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The setting of a story in literature denotes the time and place depicted in the plot. The plot takes place in the town of Omelas. The ships docked at the harbor show that the town has a sea on one side. The hills that surround the town on the northern and western sides are the source of a gentle wind that breezed through the city during the festival. The city's buildings differed from one location to the next. At one point, the town has houses with red roofs as well as painted walls. In other parts, the city of Omelas has old gardens filled with moss (Guin 403). Apart from the buildings, the town had recreational parks with avenues below the trees as well as public buildings. The story occurs during the early in the morning as the sun rises. The author describes the reflection of the sun rays on the snow at the top of the mountain. In addition, the author describes a basement where the rays of the sun pass through the cracks. The location of the sun at an angle that reaches basement shows a position similar to the rising sun. The author uses the setting to explain the importance of the ceremony and the beauty of the town of Omelas, which is the venue of the ceremony.
The atmosphere in a story describes emotions portrayed by the characters in the story. The author capitalizes on the description through the activities of the people in creating the general mood of the story. At first, the story begins with a very jovial situation. The author begins by describing a joyous mood where women are walking in processions carrying their babies. The parade enjoyed loud music with some of the people dancing to the lively tunes. The children, on the other hand, ran up and down dancing and singing to the rhythm. After dancing, the children paddled their horses as they were waiting for the race to commence. According to the author, the jovial mood was evident in the animals too. The horses flared their noses due to the excitement of the ceremony. The author described the society as one that does not need any form of the law of leadership to maintain order. The people lived in peace with one another at all times. However, the author depicts a situation that is somber at the end of the story (Guin 407). The community locks up a child in deprived conditions. The community views the child as the necessary sacrifice for the happiness of the society. The state of the child makes the people feel guilty leading to an exodus from the town.
The structure from a literary analysis point refers to the coherent flow of ideas throughout the story. The story bears a headline that describes people who walk away from the town. Therefore, the author begins by explaining the jovial mood in the city using the story. In the second scene, the story illustrates relationships between people in the society. The author presents many negative situations that occur in the city. However, she points out that the town of Omelas does not experience such conditions indicating a very serene environment that no one would wish to leave (Guin 405). The coherence of the structure tries to set the tone and draw the attention of the audience towards the topic of the story. At the second phase, the reader is wondering the reason why people would leave such a town. However, the last part of the story tells about a boy locked in the basement. The community sacrifices the innocent boy for the happiness of the town. The child eats and sits in an isolated environment. As much as the other kids enjoy the fun in the city, this child suffers without any possible solution at hand. The guilt of the people leads to their exodus from the town and all the joyous events.
The setting of the story prepares the audience for the incidents in the story. Authors capitalize on the place and time in a story to give the audience a mental picture of the place described in the story. At the beginning of the story, the author describes the environment of the town making it possible for the audience to visualize the city mentally (Guin 404). Therefore, the reader can relate the events with the setting described by the author. Therefore, the author capitalizes on the setting to prepare the audience for the mood of the story. I the last part of the story, the setting of the basement describes the deplorable conditions that the child undergoes. Therefore, the setting enables the reader to relate to the situation and create an understanding of why the people leave the town due to guilt. The atmosphere explains the mood of citizens in the story.
A combination of the setting and the atmosphere reveals the location of the story, the time and the feelings of the people in the story at the exact time. At the beginning of the story, the mood is jovial as the whole town is celebrating. The author describes the songs and dances enjoyed by the population. Therefore, the atmosphere enables the reader to relate the mood with the activities in the town. At the end of the story, the emotions change with the revelation of the conditions that the child undergoes. The author indicates the kind of harassment that the child experiences in the form of kicks from the visitors. The child does not get the chance to enjoy the environment as the other kids of his age (Guin 406). Therefore, the atmosphere enables the audience to relate to the story and offer a clear understanding of the intended message by the author.
The structure of the story combines with the atmosphere and the setting to bring out the theme of the story that strengthens the topic. In the story, the author uses the structure in describing the utopian setting of the story. She first explains the joy and serenity in the story as a way of building a strong background of the narrative in the mind of the reader. The story begins with a description of the happiness in the town and the attractive setting. However, the author goes ahead to contradict the situation with the story of the little boy. Therefore, the structure makes it easier for the audience to understand the intended message as well as bring out stylistic devices such as irony. Therefore, all the literary approaches used in the story enables the audience understand and enjoy the story. The structure, setting, and the atmosphere made the story clearer and more enjoyable for the readers.
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Guin, Ursula K. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas: A Story. New York: Harper Perennial, HarperCollins, 2017. Print.
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