Joined: Apr 2008 Posts: 2955 Location: Leesburg, VA
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I think O'Brien had to abruptly interrupt the repetition of the words "They carried" and the listing of how much everything weighed or loose the reader. The repetition in Ch. 1 is very effective. Each time those words are read and the weight given the reader feels the burden grow heavier. O'Brien takes this devise right to the limit that we can bear; if it had gone on much longer, I'd have put down the book. So, his solution was to insert this tiny little narrative that breaks with the flow of the first chapter and puts the reader at a different time and place.
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