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The Immigrant - Plot, Setting & Atmosphere

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shahira hamzah

on 12 July 2016

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Transcript of The Immigrant - Plot, Setting & Atmosphere

Rising Action
Quote:
'Yu Seng, it would give me great pleasure if you would consent to accept a position, as Captain of my personal guard.' (Mr Wong)
'There he is! He is talking to the leader of the Black Gang! He is plotting some kind of treachery!' (Yu Seng)

Summary:
The Black Gang attack Mr Wong and his procession. Yu Seng, who has been observing them, leaps to the rescue of Mr Wong's followers, Lim and Samie. He defeats the Black Gang and helps the Blue Guards ward them away. Mr Wong gives Yu Seng a job as the Captain of his personal guard to reward him for his bravery. Lim, Samie and Yu Seng suspect Tang is up to no good as Samie has seen him talk to the leader of the Black Gang and vow to keep an eye on him and fight justice.
Exposition/ Orientation/ Introduction
Quote:
In the first monologue by Yu Seng:
'This is Singapore, in the year 1875.'
'I am just a simple boy from a little village in China, and I find this great city very confusing.'

Summary:
The play begins in China, where Yu Seng must leave his Mother and his village to seek a better life in Singapore. He arrives in Singapore, bewildered by many streets and the rushing people.
At the sea-front, he observes a small procession of Blue Guards escorting a towkay, Mr Wong and his daughter, Shu Lin. Mr Wong is showing his future son-in-law, Tang, their ships.
Setting
Climax/ Conflict
Quote:
'Tang! You traitor! Now everyone can see your crime!' (Yu Seng)

Summary:
The Black Gang attack the Wong household. Tang is openly revealed as the traitor. Tang stabs Mr Wong and escapes. Mr Wong manages to change his will in time, with his daughter's help, so that Yu Seng and Shu Lin inherit his wealth. When he dies from the wound, Yu Seng rallies the men to seek revenge.
Falling Action
Quote:
'That was the sound of Tang's death.' (Black Leader)
'Truly, Heaven has punished him for his crime.' (Yu Seng)

Summary:
Yu Seng and his men travel through the jungle to the hideout of the Black Gang and Tang. When confronted, Tang runs away without warning the rest of the Black Gang. As Yu Seng talks to the Black Gang, they hear the end of Tang. They return to the city as the one they wanted to punish is now, dead.
Resolution/ Conclusion
Quote:
'This is where I will make my new home, here in Singapore.' (Yu Seng)

Summary:
Yu Seng wants to return to his village in China to take care of his Mother. Shu Lin wants him to stay to inherit her father's wealth. Suddenly, he receives news that his Mother has died. He then, decides to stay in Singapore, fulfill his promise to Mr Wong to take care of Shu Lin and sets up a family with her.
Plot, Setting & Atmosphere
The Immigrant
1.Where the story takes place (location)
A story can take place in only one location or a few locations

2.When the story takes place (time)
A story can take place in the past, present or future.
Sometimes, a story can even combine all three time frames.

3.Setting can add an important dimension of meaning, reflecting character and embodying theme.

4.It can give us a clue to the deeper meaning and understanding of the story.

5.Setting is created by language.
How many or how few details we learn is up to the author.
Many authors leave a lot of these details up to the reader's imagination.

6.In drama, setting is created by stage directions and lines written on a page. When answering questions, this can be used as evidences to support your initial observation.
Atmosphere
(Mood in the Reader)
1.The emotional feelings inspired by a work. The term
is to describe the dominant mood of a selection as it is
created by language, setting or description. Often the opening scene, establishes an atmosphere appropriate to the theme of the entire work.

2.Mood and atmosphere are used interchangeably to refer to the emotional feeling the reader receives from reading the text.

3.The mood or atmosphere might be scary, happy, sad, romantic, nostalgic or exciting. To describe the mood or atmosphere, we use words that describe our feelings.
In the beginning of The Immigrant, how do the setting, stage directions and lines contribute to the atmosphere conveyed about China and Singapore, at that time? (12marks)
Setting
At first, where are the main characters?
Yu Seng and the Mother are in their village in China.

