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Word Count: 911
Patrick Whites A Fringe of Leaves is a complicated and engaging novel which captivates a vast number of social and personal issues through many themes and issues In order to bring the characters to life and enhance their characterisation throughout the novel there are signposts illustrated at numerous locations which help the reader to better understand their position and role within the novel Instrumental in creating these characters is setting and White makes no secret of the fact that each of the various settings reflect a certain importance to each point in the novel and creating the characters Most notable is the creation of Ms Ellen Roxburgh - the central character to the novel in the various locations she visits throughout its life From the outset the reader of A Fringe of Leaves is briefed upon who Ellen is and what her place is in life Importantly the reader gains an excellent insight into Ellens World and the fact that she is primarily a puppet and that there is in fact someone quite different playing the role who is desperate for a chance to be able to escape and live her real life The reader finds out much about Ellen during her flashbacks throughout the life of the novel to her home of Zennor in Cornwall Zennor is and was a place where Ellen felt comfortable and this is certainly reflected amply in her flashbacks Ellen misses the days of Zennor where she was able to play herself a lower-middle-class girl often referred to as a Tom Boy It is through Zennor that the reader is able to ascertain the fact that Ellen is a deeply unhappy woman battling her sexuality after an encounter with her cousin and the fact that she and her husband Austen are drastically incompatible with each other Zennor represents the lower-classed background of Ellen and was and remains throughout the novel the home for Ellen where she need not
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