A Change in Scenery

669 Words3 Pages
The setting of a story can change its plot and character development dramatically. For example, take two short tales, “Old Man of the Temple,” by R.K Narayan and, “The Man to Send Rain Clouds” by Both of these stories have strong cultural settings and characters that are influenced by their surroundings. Setting influences characters and story events by changing the way characters deal with situations, changing cultural understanding of characters, and different settings can change a character’s voice. Setting impacts the way that characters deal with adversity. When the boy in, “The Man to Send Rain Clouds,” asks for holy water, the priest refuses. “You know I can’t do that, Leon. There should have been the last rites and a funeral mass at the very least.” After brief minutes of debate, the boy decides that the holy water is not important. The fact that he lived in a village with many other Native Americans influenced this decision. If he had lived in a large city, perhaps the priest would have been begged to pour holy water over the grave and perform Catholic rites. The setting changes the way that characters might deal with problems because characters are directly affected by setting. The behavior of every character is tied in with the story’s setting, people act the way they do as a result of where they were brought up. Thus, to make a realistic tale you must have a sturdy setting with a character firmly rooted into it. Another example of this the man from, “Old Man of the Temple.” He was raised in a modern day middle east. When confronted with change, his first response was what the setting would imply. Because the man was modern, he immediately assumed that Doss was either crazy or intoxicated. “What is the matter with you,... ... middle of paper ... ....” If the story had been set in ancient times, the character’s actions and thoughts would have been effected. The Native Americans would not have had all modern appliances and probably would have carried the dead man back to camp in a travois. There would be no priest and the children would have instead asked an elder to pour water over the grave. Setting influences character’s voice. Throughout all tales, characters and plot lines can be changed. Setting influences characters and story events by changing the way characters deal with situations, changing cultural understanding of characters, and different settings can change a character’s voice. In both stories that were discussed, changing the setting could drastically effect both plot and character development. Works Cited The Man to Send Rainclouds by Leslie Marmon Silko Old Man of the Temple by R.K Narayan
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