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COMPARE AND OR CONTRAST THE EFFECTS OF THE SETTING ON THE MAIN CHARACTERS OF THE FOLLOWING TWO SHORT STORIES. THE LAST LEAF, BY WILLIAM SIDNEY PORTER (O. HEN - Essay Example

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For the purposes of this discussion, it will be important to remember that setting refers to more than just the place in which a story takes shape. It also…
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COMPARE AND OR CONTRAST THE EFFECTS OF THE SETTING ON THE MAIN CHARACTERS OF THE FOLLOWING TWO SHORT STORIES. THE LAST LEAF, BY WILLIAM SIDNEY PORTER (O. HEN
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Download file to see previous pages To illustrate the various ways in which setting can be used to identify and mold the characters of a story, we will compare and contrast the effects of setting on the main characters involved in William Sidney Porter’s “The Last Leaf” (O. Henry) and Nadine Gordimer’s “The Ultimate Safari.”
In “The Last Leaf,” the story opens with a description of the “crazy and broken” streets that “make strange angles and curves.” Immediately the reader is placed in mind of either a broken down part of town or an artist’s mecca, which indeed this area of town has become as we learn in the very next paragraph. As the area becomes associated with artists in the reader’s mind, an idea of the culture of the area becomes clear. With this association to the land of imagination, creativity and make-believe, the reader is more inclined to believe one of the main characters, Johnsy, would truly die once the last leaf fell from the ivy vines outside her window. This belief is, to some degree, also shared by her roommate Sudie and their downstairs neighbor, Mr. Behrman. Understanding that Sudie’s fear regarding the vine is strong enough to mention her concern to their neighbor indicates this conviction of her roommate’s is at least halfway believable to the character. This is further emphasized as Sudie and Mr. Behrman “peered out the window fearfully at the ivy vine. Then they looked at each other for a moment without speaking.” Mr. Behrman’s final masterpiece is also an indication of just how much he buys into the concept of an artist who might die simply based on her convictions.
To contrast against this culture, this belief in the power of the vine to number out the time Johnsy has left to live, is not shared by the good doctor, who is not a part of the artist culture and cannot understand a woman who would live in order to someday paint the bay of Naples but not for the hope of a good man. However, he is a good doctor who ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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