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The Zoo Animals
The key is a reoccurring symbol in this novel for how Oskar feels inside. The lock for the key is no where to be found and a key without a lock is pretty useless. Oskar feels like a key without a lock when his dad dies. Oskar's dad was his lock in the way that he gave Oskar's life purpose.
A.R. Black represented the childish ways of Oskar. When Oskar has to grow up, face his fears, and go on top of the Empire State Building A.R. Black leaves.
After the bombing, Thomas Sr. has the job of killing the zoo animals that had just gotten loose. This was a metaphor for war because Thomas Sr. didn't know what he was shooting but he knew that he needed to kill them.
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