An epigraph is a literary device placed at the front of a book or chapter; it is used to suggest a theme, set the tone, or provide context for what follows:
“Methinks the truth should live from age to age.”
. . . reflects the desire and commitment of fictional author Will Remain and author Tom Hebert to commemorate the United States Marine Corps and those who served in and with the Corps.
“. . . this empire has been acquired by men who knew their duty and had the courage to do it . . .”
. . . exemplified by Marines in general and all those who served the Allied cause during World War.
“There is something in omens.”
. . . examples include: the tranquility of the snowy Massachusetts night being broken by the loud wailing siren of a Black Maria as Kenneth and Lawrence made their way back to the Harvard College campus; the campus snowball fight with Charles Westgate Wetherby; the spilt milk during the toasts at Jimmy’s Lunch; the letter to Kenneth from Theophil (Tuffy) A. Vandegrift.
“They passed on a chance to be fanciful
Choosing instead to be dutiful,
They tried, and they cried
And eventually died,
Believing war had made
their lives meaningful.”
. . . these words were composed by Lawrence Blakeslee after he decided to join the Marines with Kenneth and forego the footloose summer he had planned for Kenneth and himself.
“In life’s uncertain voyage,
I will some kindness do them.”
. . . epitomized by America sailing to the aid of the French.
“The sea—this truth must be
confessed—has no generosity.”
. . . Indeed! The crossing was plagued by seasickness, the ocean’s vastness, enemy submarines, and a collision of ships.
“We are singing in the ships,
as they carry us to fight.
As our father’s sang before us
by the camp-fire’s light.”
. . . the Marines are singing on their troopships, much as the fathers and grandfathers had sung in their Civil War camps.
“Gone to Florida to fight the Indians.
Will be back when the war is over.”
. . . demonstrates the commitment of the United States Marine Corps.
“It is what a man thinks of himself that
really determines his fate.”
. . . . Kenneth believes he is ready for whatever comes his way.
“The Marines have landed and the situation
is well in hand.”
. . . self-evident