The Nuclear Age - Chapters 1 - 4 Summary & Analysis

Tim O'Brien
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Summary

At the beginning of Chapter 1, it is 1995 and a 49-year-old man -- the novel’s first-person narrator, William -- is unable to sleep next to his wife, Bobbi. He goes out to his backyard and, in an attempt to soothe the anxieties that have kept him awake, begins to dig a hole, which he intends to be a nuclear fallout shelter. As he digs, William fears that he has gone crazy. William’s only child, his 12-year-old daughter Melinda, is woken up by the sound of the digging and goes to check on him. William leads Melinda back to her bed and tucks her back in.

In Chapter 2, William recalls the events of his life in 1958, when he himself was 12 years old. He grew up as the only child of his parents in the pleasant small town of Fort Derry, Montana. Nonetheless, at...

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This section contains 1,355 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Nuclear Age Study Guide
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