A Boy at War Questions and Answers
by Harry Mazer

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What are some of the literary elements used in Harry Mazer's A Boy at War?

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Harry Mazer includes multiple literary elements in his novel A Boy at War. Literary elements, including literary devices, are used in writing in order to produce or elicit some effect. Here are some examples of literary elements found in the novel. 

Dialogue- Dialogue is a conversation between two or more characters within a text. The opening of the novel begins with a dialogue between Adam and his mother. 

Example: "Drop me off here, Mom." "Why? I don't mind driving."

Indirect Characterization- Indirect characterization is where the author provides hidden or masked characterizations about a character within dialogue, actions, or inferences made by a reader. 

Through an indirect characterization of Adam, readers can infer that not very happy about his latest move to Hawaii. The conversation between him and his teacher (Mr. Handler) illustrates his discomfort at the "interrogation" about where he has come from. The answers to his question are vague and have a frustrated tone. 

Imagery- Imagery is used to allow a reader to create a mental image of what is being described in a text. Typically, imagery appeals to the senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound) in order to strengthen and deepen the image for the reader. 

Chapter two opens with a description of rain. The rain clouds push across a volcano and spills down in "curtains." This image of the rain is very specific helps to create a picture for the reader. 

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