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Topics for Further Study

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  • Larry Darrell is changed by his experiences during World War I. Today, psychological trauma caused by war is called post-traumatic stress disorder. Research the history of this term. What are the causes and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and how is the disorder treated?
  • When Larry stays for several months at a monastery, what does he find unsatisfactory about Christianity, and why does he eventually prefer Vedanta?
  • What role does Suzanne Rouvier play in the novel? Is she an essential character, or would the novel be just as effective without her? How does she compare with Isabel and Sophie?
  • Write a short story in which the central character is changed by some important, possibly traumatic, event. How does the incident change the way the character sees the world, or make him think deeply about his priorities in life? If such an event has happened to you, write the story based on your own experience.

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