The key here is the element of signification through symbolism. The more appropriate title of the book will lie in a key to hope for Oskar. Oskar after the death of his father is not able to tackle the grief he is feeling. This makes him track the context of the key in order to look for a lock that opens the door to his father. This causes Oskar to get free from the routine he would follow daily, such as being depressed and bored (Foer 120). Trekking across the city, coming in contact with newer and beautiful people and obtaining a broader perspective becomes the aim in his life through the found key. In the end, Oskar is revealed of the thought that there is no door and there is no lock that this key would open symbolizing the context of hope in a world where living and dying are a part of life. The key is as a puzzle reminiscing Oskar’s father’s reconnaissance missions with a hope to enter a large world. The new journey makes Oskar achieve what he wouldn’t have otherwise without the key (Foer 60). The key further symbolizes that keeping a hope in life is always better than actually living a different reality that provides no hope (Oskar felt this after the death of his dad). Furthermore, Oskar symbolizes a protagonist who has an obsession to find and look for answers to the extreme questions of the world.
In various ways, the focus of the author is on searching as indicated by the last chapter in the book helping Oskar ignore even the most problematic and lonesome years of his life without his father. The way Oskar operates symbolizes perfectly the Reconnaissance Expedition (Foer 368). He looks at all places to find clues to what his father desires whereas the way his father works is quiet intuitive by making his son understand through oblique hinds. Most of the pages in the book indicate he journey of Oskar involving several learning that he gains through unscientific, imprecise emotional nature and sharing moments with those who love. At the final expedition, Oskar refuses to go to the Central park and he further refuses to look for any lock to the key his father possessed. Through his journey literally and physically, there is also an emotional journey that he undergoes (Foer 1-30). The character of Oskar has contradictions, has Intelligence filled with imagination of overactive nature and his thoughts are filtered to come into actions. The dialogues in the book have a precocious imagery with bulk in them but with a lot of energy as well.