2 Answers | Add Yours
The replaced phone/answering machine: Oskar is the only one who has heard the messages left by his father on the day of the 9-11 attacks. He quickly replaces the phone with an identical one so he prevent his mother from hearing the messages but also save them. This alone has tons of symbolic meaning - he's hiding something tragic (as he hides many things); he's holding on to something tragic - something that hurts him - but protects others from it, he is unable to let go and he realizes at the same time it is something harmful.
The missing lock to his father's key: tragic connection back to his father - symbolic of whatever is missing internally now that his father is gone; symbolic of the locked state of Oskar's heart and mind; this is the starting point of Oskar's journey - symbolic in itself.
The letters he writes to famous scientists: he's writing to ask for a job - he receives many form rejections which could be symbolic of another rejection he feels; he receives some with praise for his smartness - could be symbolic of the patrionization he often feels as well as the affirmation he desires
Besides those themes mentioned (which are major) I would like to come in with some hidden themes.
Did you consider the name Oscar and his family name Schell?
Try to analyse both from a phonetical point of view.
You could also take a look at the connection between Steven Hawking, his FULL book title and the physical way Mr. Black describes the pecularities of his bed.
We’ve answered 319,198 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question