Dom DeLillo’s novel Falling Man takes place both before and after the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001. The final chapter, “In the Hudson Corridor,” is set at the beginning of the attacks. Although the author primarily tells the story of Keith, an American who works in an office in the North Tower, DeLillo also introduces Hammad, an Iraqi who becomes a hijacker aboard an airplane that flies into the tower. An essay about the final chapter could reflect on the differences between these men whom the author presents, as well as address why the author chose to join their stories at the very end.
Through much of the novel, DeLillo explores how the attacks affected Keith, his family, and other Americans. In contrast, the passages about Hammad explore how he was radicalized to the point of joining a suicide attack. In the final chapter, DeLillo offers the perspectives of both men, while using a third-person narrator. He begins with Hammad’s final experiences in life, after the hijackers have gained control of the airplane. He locates Hammad seated in the body of the plane, slightly injured. The narrative leaves him as the plane hits the tower.
Keith’s story picks up after the plane crashes into his office building. The reader sees his first reactions as he begins to realize the enormity of the disaster. He tries unsuccessfully to help one coworker but quickly understands that he must flee. Because his office is on a lower floor than the ones that the plane hit, he manages to escape down the stairs before the building collapses.