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How does the setting of Evelyn Bay inform our ideas about the people who live there? How does the setting affect how events play out in the novel?

Created: 01/28/21

Replies: 6

Posted Jan. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2619

How does the setting of Evelyn Bay inform our ideas about the people who live there? How does the setting affect how events play out in the novel?

"In a place like Evelyn Bay, people knew each other's business." How does this setting inform our ideas about the people who live there? How does the setting affect how events play out in the novel?


Posted Jan. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elisabethc

Join Date: 07/16/19

Posts: 42

RE: How does the setting of Evelyn Bay inform our ideas about the people who live there? How does the setting affect how events play out in the novel?

The setting is instrumental in creating the conditions in which the central crime happened, because without the close-knit vibe of the area, Sean probably wouldn't have felt the pressure he did to cover his tracks in the first place. But it's not just that Evelyn Bay is a small community, it's also a place that clearly adheres to certain behaviors aligned with toxic masculinity (not that this isn't widespread, but definitely can be more or less present in certain places).

Sean may have been guilty of what he did, but by making the setting so crucial to exactly how things happened, the book raises the question of how much responsibility communities and societies should bear for the violence they enable.


Posted Jan. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 187

RE: How does the setting of Evelyn Bay inform our ideas about the people who live there? How does the setting affect how events play out in the novel?

Small town tourist communities have a vibe uniquely their own. There is a definite sense of insider and outsider, of residents and those who visit for pleasure or work. And, as we saw on the social media site, it doesn't take long for town residents to come up with their own facts, be they "alternate" facts or reality. Communities like Evelyn Bay can be inordinately clannish, making the prospect of being an outsider a daunting one.

Another example of the clannish nature of the town is the boycotting of the Surf and Turf after unproven facts about Bronte's disappearance gained steam. The almost wholesale boycotting of the business is an example of what the Amish call shunning, particularly effective in small, close-in communities.


Posted Feb. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 330

RE: How does the setting of Evelyn Bay inform our ideas about the people who live there? How does the setting affect how events play out in the novel?

Evelyn Bay is a small bay-side community that expands in summer and with the start of school and autumn is quickly reduced to its small-town size and activities. We have the feeling that those who are there year around know each other well, support one another in most ways, life and death, and that outsiders, though welcome, are clearly fodder for gossip and suspicion. Ash, though a year-around citizen, is early on in the novel recalled as being a summer visitor only for fifteen years. When he came to live full-time, he had to prove himself to the football team and Kieran. Bronte and George Barlow are other visitors to the community. George plans to stay, but he is not fully accepted yet at this point even though he has purchased Ash's grandmother's house and is gentrifying it. Bronte, who will leave soon to return to university, is talked about behind her back as Olivia complains about her messiness and celebrates the fact that in "two weeks and five days" she will be gone. When we meet these "outsiders" early in the novel, they do not seem important or to have much depth, but as the plot develops and more is learned about both, we see them as three dimensional, thoughtful characters. Bronte's death has much more meaning when we hear her discuss her artistic impressions and plans and the importance of the caves in those - what are to most the the town's people simply part of the environment, and a dangerous part as well.


Posted Feb. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyk

Join Date: 02/13/19

Posts: 21

RE: How does the setting of Evelyn Bay inform our ideas about the people who live there? How does the setting affect how events play out in the novel?

I agree with the comments above about the small-town atmosphere, the attitude toward outsiders, etc. I will also just add that small towns where everyone knows everyone and their business can make it impossible for people to escape the impressions the townspeople formed of them when they were younger. Once the town's irresponsible youth (Ash), always the town's irresponsible youth. Once the person responsible for his brother's death (Kieran), always the person responsible for his brother's death. Even when individuals leave the small town where they grew up, the same attitudes and assumptions often greet them when they return.


Posted Feb. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lbellg

Join Date: 02/23/14

Posts: 46

RE: How does the setting of Evelyn Bay inform our ideas about the people who live there? How does the setting affect how events play out in the novel?

The community is interconnected and few things are hidden, so even if something is NOT known, it is assumed it is and impacts/amplifies the behavior of those feeling responsible. It's suffocating to stay under some difficult circumstances so they sometimes feel they have no choice but to leave


Posted Feb. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 261

RE: How does the setting of Evelyn Bay ...

Evelyn Bay is a small community and is a beach community. Tourists in summer and all quiet the rest of the year. You can go there to lose yourself. Backing up to the water leaves people no where to run. Small town people tend to be close, but they also gossip and know each others business. A tourist can lose themselves in Evelyn Bay, but a townie is always on display, whether they try to be or not.


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