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"Greasy Lake" By Jack London And "To Build A Fire" By T. Coraghessan Boyle.

941 words - 4 pages

Short Stories: SettingThe setting of a story can allude to what kind of story it will be. There are many things that a setting is able to suggest other than simply where the story takes place. A story's setting deals with the place that the story occurs, the time it takes place in, and the atmosphere that it evokes. It can show that there will be romance, it will be funny, there will be suspense, or just that something bad will happen. Two particular short stories who's settings both show that something bad will happen are "To Build a Fire", written by Jack London, and "Greasy Lake", written by T. Coraghessan Boyle. Certain aspects of both these stories give the reader an idea of what is to come, and that it could be dreadful."To Build a Fire" takes place in the Yukon, which is generally a dangerous place to be alone. The man is walking a trail that is not often traveled, so just the fact that he is in stuck in a secluded place makes it seem like something bad could happen. Where the man is walking through is also a very dark and dreary place. Although it is clear outside, without a cloud in the sky, the narrator claims there is a "subtle gloom that made the day dark" (p.117). It almost makes the reader wonder if the narrator means "dark" as in there is no light or "dark in a sort of sinister way."Greasy Lake" also takes place in a rather dark and ominous setting. Much of the story takes place at Greasy Lake, which is not an ordinary, everyday, swimming with the family type of lake. There are crowded trees, which draws a picture of a dark forest with very little light seeping through. The island in the middle of the lake has little or no vegetation, giving the reader a feeling of death. It is also littered with things such as beer cans, broken glass, and bonfire remains. These are items that make you think of loss of control, violence, or even destruction. These ideas could surely lead to something bad happening. The water itself is described as "fetid and murky" (p.129) also meaning rotten and gloomy. Nothing good ever comes of something being rotten and gloomy.Another important part of the setting, besides location, is the time. In "To Build a Fire" the most important part of the time is the hour, or the time of day. The story starts at nine o'clock in the morning, and yet there is no sun, and there won't be any sight of sunlight for days. Perhaps the man is not worried by this, because the narrator specifies that he is used to "the strangeness...

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