techniques does the author use to characterize Oskar and his mother?
  • What do you learn from the letter in chapter 2? Why do you think the author chose to include this letter? Why do you think the parameters of this letter are left ambiguous to the reader?
  • What are some signs of trauma Oskar is exhibiting? Why do you think he feels unable to go to his mother for help? What are the consequences of keeping secrets? What advice would you give Oskar?
  • Compare the letter in chapter 2 to the letter in chapter 4. How does the perspective change the story? How can you apply this to your own life?
  • Why do you think finding the lock for the key is so important to Oskar? What does the key symbolize? What do you think of Oskar's plan to visit every Black in New York City? What would you do if you were Oskar?

Chapters 6-11

The questions in this section will help students dig deeper into comprehending the characters' trauma and their responses.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it now

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 220 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account