Really surprised by the beginning of the book, we start off with Guy Bishop who ultimately is just a side character. Relating this back to LaPlante though I see the correlation between what she says about having no flat characters and Wolff's writing. Even though Guy is a small character we learn much about him and this shapes my understanding of Philip who is the main character of the book.

Wolff doesn't come out and say this is what can happen to some people when divorce occurs, he renders the characters through the process but ultimately if I were to summarize what the first three chapters are about. I would say it is a rendering of one family whose paths are shifted dramatically by divorce. Yes this is abroad statement but that is what a summary is isn't it? Do I understand this better because of my own parents divorce I believe so. I know I am incredibly different because of my parents divorce because first off it occurred when I was at a very vulnerable age and second off because we didn't talk about it or if we did it wasn't effective. I didn't understand why and no bothered to take that step with me and this helps to me understand Keith better who also has a minor role but he is also a very round character. I see him self medicating. He isn't social smoking pot with his friends he is doing it alone in the janitor's closet.

Because Wolff goes into such great detail about Philip and his family he renders instead of telling the reader why Philip joins the army. It makes the story more powerful for the reader because I am sympathizing with Philip and also a little scared of him, he seems a little off a little cold because he has very little tolerance for Keith and how he is handling life.

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