Reading Response > Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2/2)
It is interesting to see how Oskar’s father and grandfather are foil characters of each other, especially when it comes to their parenting style. Oskar’s grandfather left his grandmother when he found out that she was pregnant and had no relationship with Oskar’s father. On the other hand, the apple fell from this tree because Oskar’s father has a very active role in parenting and bringing up Oskar. They do not merely have a father-son relationship but also a genuine friendship. Oskar’s father was aware of what it was like to not have a father in his life and didn’t want Oskar to go through the same thing. He cherished his role as a father and did not take his relationship with his son for granted, always making Oskar his main priority.
Oskar’s grandfather’s return after learning about the death of his son is an act of redemption on his part. He must feel the grief of never knowing his son and for his son to have died at such a young age. I feel like his son’s death put everything in perspective and the line that that Oskar’s grandmother had said to him in the bakery in New York City when they bumped into each other about being grateful they were alive finally meant something to him. Oskar’s grandfather feels as though he not only owes it to his wife and grandson to be there for them in this time of grief, he feels as though he will be able to redeem himself for his past abandonment of his family.