In chapter 3 there is a break after which the narrator talks about a moment in history that for him represents reality. What is that time? Help.
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Gene confesses in this chapter that he is still stuck in the time of World War II; his memory still has a tremendous hold on him, as evidenced by his ability to recall the goings on of fifteen years' past with such detail. The presence of memory, and its role over time, is a major theme of this book; when Gene reiterates his thoughts on the past and on the lasting impact of the events he is describing, he only increases the importance of this theme within the novel.