How is the first paragraph of the story important to the passage as a whole?

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The first paragraph of the story goes a long way toward setting the mood for the text. There is something sad about the statement that none of the men "knew the color of the sky." It is as if there is nothing more in the world than what one can see before oneself, no chance of a higher power or redemption, second chances, or even purpose. The waves are the color of "slate," a...

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