It is the winter of 1918 and the war shows no signs of drawing to a close. People are becoming dejected. There are hundreds of thousands of casualties from many nations, and hopes for a quick and decisive victory have been dashed. Still, Americans are reluctant to "put on the doggedness" of a protracted conflict. Steinbeck-as-narrator remarks on how quickly people forget the pain and uncertainty of victory and soon remember only homecomings and parades.
Adam is given a leave of absence from the draft board because of his failing health. His left hand bothers him, his eyesight is failing, and he is often subject to troubling spells of dizziness. Adam is also troubled by the lack of communication from Aron, who rarely...
(The entire section is 584 words.)