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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The construction of the story is through dialogue in a railroad car.  There is the presence of a third person omniscient narrator that understands the internal feelings of all the characters and provides a cadence throughout the dialogue featured.  The construction of dialogue helps to reveal a primary theme of the story, in terms of the discussion of war.  The test case which generates this discussion is a the predicament of a father and mother who must accept the fact that their son is off to war.  Individuals are offering their own opinions on the matter of how families deal with the realities of war, and the fact that there is no end to the death and destruction wrought by it.  The emergence of rationales that support "the ultimate sacrifice" is present throughout, only to be undercut by its ending which is again, revealed, through dialogue and third person narration.

epollock | Student

This story is developed as a short drama among people who are strangers, but who are nevertheless connected through their age and also through the fact that their sons have all become part of the Italian army. Under these circumstances, it is natural that the best way for Pirandello to present their troubles is to allow the persons to say things in their own ways. This method prevails until paragraph 24, when the narrator shifts the point of view to account for the feelings and responses of "the woman" who is "bundled in a corner under her coat." The narrator concentrates on her thoughts until paragraph 28, when the story resumes its narrative pattern, with a descriptive conclusion.

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