In Dreams Begin Responsibilities and Other Stories

Plot summary

The story tells of an unnamed young man who has a dream that he is in an old-fashioned movie theater in 1909. As he sits down to watch the film, he starts to realize that it is a motion picture documenting his parents' courtship. The black-and-white silent film is of very poor quality, and the camera is shaky, but nonetheless he is engrossed. Soon the young man starts to get upset. He yells things at the screen, trying to influence the outcome of his parents' courtship and the other people in the audience begin to think he is crazy. Several times the character breaks down. In the end he shouts at his parents when it appears they are going to break up, and he is dragged out of the theater by an usher who reprimands him. In the end, the character wakes up from his dream and notes that it is the snowy morning of his twenty-first birthday.


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