Study Guide

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Chapter 11

By Jonathan Safran Foer

Chapter 11

The Sixth Borough

  • Now it's time to hear Dad's story of the Sixth Borough, which Oskar referred to way back in Chapter 1.
  • The Sixth Borough was an island separated from Manhattan by a thin body of water.
  • But the island drifted farther and farther away each year.
  • People tried to save it. They chained it down, but it seemed to want to go.
  • People had to communicate over long lengths of string with people in the Sixth Borough.
  • One day a boy had a girl tell him that she loved him over the string of a yo-yo, necklace, clothesline, harp, tea bag, and more all tied together.
  • He sealed her love in a can, which he never opened.
  • Central Park used to be part of the Sixth Borough, so the residents of Manhattan put hooks in it and pulled it into Manhattan.
  • All the children of the Sixth Borough were sleeping in the park when it was moved, so they were pulled "into Manhattan and into adulthood" (11.34).
  • This is absolutely true because there's a tree in Central Park with two names carved in it, and there's no record of them in the census.
  • Conveniently, all the documents of the Sixth Borough also floated away.
  • Now, the Sixth Borough floats frozen solid near Antarctica, the hole where the Park used to be framing the ocean below.
  • After the story Oskar asks his Dad if any of the objects he dug up from Central Park might really be from the Sixth Borough.
  • Dad simply shrugs his shoulders.