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Wild Character

It's not too much to say, I think, that geography can be character.
Foster (19,20) -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

Even though it may seem odd to say that the geography of a story can be a character, it does make sense in certain cases. I guess that whenever the geography in a story seems to take on a role of some kind (more so than theme, plot, or setting) it becomes a character. Take the Anduin River in The Lord of the Rings, for example. When the Ringwraiths try crossing the river to claim Frodo, it is the river that conquers them...the river floods, effectively stopping the Wraiths from reaching Frodo.


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Comments (4)

In a fantasy setting, the elements of nature can be personified. But the city of New York or the culture of a small town can affect work of traditional fiction, too.

Would you say the rural setting of Trifles has a significant impact on the action in the play?

I definitely think the rural setting of Trifles has a big impact on the story. Because the characters live on farms, they are very isolated from each other. Mrs. Hale says that the Wrights' house was "down in a hollow, and you don't see the road." This, together with the fact that the Wrights didn't have a telephone, meant that Mrs. Wright had no connection with anyone outside of Mr. Wright except the canary. The sheer oppressiveness of being stuck in a house, unable to visit neighbors because she is separated from them by large rural distances in the middle of winter, could very well have driven her to kill Mr. Wright after he killed the only companionship she could reasonably obtain in her circumstances. Had the Wrights lived in a more urban area where Mrs. Wright could have gone out and taken a walk down the street to let off some steam after having fought with Mr. Wright, she might not have killed him.

Chera Pupi:

I think this play would have been VERY different had it been set in a town or city. As I said in my blog, the seclusion of the Wright home has a HUGE impact on not only Minnie, but on Mrs. Hale too. Had the house been even just a little closer to town or to the road, Mrs. Hale might have come to visit, Minnie wouldn't have been so lonely, and John Wright might not be dead.

Derek Tickle:

Geography can be a character and plays a large role in some writings. I do agree with Chera that the play would have been very different if it had been set in a town or city. Maybe Mr. John Wright would have not been "knotted" or maybe Mrs. Hale would have come to visit. But either way the setting has a major part within a story.

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