If the mom wrote a story and it was her feelings what would she include in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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As a creative writing assignment, the answer to this question is really completely up to you.  Likely, your teacher is looking for your insight and creativity, so I encourage you to think about this for yourself and include only your own opinions.

From my perspective, the same story told through Oskar's mother's eyes would be a far different story.  First, it would lack all the delightfully innocent and precocious humor that Oskar so unwillingly includes.  Also, if you remember, Oskar's mother was experiencing a very personal grief that didn't often include Oskar.  He needed her, but she was emotionally unavailable.  I imagine her story would be riddled with pain, confusion, and a maternal sense of guilt.  It is likely that she is aware of her son's need for her, but is simply unable to provide for him emotionally.  I wonder too, how much of the mystery of Oskar's story would be expelled by revealing what his mother actually already knows.

Finally, I wonder how much more complex of a character would be revealed in her, if she was telling the story herself.  From Oskar's perspective, his mother seems self-absorbed, a little flighty, and though good-intentioned, she seems to constantly fall short.  It would be interesting to see the psychology behind her grief and have the opportunity to empathize with her more.

As I said, it would likely be a very different and certainly not a whimsical or happy story.

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