Thursday, January 08, 2009

Forster, Hosseini, Shaffer

At the end of last term, Miriam Poulton was awarded a Commendation for her fine Extended Essay on the theme of location/setting in three different novels - A Room with a View by E.M. Forster, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows.

Miriam writes : -

One of the things all novels have in common is that they all have a setting, they all take place somewhere and sometime. In some books the setting is rich in detail and beautiful, in others it is simply the backdrop for the story. However, it is not the setting that I plan on looking at. Instead, I want to investigate something that can affect real life as well as that of characters in novels. Location can affect people’s moods and actions often to a very great extent and I thought it would be interesting to see how this happens in novels as well.

I have studied the theme of location in three very different novels. One takes place for the first half around the Italian city of Florence and for the second part a sleepy English village. My next book takes place just after the Second World War, in a London that is slowly rebuilding itself and a Guernsey that is recovering from occupation by the Germans. My third book takes place in war-torn Kabul, a city in Afghanistan. In each of these, the setting plays a large part in the story, it is affected by events and has an impact on characters. Often, a character’s home has the most profound effect on them, whether their home is where they have lived their whole life or a place they are only just discovering.

Read Miriam's full essay on these three novels here.

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