Reading in the Dark Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why doesn't the author ever reveal the narrator's first name?

The author does not wish to reveal the narrator's first name because he doesn't want the boy to be the focus of the story. Instead, the author wants the boy to be the lens through which the story of the others can be seen.

2. How is the theme of disappearance used in Chapter 1?

The theme of disappearance is seen by the mention of the boy's uncle, Eddie, and the disappearing magician act the boy sees at the circus. The boy is upset by the magician's disappearance as it stirs up the confusing feelings surrounding his uncle's disappearance.

3. Describe the narrator.

The narrator is a young boy from a family of seven children. He is very curious, which leads him to find his father's gun, and also to unravel the story of his uncle's disappearance. The boy's life is surrounded by death, sadness, and violence, from which he suffers nightmares.

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