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The beginning of Falling Man

drops the reader directly into the immediate situation of 9/11. The towers are collapsing, people are running, and “taking shelter under cars.” The effect of this style of writing is that the reader remains intrigued by the ambiguity and chaos of the situation at hand.

The reader soon learns that the story is following a man, “He wore a suit and carried a briefcase,” but is left in the dark as to his identity at the moment. The man seems to be in a different world, or at least not completely aware of his surroundings, “he walked past a Breakfast Special sign and they went running by”.  The man’s response also acts to intrigue the reader as one begins to question why he himself is not panicking. He is surrounded by destruction and can not seem to walk out of it, “He walked away from it and into it at the same time.”

The author then personifies the north tower as it comes tumbling down, “That was him coming down, the north tower.” This personification leads one to think that this man’s life is never going to be the same. It is as if a huge part of him is gone with the tower. “He tried to tell himself he was alive but the idea was too obscure to take hold,” this quote shows how the man appears to be in a great bit of shock.  He does not feel pain, although he knows what he has been through, he is disoriented and yet knows where he is going, the only thing keeping him moving is adrenaline.

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