Dreams from My Father

by Barack Obama

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How does the author end this introductory section? What is the effect of ending this section of the text in this way?

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This question may refer to the opening of Chapter One. Obama begins his story with the telephone call that tells him his father has died in a car accident in Kenya. He himself isn’t sure how to respond to this tragic news, and he has to sit down “to measure my loss.” He hadn’t known his father well at all. It turns out that he had really spent only one month with him in person, when they were both younger. Starting the memoir at this point is a compelling strategy to pull in readers. An element of mystery lies here. Why isn’t Obama immediately devastated? Who was his father? What was their relationship? How did they both get to where they are at this moment? What effects did both have on each other? These, then, are the facts, events, and remembrances that fill in the rest of the book, to tell us the rest of the story.

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