Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: Oskar and his mom

In the Schell family, I feel that both Oskar and his dad have “abnormal” personality, and his mom is the only character that is “close to real life” and “realistic”. After his dad dies, Oskar’s mom tries her best to fill his shoes. But her personality does not fit with Oskar’s. Oskar expects his mom to deal with Thomas’ death the same way he does. But as a realistic widow, she decides to move on. Oskar is offended by this idea. He constantly questions his mom if she really misses her husband, or the reason she laugh but not cry publicly.  This also leads to his hatred toward his mom’s friend, Ron. He believes his mom loves Ron and wants to date him after his father’s death (although this is a common thing for a young woman to do).

I think the love of his mom toward Oskar is not reciprocal. His fear is more than his love toward her. Oskar does not want his mom to get mad at him. One time, he gets very frustrated and says something that he later regrets: “If I could have chosen, I would have chosen you!” I think that is why Oskar does not mention his mom’s name (so far) in this novel. Nevertheless, understanding her son’s situation and personality, Oskar’s mom still loves him as her child. She is so used to his act and his father’s act (she sometimes mentions that Oskar reminds her of her husband) that she is not longer surprised by Oskar’s actions and always says to him “I always love you” or “I was never mad at you.”

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