Study Guide

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Chapter 9

By Jonathan Safran Foer

Chapter 9

Happiness, Happiness

  • As part of a show-and-tell, Oscar plays a recording of an interview in which a woman describes her daughter dying in her arms after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
  • Oskar seems to be fascinated by the scientific aspect of the explosion, like the direction the heat traveled or the shadows cast by the explosion, instead of the fact that people's skin melted off.
  • Some of the other kids in class make fun of him for being weird.
  • Oskar gets teased a bit by Jimmy Snyder for the rest of the week, but it's back to Black on the weekend.
  • Before he resumes the search he gets a letter from the taxi cab driver, thanking him for actually paying him back.
  • Oskar picks up Mr. Black and they take the train to the Bronx, even though it's underground and really scary for Oskar.
  • It turns out that Agnes Black isn't living in the apartment anymore, but they learn from the Spanish woman who now lives there that Agnes had been a waitress at Windows on the World, a restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center.
  • Oskar wonders if she could have possibly served his Dad on the morning he died.
  • He meets a couple more Blacks—Albert and Alice—but neither of them know about the key.
  • Allen Black lives on Central Park South, and Oskar helps him set up an e-mail account.
  • When Allen says "Good luck, Oskar" (9.53), Oskar can't remember telling the man his name…
  • So, no luck finding the lock.
  • On Tuesday Oskar has to see Dr. Fein, his therapist.
  • Dr. Fein asks him questions about his emotions and they play a word association game.
  • When Dr. Fein asks Oskar if he thinks any good can come from his father's death, Oskar yells, "No! Of course not, you f***ing asshole!" (9.61).
  • Actually, he just imagines saying that. He stuffs down his anger like he usually does.
  • Oskar sits outside while his Mom talks to Dr. Fein privately, and he tries to listen through the door.
  • We only see snippets of the conversation, and it's difficult to tell who's talking.
  • The conversation ends with us being able to hear Oskar's mom say something about absolutely not hospitalizing her son. Apparently, Dr. Fein's really worried about Oskar hurting himself.
  • That night, Oskar listens to another one of his Dad's messages (this one from 9:46 a.m.) and he waits for Saturday so he can search for the lock again.