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The Lost Man


"Strong characters, riveting plot and an honest look at life in the Australian ...
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Discuss The Lost Man by Jane Harper:
How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

Created: 12/23/19

Replies: 13

Posted Dec. 23, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2288

How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

The remote Queensland outback and its fictional town of Balamara is the central setting of the novel. How does this remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live there and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?


Posted Jan. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elyseg

Join Date: 11/13/17

Posts: 29

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

One of the first things I noticed was how the setting actually became another character in the novel. It plays a major part in the choices the characters make. the land, the weather, the isolation itself must constantly be taken into account on a daily basis - it becomes of necessity part of everyone's psyche. It sets the mood for the story and drives the character's behaviors.


Posted Jan. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 131

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

The isolation created by the Balamara environment reflects and exacerbates the isolation created by the abuse of the characters. In the best of circumstances, abuse is a tough thing to change as victims are often reticent to step away from the familiar to try to improve their situation. In a setting like Balamara, it becomes even more difficult as it lacks many of the services and social support of a different setting.


Posted Jan. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 234

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

The lack of contact with few people would be very difficult for me. I can see the people becoming less social and more anxious all the time. I heard, over and over again, about the heat. Between having less social activities and having to worry about making sure you had every thing you needed to survive this heat, is a constant worry. You must be on your toes all the time.


Posted Jan. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Anne C.

Join Date: 10/09/14

Posts: 23

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

The way in which the author describes the remote desert setting and the dangers in it is what drew me into this novel. The emptiness of the landscape is reflected in the emotional emptiness of the characters. Just spending time outside is fraught with danger from the extreme heat and dryness, the strong sunlight that causes skin cancer, the poison snakes, and the lack of quick response from any medical or law enforcement authority. Spending time with the dysfunctional family members leads to emotional and physical abuse in many instances. Each character, including the two children, keeps secrets and can not see any possibility of change or way out of their imprisonment to the land.


Posted Jan. 07, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyl

Join Date: 04/21/14

Posts: 39

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

it made it almost impossible for Liz, Ilse and Katy to escape their miserable lives.


Posted Jan. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 117

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

I agree with nancyl, those being abused are isolated and cannot reach out for help. It makes it difficult for help to reach them as well.


Posted Jan. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 264

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

The setting of the novel reflects the type of people who will live there. The environment is dangerous and if not dealt with carefully will lead to death for any who live there. How fearful is such an environment - worry constantly if you are out in the elements - do you have enough food, water, and what good is either of these if you don't have communication or fuel - the very thought of this is enough to drive one crazy. Everyone would be endlessly on edge - questioning or challenging one another. How heated this sort of life would become and with very little effort.


Posted Jan. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 292

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

I agree with all of you. All I know is that they are a hardy bunch of people. I personally would never choose to live somewhere that hot and extreme but also realize that we can't always live where we would prefer.


Posted Jan. 14, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jennie r

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 48

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

I saw them as tough, resilient, independent individuals because of their ability to adapt to living in that environment. The environment itself had a huge impact on the events, and my experience of reading about those events. In large part, it made the people who they were.


Posted Jan. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
A.T.

Join Date: 03/04/18

Posts: 10

How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

I couldn't help but feel for the characters because of their environment, though it was chosen by most. I could only think how isolated and depressed it would be to be so far from others, to have no real community other than your family, especially when most of your family did not provide a sense of community. Each member had their issues and I never got the sense that anyone had anyone else's back as adults. Tough thing to come to terms with when in such a remote location. It all changed when Liz came clean with Nathan, but prior to that it didn't seem like she cared for him or Else or anyone else other than the grand daughters. Maybe she was unable to show her true feelings for family members because of all she had been through.


Posted Jan. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiap

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 49

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

Jane Harper is excellent at bringing the setting into her books. It is almost like the setting is another character.
The Outback is a very barren place and people are widely separated from each other. In their isolation, the characters learn to be self reliant. There is also a culture 'rule' that says; "You never leave a person stranded, even if you don't like them".

Setting: a dead body found by a local monument. No wounds, just dead. How and why did this person die?

I was drawn into this story from the first sentence. I cannot imagine living in the Outback so I was pulled in by every sentence.

This definitely the best book written by Harper and I read the other two and liked them.


Posted Jan. 21, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 99

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

The setting is one of the main factors, if not THE main factor, in the choices the characters make. The setting is such that the characters are at the mercy of the others around them Example the dad, Carl being so rough on his wife and kids. Then comes his son Cam who is just like him and people just accept that they have to accept his treatment of them. When they try to get away, it is impossible because of the setting


Posted Jan. 21, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 118

RE: How does the remote, isolated setting inform our ideas about the people who live in and around Balamara and the events that take place there? How does the setting itself impact the events of the novel?

I agree with the other posts - the setting made it hard for a number of characters to get the help they needed. The people who needed help also had a hard time communicating that to a reliable source. I also think Carl and Cameron were hard on the others and took advantage of their remote location. You really need to like and trust the people you are living with in that kind of harsh environment, most living in the same house, but not everyone in this story was liked or trusted. Also because of the the remote and isolated setting there wasn't much socializing with other people.


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