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Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago?--Not in my Novel

When you read a book, you do want to know every detail. Was the setting in Chicago? Was the setting in a mountainous region in Europe? Knowing where a story takes place....can determine how you relate to a story.

"Who can say how much of us comes from our physical surroundings? Writers can, at least in their own works, for their own purposes" (Foster 166).

As a reader, if I can relate to the setting, I may choose whether or not to read it. In my opinion, if a novel takes place in a small town, I would choose that over a story taking place in ancient Mesopotamia. Even though we are told time and time again not to judge a book by the cover....or in this case geography, it is going to happen. By omitting something as important as the setting could cause the reader to lose interest. It is almost like not having an imagination because a novel is not realistic without a time and place.

Now when an author does not present a season or season changes througout a novel, that can cause a decrease in significant symbolism. Each season can mean something different.

"The seasons are the same in literature, and yet always different" (Foster 181).

For example, Spring is often known as rebirth or renewal. Or Fall and winter can symbolize death or loss. Those prove to be parts of a novel that SHOW instead of TELL. There ya go....we can apply what we learn! For me, the season changes in "To Kill a Mockingbird," show how much Jem and Scout torment poor Boo Radley. During the summers they are always prancing around the house in curiousity, but things calm down during the winter and so forth. So seasons do not necessarily have to symbolize a strong meaning, they can just be references. In other words they are important for the reader' conscience.


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Way to go you over achiever-tying in both what we've been discussing in class as well as providing another example that uses seasons as a point of reference! You made a really good point when you wrote that an author's use of a season doesn't have to symbolize a strong meaning, it can simply be for the reader's subconscious.

I like how you said "So seasons do not necessarily have to symbolize a strong meaning, they can just be references." Sometimes I think that people put too much emphasis on the symbolism of the seasons. Even in this chapter, I felt that Foster dwelled a bit too much on the symbolism of the seasons other than the other important aspects that seasons bring to a story. Just because it's winter does not mean that some awful event is going to happen in a story--that might just demonstrate what the weather is like in that town and the author wants us to feel like we're there. I just enjoyed how you pointed out that seasons do not always have to be symbols, but just simple references.

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