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How do the opening sentences prepare you for the story: “This is one story I’ve never told before. Not to anyone”? What effect do they have on you, as a reader?

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You have to read the text which I attached on files and answer these questions: 1. How do the opening sentences prepare you for the story: “This is one story I’ve never told before. Not to anyone”? What effect do they have on you, as a reader?
2. We learn the 21-year-old O’Brien’s theory of courage near the beginning of the story when he states, “Courage, I seemed to think, comes to us in finite quantities, like an inheritance, and by being frugal and stashing it away and letting it earn interest, we steadily increase our moral capital in preparation for that day when the account must be drawn down. It was a comforting theory.” Knowing that he did in fact head off to war and this book is a reflection of that time, what new insights about courage does O’Brien relate having gone through his experience in Vietnam? Do you agree with him?
3. Explain the symbolism of the river. On a symbolic level, what do you think the river could represent?
4. What has O’Brien learned about himself throughout this experience, and how does he return home as a changed person?
5. Why, ultimately, does he go to war? Are there other reasons for going he doesn’t list?
6. Some readers have had a ‘conspiracy theory’ that the old man, Elroy, is not in fact real but a figment of young O’Brien’s imagination as he works through this difficult decision. What are some clues in the chapter that this might, in fact, be true? If the character is made up, does that detract away from the lesson young O’Brien learned – and the one we learn as we read his tale? Explain your answers.

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