The Pawnbroker and Third and Indiana Essay

The Pawnbroker and Third and Indiana Essay

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How does the setting and the environment have a direct impact on the
emotional mood and emphasize the central theme of the novels The Pawnbroker
and Third and Indiana.

In the novels The Pawnbroker and Third and Indiana the setting and the
environment has a direct impact on the emotional mood and emphasize
the central theme of the novels. Both novels are set in ghetto urban
areas. Steve Lopez's novel Third and Indiana is set in South
Philadelphia's area called Kensington or better known as the
"Badlands". The Badlands was an industrial area which was prosperous
in the past because of factory jobs, but as the factories closed down
and many lost their jobs and Kensington transformed into a place of
drugs, violence, and debauchery. Similarly in Edward Lewis Wallant's
The Pawnbroker the novel is set in the unsafe urban area in New York
City's Harlem. After the period of the Harlem Renaissance, Harlem
suffered from poverty and people relied on the drug trade and crime to
get by in their lives.

In Third and Indiana the setting foreshadows violence and darkness of
the novel. An example of how Lopez foreshadows the darkness of the
novel when Lopez describes, "It (Kensington Avenue) sat in eternal
darkness and gloom under the El, a symbol of the city industrial
death."(9) The quote explains how the reader will expect death and
darkness on Kensington Avenue. Lopez throughout the beginning of the
novel offers the reader subtle hints of what to expect in the novel
death and violence. He reiterates the effects of the negative
environment towards the end of the book. "Because it's not a person
(Diablo), it's the fucking neighborhood. You can't kill the fucking
neighborhood."(279) The quote explains the constant ne...


... middle of paper ...


... pattern. A pastoral is an escape to fresh natural world or a
connection with nature. In Third and Indiana Father Laetner wants to
see the ocean, for a moment of time experience peace and tranquility
by the ocean. Similarly in The Pawnbroker Sol escapes from Harlem for
a day with Marilyn on the cruise. For a moment Sol feels at ease and
does not feel the pain of his life. For a brief moment Sol was with
one with nature.

Both novels offer a positive end to the novel in which the main
characters change in a positive way as a result of death. Both Sol and
Eddie are wasting away their lives during the book, but at the end
they both find redemption and salvation through death. Their eyes have
opened to the world to a new beginning. For example in Sol's last
dream in the novel, his dream tells him to proceed on with his life
and do not be fixated on the past.

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