In Our Time Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What are the circumstances of the "On the Quai at Smyrna" story?

In 1922, the Greek army has invaded Turkey but has been repulsed by the Turks. An agreement has been made to let the Greek army and civilian refugees evacuate the city. So while the Greek army is in the process of withdrawing and evacuating the city, thousands of Greek civilian evacuees have massed on the docks in a desperate attempt to escape the city before the Turks take complete control of it.

2. Who is the narrator of the story and why is he in Turkey?

The unnamed person recounting the incidents that are happening is an American officer serving aboard the U.S. cutter Simpson, now in a "stand down" state in the harbor, which means that orders have been given for the Simpson not to participate or interfere in any of the action.

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