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Here is the sentence from the book,

...Forty years ago, a doctor had told him the same thing. And he had lived to raise a family of five children. He had done as much hard work in those years as any man.

Now, could this sentence be written like this?

Forty years ago, a doctor told him the same thing. And/But he lived to raise a family of five children. He did as much hard work in those years as any man

My question is, what's the difference in both these sentences? And why the second sentence is probably wrong and first one is correct? Anyone here who could possibly explain the rule?

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Both paragraphs are grammatically correct but have slightly different meanings.

The verbs in the second paragraph use simple past tense. It would be appropriate if say, another character from the story is recounting the sentence’s subject’s life.

The verbs in the first paragraph use the past perfect tense. It would be appropriate if the paragraph was said by someone who is not part of the story and is recounting the entire story in the future after the entire story has ended.

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