Study Guide

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Chapter 4

By Jonathan Safran Foer

Chapter 4

My Feelings

  • Looks like we have another narrator, and another letter, this one dated 12 September 2003 and addressed "Dear Oskar."
  • Whoever's writing this letter is an old woman talking about her childhood.
  • Once, she got a letter from a man in a Turkish Labor Camp, but most of the text has been removed by the censor.
  • Our writer tells us that she had everyone she knew write her a letter: her father, a prisoner, her best friend, Mary.
  • She ended up with over a hundred letters.
  • Seven years later, two months after moving to America, she runs into a childhood friend, a man who used to date her sister, Anna.
  • This is the silent man with YES and NO tattooed on his hands.
  • Her story is a little different than his. (She leaves out the "Please marry me" part.)
  • She leaves the cafĂ©, and he gets her attention by following her and clapping his hands.
  • He asks her, through a series of elaborate hand motions, to come to his apartment so that he can sculpt her.
  • She agrees, and he works on the sculpture every day, which begins to look more and more like her sister, Anna.
  • They end up making love one day, as our narrator stares at the sculpture of her sister.
  • After, they go to the bakery where they met. This is when, our narrator says, she writes "Please marry me" in the notebook.
  • They agree to never have children. That was the first of many rules in the marriage.