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The Journey to the Secret

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The Journey to the Secret

A person's life is never a straight line. There are always moments of pain and moments of blithe. You can never know what is waiting ahead of you which are why it is better to always treasure every single time we have. Secrets also can never escape from our lives. Secrets hidden by our loved ones from us, by us from them or anyone else, will always make us wonder and usually, they cover the most important thing in our lives. In the book "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer, it tells about a story of young Oskar Schell who tries to uncover the secret behind the key that his father leaves him after his death. Throughout his journey, Oskar has seen more views of the world we are living in than any other boys of his age. He has, thus, learned a lot of the meanings in life as he experiences all the incidents that take place along his quest in finding the meaning of the key.

Oskar Schell is a nine years old boy who just loses his father in the terrorist attack which happens in September 11 2001. Oskar Schell is no ordinary young boy. He is very intelligent and he has a very strong willpower that benefits him throughout his quest later on. At his young age, he already designs jewellery and make them for his mother, "As for the bracelet Mom wore to the funeral", "violet beads for breaks between words, and long and short pieces of string between beads for long and short beeps,", "It took me nine hours to make" (page 35). This shows how genius Oskar is as he makes that bracelet from converting his "Dad's last voice message into Morse code". Oskar is a brilliant child who always is able to come up with a lot of ideas. His curiosity is still that of a boy of his age though. He always asks the limousine's driver questions during their way to his father's grave, "Do you know a lot of curse words?", "What is a bummer?" or "Do you know 'shit'?" (page 5).

Oskar's journey starts when he finds a key in his father's cabinet. It is placed in an envelope which has nothing but the word 'Black' on it. Oskar guesses that 'Black' must represent a name of a person who his father knows. What he does after that is that he tries to find all the people in New York City with the last name Black who he thinks will lead to the secret of the key. Oskar does not give up easily even though it takes him eight months to find the purpose of the key. During his journey, he gets to know a lot of people who do and do not accompany him in his quest. Each time he leaves to find the lock, he "became a little lighter, because I was getting closer to Dad. But I also became a little heavier, because I was getting farther from Mom" (page 52). Oskar might be strong from the outside, but inside him is still a nine year old boy who needs the support of his parents. His father's death is already hard for him as he says, "Even after a year, I still had an extremely difficult time doing certain things, like taking showers, for some reason, and getting into elevators, obviously." (page 36). But never does he give up in solving the mystery behind his father's key. Foer has shown what a strong determination Oskar has as he tries really hard when he visit the Blacks one by one and always comes to no avail.

However, although after eight months of searching Oskar still cannot discover what the purpose if the key is, he has learned a lot of things. He learns how he has to treasure his life that it is really inevitable to invest in quality relationships during the time that one has on Earth. Like Oskar says, "I was impressed by how much



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