What is the function of the Prologue? What tone does it set for the rest of the novel?
Prompt students to consider why Watson would choose to structure the novel as an adult's memory of childhood events, rather than starting and ending the story with David at twelve years old. In its first lines, the prologue establishes the importance of the upcoming narrative in the life of the narrator--students may suggest that this solicits the reader's investment right away. The italicized text builds suspense by "teasing" key elements of the plot. It is not clear in the prologue how these events fit together--how Marie's illness relates to David's mother with the shotgun.
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