Study Guide

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Chapter 10

By Jonathan Safran Foer

Chapter 10

Why I'm Not Where You Are - 4/12/78

  • This letter's dated almost fifteen years after the previous one, back in chapter 6.
  • The weird thing about this one is that many words and phrases are circled in a red pen, as though your least favorite English teacher got hold of it first.
  • Whoever did it is mostly circling misspellings ("actreses" and "bourgois" for example) but sometimes they just circle phrases ("To my child:," "Life is scarier than death" and "I love you, Your father").
  • Also, there's a photo of doorknob smack in the middle of the chapter.
  • Okay, with that out of the way, let's get to the meat of this sad letter.
  • Grandpa's writing to his son (i.e., Oskar's father) saying that he writes him a letter every day.
  • He writes about the night Anna told him she was pregnant. That was the last time he saw her.
  • That night, bombs fell on Dresden. Everything was incinerated.
  • He describes the bombing in gory detail, including how he had to kill all the animals that had escaped from the zoo.
  • Although he looks everywhere for his parents and for Anna, he can't find them.
  • He remembers that after Anna told him she was pregnant, her father then gave him a letter from Simon Goldberg, who was in a concentration camp.
  • Goldberg tells Grandpa (whose name is also Thomas Schell) that he wishes him the best.
  • Grandpa concludes the letter saying that he knows he won't be able to send this letter not matter how hard he tries. (But did he?)