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The opening scene covers the morning of the 9/11 attacks from the crash of the first plane into the World Trade Center’s North tower to the collapse of the South tower.

Don De Lillo decided to start his novel “ in medias res“; we are thrown into the middle of the action. The beginning creates a strong impact by conveying the terrible chaos surrounding the anonymous male character.

The first sentence gives the impression of new temporality, a state of choc and disorientation:” It was not a street anymore but a world, a time and space of falling ash and near night.

The first chapter is filled with sensory descriptions using smell, taste, sight, and hearing to capture the apocalyptic vision.

Here is an example: ” The world was this as well, figures in windows at thousand feet up, dropping into free space, and the stink of fuel fire, and the steady rip of sirens in the air.”

 

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