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Word Count: 433
The Englishmans Boy By Guy Vanderhaeghe Setting is an interesting concept it not only sets the physical surroundings but also paints a metaphoric or symbolic picture of characters introduces conflict and develops atmosphere In The Englishmans Boy Vanderhaeghe uses all the above elements to bring his novel to a higher level The story opens with an effective use of setting to create a mood of suspense and anticipation and introduces the protagonist Harry Vincent In the opening scene Harry is sitting at a typewriter trying to gather his thoughts Its true that once I was a writer of sort but for thirty years Ive written nothing longer than a grocery list a letter This builds suspense suggesting that something life altering has occurred that caused Harry to give up writing He has struggled with this internal conflict for some thirty years and now he is sitting at his typewriter ready to battle his fears Vanderhaeghe shows a brilliant use of setting as he uses the physical surroundings as a symbolic depiction of what is going on inside Harrys head I Went to the window from there I could see the South Saskatchewan River the frozen jigsaw pieces bumping sluggishly downstream the cold black water steaming between them A month ago when the ice still held a stranger to the city would have had no idea which way the river ran But now the movement of the knotted ice of the swirling debris makes it plain The jigsaw pieces are mixed thoughts and pieces of Harrys life they have not been able to be deciphered through the ice and black water that has been holding them for years His thoughts are now being freed and he is beginning to put the pieces of his misconstrued life back together Vanderhaeghe likes to use setting of the story as a way of introducing his characters Before Damon Ira Chance director and
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