Task: Work assignment

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Tasks

Published: 18.10.2011, Updated: 04.03.2017
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Poster

Study the two texts about Joyce Maynard's The Usual Rules and Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Both texts deal with how children coped with the loss of their parents after September 11th.


  1. What do you think the two excerpts have in common? And how do they differ?
  2. What do the two protagonists have in common? How do they differ?
  3. They have different strategies to cope with their loss. Describe and compare them. Which one do you think is most successful?
  4. Both authors have chosen child protagonists and 9/11 as a backdrop. What motivated their choices?


  1. Why do you think wars and devastating events continually tend to be chosen as backdrops in fiction and films?
  2. Why do you think many authors/directors want to use child protagonists? Discuss the effect this has on the readers/viewers.
  3. What can we learn from the texts regarding mourning and coping with losses?

Project Idea and Film Recommendation

Compare texts with child protagonists and how children are affected by war and conflicts; Maynard's The Usual Rules, Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Zusak's The Book Thief and Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (you will find extracts from all the novels on our website) and relate it to Unicef about conflicts.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is filmatized and will be released in 2011. Oskar's mum will be portrayed by Sandra Bullock, his dad by Tom Hanks.      

Related content

Covered partially by

Covers partially