Home » Literature » HOW THE SETTING OF PLACES INFLUENCE THE CHARACTERS’ BEHAVIORS IN THE SHORT STORY “TEN INDIANS”

HOW THE SETTING OF PLACES INFLUENCE THE CHARACTERS’ BEHAVIORS IN THE SHORT STORY “TEN INDIANS”

Ten Indians is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway and was published in the 19th century. This story reflects the different characteristics of American people through the behaviors of the characters; the Indians, the Garners, and Nick and his father. However, the behaviors of the characters are influenced by the setting of place, since the setting of place is the dominant element here. Place as the dominant element means that the setting is classified as examples of local color or regionalism which lead us to the effects on characters of a particular geographical setting ,or in other words, the process of the characters’ being influenced by the region where they live in (Kenney, William: 1966). This essay will examine how the characters’ behaviors are influenced by the setting of places.

The first characters are Indians who live in the camps. The Indian camps are made from hay, bamboo or somehow animals’ skin, which do not seem like the appropriate place for human being to live. In addition, they usually build the camp in the jungle, or in the field where there are many animals living there. Therefore, they have to live together with the animals, which however, make them behave like the animals. It is implied at the last part from the Nick’s father dialogue: “They were having quite a time” and “I just heard them threshing around”, that indicate Prudence is having an adulterate with Frank Washburn, which is like animal being. They also are far from the society, educational, social and political organization. As a result, they do not get used to socializing with anyone else other their tribe, and other people also consider them to be outcast. It is reflected in the first paragraph when the Indians are drunk and Joe Garner dragged one of them into the bushes.

The next character is the Garners who live in the farmhouse. Farmhouse is a general term for the main house of a farm and is a type of building or house which serves a residential purpose in a rural or agricultural area (Wikipedia). It is usually built alone without any other houses around it. This indicates that people who live in the farmhouse are family, and have no society living around them. It is similar with the Indians that they are not used to socializing with people, but they are not outcast because they are white American. However, they do not know how to use polite words because they do not use it in the farm with the plants or animals. It is reflected in the Garners’ dialogue when they call Indians as skunk, “Carl ain’t no good with girls”, “Oh, shucks, Nickie”, etc. The sentences are unwell-structured and rude.

The last characters are Nick and his father who lives in the cottage. A cottage is usually a modest, often comfortable shelter, typically in a rural or semi-rural location (Wikipedia). This is an appropriate place for human to live. There are societies around it, which will make them get used to socializing with other people. They are well-educated people. Therefore, they know how to use polite words. It is reflected from their dialogue in the story. The dialogues are well-structured, and the dictions are polite.

In conclusion, the place where people live may influence the behavior of them. Although they are in the same state, but the environment determines their characteristics. In this story, Hemingway tries to reflect how the setting of place or environment can affect the act of the characters. Indians who live in the camps tend to be outcast and fool. The Garners who live in the farmhouse tend to be rude. While Nick and his father who live in the cottage are the best reflection of human being because they are polite and educated.

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