Alf Sanford Historian Mr. Snyder AP Seminar p. 2 1/27/2012 1) “Once upon a time, New York City had a sixth borough.” – page 217 Although used here to refer to the elaborate mission destination of Oskar’s father, the controversy of the “sixth borough” has been a heated debate between New Yorkers all, with the crux of the argument being which city should actually be added to the five boroughs of New York City. Alderman Elias H. Jacobs, Washington Heights Democrat, actually claimed he would post a bill that would make the city of Yonkers the “sixth borough.” The great debates over this concept of a sixth borough adds plenty of mystery to the story, with the origins of the idea stemming from unending debates with hundreds of valid points- each point represents another direction Oskar can take on his journey to find his father’s lock. 2) “The very same engineers who dealt with the Leaning Tower of Pisa… which was where? (Italy! – Oskar) Right. They were brought over to assess the situation.” – page 219 The Tower of Pisa took more than centuries to create, with construction beginning at August 9, 1173 and ending in 1372. Although construction was so drawn out, the simple error of an unsettled foundation marked the tower in infamy for years and years to come. This blunder adds the necessity for meticulousness to Oskar’s journey, as the smallest mistake could prove catastrophic in his search, just as his failure to answer his father on the phone led to his days of regret. 3) “The biggest fireworks show in history lit the skies of New York City that night, and the Philharmonic played its heart out.” – page 221 The founder of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Ureli Corelli Hill, claimed that the creation of the orchestra (known originally as the Philharmonic Society of New York) was for “the advancement of instrumental music.” The idea that this group played at the release of the sixth borough, at a time of departure and loss provides insight to the effects of the loss of Oskar’s father in 9/11. Just as the loss of the sixth borough was signified as a day of celebration and concession, and is marked by the concept of “advancing,” the loss of Oskar’s death provides Oskar the opportunity to solve two of his mysteries and advance his capacity to love, care, and feel for others and the pain that comes with all. 4) “What did you read?” “A Brief History of Time” “Is it any good?” “That’s not really a question you can ask about it.” This book was written by British physicist Stephen Hawking, and attempts to make light of the complexities of cosmology with the use of diagrams and one mere equation, E=MC2. When asked if it was any good, Oskar replies, “That’s not really a question you can ask about it.” He says this because there is no emotional context behind the book, and the subject matter is not debatable in his eyes, so it should be looked at through that appropriate lense. However, he fails to acknowledge that one can enjoy or be displeased with any aspect of life, emotionally rooted or not. This will provide troubles in his struggle to comprehend his feelings and regrets about his father’s passing. Alf Sanford Historian Mr. Snyder AP Seminar p. 2 1/27/2012 5) “When the metal lids opened, I could see things that were far away incredibly close, like the Woolworth Building, and Union Square, and the gigantic hole where the World Trade Center was.” The Woolworth Building is one of the oldest skyscrapers in New York, standing at 57 stories tall, with the commission for the building granted in 1910. This strong bridge back in time gives perspective to Oskar’s life in the grand scale of things- he is mere child in human eyes, and even younger compared to some things that have been around for decades like the building. This building is paired with the hole where the WTC building was, which allows for heavy contrast between life and death, and love and loss, which parallels with Oskar’s situation quite well.
Pages to are hidden for
"historian"Please download to view full document