Operating Instructions Short Essay - Answer Key

Anne Lamott
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1. What is the premise for Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

Operating Instructions is a series of diary entries made by the author, Anne Lamott, who chronicles the first year of her son, Sam's, life. The book begins with a preface that describes her feelings in the months leading up to her son's birth. The diary's initial entry is written approximately three months prior to Sam's birth and describes Anne's realization that she is quite pregnant and about to become a single mother.

2. What is the nature of Anne's fears prior to giving birth?

As she contemplates the many ways in which her life is about to change, she alludes to the fact that she has one specific overwhelming fear about becoming a mother, but doesn't initially elaborate. Instead, she tells the reader of all of the things she should fear but doesn't. For instance, although she knows it would have been perfectly normal to have been afraid of the amniocentesis, she was not. Similarly, while she went through the normal range of emotions while waiting for the results of this test, she tells us that overall, the fear of having a child that has some sort of birth defect isn't her biggest fear.

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This section contains 4,810 words
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