The purpose of the theme, “battling trauma and new beginnings,” is to categorize a narrative that is coming of age and told through the perspective of a young protagonist dealing with trauma. This theme can be linked to current political issues or national and international tragedies. I decided to focus on the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 along with the living conditions in Afghanistan during the 1970’s. Both novels, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Kite Runner, tell the story of a young male protagonist who has experienced a traumatic event. Each protagonist continues moving forward, growing up, and building eye-opening relationships. Their desires are similar, but there is a separation of regions, cultures, and time periods between the two young men. Oskar and Amir are struggling to cope with the past and dealing with political events that have nearly destroyed their personal lives. Keep in mind, battling with trauma is an internal war on its own.
In a classroom setting, this theme has the potential to bring the students’ attention towards current political issues. Furthermore, the narratives chosen will allow the students to connect to these issues intimately, on a personal level with the protagonist. It is easy to sympathize with a protagonist dealing with trauma, because the emotions of grief and guilt are relatable human conditions.