Sunday, May 12, 2013

The House of the Scorpion: Setting 2

Continued from The House of the Scorpion: Setting 1

In my opinion, the most affective, creative use of setting was the garden and oasis and the metaphoric meanings both had. Throughout Matt's life a the Big House, we receive insight into his hopes and wishes, and this is done when Farmer uses metaphors that incorporate the colour and beauty of the garden. Similarly, there are "oasis's" throughout the novel, including the literal oasis, as well as more discrete instances such as the music room, where Matt is able to find beauty and hope.

One element that I wasn't astounded by was the rate of the setting development, which I found lagged behind the rest of the story, as I often had images formed that were later proved wrong, and that can be very confusing and even frustrating for the reader. An example is on page 136, the first time we learn that the marble mansion has red tile roofs. That bit of extra info really screwed up my visualizations since it came so late.

Bringing it all together, I believe Farmer tied the setting into the rest of the novel in a very affective way. The setting gradually strengthened to connect to the narrative and support the plot, theme, and characters, eventually becoming central to the novel. Setting supporting a character is visible in this sentence "Through a narrow gap he could see a green lawn and bright pink flowers, but only enough to make (Matt) want more (Farmer 38)." and "It was so bright and cheerful, it raised his spirits in spite of Rosa's dire threats (Farmer 53).".

Overall, Farmer's choices about setting created a vivid novel that was able to fulfill what the reader needs and wants, and also to add that extra "wow". She embraced foreign ideas, and carefully intertwined them with relatable concepts to sculpt a perfect fictional world.

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