What is the setting like?
The setting of the stage is bare.

Where does Yu Seng travel to?
He travels to Singapore.

What is the setting like?
It is confusing as it is different with more people and things to see.
Stage Directions
Set: The set is mostly bare. Why?
This enables the actor to move around to show he is traveling on a long journey.
It allows the audience to imagine what is happening to the actor on his journey.

How does the main character show he is on a journey?
He uses the performance space to show that he is traveling on a journey.

Sound: Pleasant music plays initially. Why? What is this compared to when Yu Seng reaches his destination?
(Hint: Refer to Yu Seng’s lines)
The pleasant music played when the characters are in the village in China show how peaceful the atmosphere of the setting is.
This is compared against the bustling and confusing people and streets Yu Seng faces in Singapore.

Costumes: How do the costumes show the time period and setting the play is set in?
The costumes that Yu Seng and his Mother wear are dark and simple. They show the level of poverty they lived in. In comparison, Mr Wong, Shu Lin and his guards are well-dressed reflecting their wealth and social status. This shows that Singapore did have a higher standard of living as compared to Yu Seng's village, where people were more simply dressed.

Movement of Actor: How does the actor convey the difficult journey he had?
(Hint: Refer to stage directions)
The actor crosses all over the stage in different directions to show the difficult journey he had. The movement of the actor in different directions conveyed the many twists and turns he could have experienced.
‘We are so poor in our village’
'I am just a simple boy from a little village in China, and I find this great city very confusing.'
'There are so many streets, so many people rushing up and down.'
-Yu Seng
Lines
In the beginning of The Immigrant, how do the setting, stage directions and lines contribute to the atmosphere conveyed about China and Singapore, at that time? (12marks)
The use of setting, stage directions and lines help to differentiate the atmosphere of the two locations mentioned in the beginning of The Immigrant, China and Singapore. One location is portrayed to be simple and lacking in material objects, while the other seems confusing and busy.

The atmosphere in the beginning is peaceful. This can be seen through the simple stage setting which shows a simple life between Yu Seng and his Mother in a village in China. This is done through the use of pleasant music and a bare stage. The costumes worn by Yu Seng and his Mother are plain and dark-coloured showing how poor they are and how simple their life is. Yu Seng also tells his Mother that he must leave as ‘we are so poor in our village.’

As Yu Seng leaves his Mother to travel to Singapore, he ventures all over the stage to show the audience how difficult his journey to Singapore is. When he arrives at his desired location, he begins his monologue by agreeing with his earlier actions that his journey was indeed ‘difficult and dangerous.’ The movement and stage directions given to the actor help the audience feel the difficult journey experienced by the character. This conveys a different atmosphere to the peaceful music played in the village, when Yu Seng was with his Mother.

In his monologue, Yu Seng compares how different his peaceful life in the village in China is with the fast-paced bustling new country he is in. The character comments that the new country is ‘confusing’ as ‘there are so many streets, so many people rushing up and down’ making the atmosphere bustling and lively. This is different compared to the peaceful atmosphere of the village earlier.

The procession also shows the wealth of the new country that he is in. The way the guards, Mr Wong and Shu Lin dresses show us that people he meets are rich and there is a difference in their social status from the way they dress and their obvious wealth.

How does the setting of the jungle, stage directions and lines given, contribute to the suspenseful atmosphere of Yu Seng and his men, chasing Tang? (6 marks)
The scene in the jungle contributes to the suspenseful atmosphere of Yu Seng and his men chasing Tang by using the setting, stage directions and lines.
The setting of the jungle is described by Samie as 'wild and unihabited.' This makes the jungle mysterious to the audience and the characters and adds to the suspense as we are uncertain of what will happen next. The men are holding torches, indicating that the jungle is dark and scary. Sound of animals roaring in the distance can be heard, adding to the suspense, mystery and fear felt by the character and the audience. The stage is kept bare so that in the darkness the emptiness around the men and the uncertainty of what can emerge from it, adds to the building of tension and suspense in this scene. This adds to the suspense of Yu Seng and his men looking for Tang and the Black Gang.
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