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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'.

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JiYi Yang June 21, 2004 Professor White English 420 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) ...read more.


And what is even worse the truck belonged to a Mafioso called "Thin Jimmy", so he has to think of a way to pay him back. When Eddie moved to Kensington he receives a message from Sarah that she has changed her mind about living together. Furthermore, Lopez gives a great description of Eddie," He had a trace of the same lost look Gabriel had given his mother, but the pain was different. It wasn't the pain of things lost, but of things never found."(166) The pain he lives as an unemployed musician who no one loves with no family. Eddie as the "lovable loser" befriends a street boy named Gabriel. Gabriel stays in Eddie's house because Gabriel has no place to live since he left his house and mother Ofelia. Gabriel reminds Eddie of his sons, who he left. Gabriel feels Eddie is like a father figure to him. Ofelia describes their relationship when Ofelia says, "Eddie had been Gabriel's stand-in-father, and Gabriel was the sons Eddie hadn't known how to love."(263) Eddie was the only older male person Gabriel can confide and trust. To Eddie, Gabriel represented him of the sons he left. ...read more.


As a way to help herself move on with her life possibly with Eddie, she draws the chalk outline for her dead son and friend. Gabriel helped Eddie grow as a man and take responsibility of his actions of leaving his family and being unemployed. In both The Pawnbroker and Third and Indiana they both give a pastoral narrative 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. ...read more.

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