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The Watsons Go to Birmingham -1963 Setting

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Allyson Messer

on 14 October 2013

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Transcript of The Watsons Go to Birmingham -1963 Setting

The Watsons Go to Birmingham -1963

What do you think setting is?

Why does it matter when you're reading a novel?

Four Purposes for Setting
Geographical & Historical
Where does the setting take place?
Flint, Michigan
Birmingham, Alabama
What historical events are taking place at this time?
Civil Rights Movement
Michigan is in the Northern United States
It's very cold in the winter
Page 1
"It was one of those super-duper cold Saturdays. One of those days that when you breathed out your breath kind of hung frozen in the air like a hunk of smoke and you could walk along and look exactly like a train, blowing out big, fat, white puffs of smoke."
Birmingham is the opposite of Michigan
In the south
Hot, humid, like a furnace
Page 162
"Birmingham was like an oven. That first night I couldn't sleep at all, me and By had to share a bed and we both were sweating like two pigs."
Birmingham Bombing pg 183-186
September 15, 1963
Civil Rights Movement
Discrimination all over the U.S. but it was more extreme in the South
Discrimination in schooling, housing, and job opportunities
Prohibited interracial marriages and enforced segregation
Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech"
Historical Continued
True-Tone AB-700 model Ultra Glide record player
sold in America between 1950s-1968
Page 110
Yakety-Yak by the Coasters 1958
Under the Boardwalk by the The Drifters
Nat King Cole
Dinah Washington
Pg 117
What is mood?

How does it relate to setting?
Examples of Mood in the Text
Page 145 Appalachia Mountains in Tennessee
"What Dad was calling"just the mountains" were the scariest things I'd ever seen.....If this was a movie there would be loud, scary organ music playing right now."
Page 92 Dreading Dad coming home
"We listened to the noises of Dad coming home from work, the clump-clump of his boots coming off and being dropped in the closet by the front door, the whoosh his chair made when he sat in it..."
Mood continued
Birmingham Bombing page 184
"I looked into the church and saw smoke and dust flying around like a tornado was in there. One light from the ceiling was still hanging down by a wire, flicking and swinging back and forth, and every once in a while I could see stuff inside......"
Burning Byron's fingers page 73
"The match got closer and closer to Byron's skinny brown finger....Byron's finger getting turned into steam and going Pssss!"
What does this mean in relation to setting?

How can setting be seen as the enemy?
Antagonist in the Text
The cold page 47
"Even though she'd lived in Flint for fifteen years she still thought cold weather could kill you in a flash."
The heat page 162
"That first night we couldn't sleep at all, me and By had to share a bed and we both were sweating like two pigs."
The swimming hole "Wool Pooh" page 176
"That's when he came swimming real slow out of the deep...he grabbed my leg and started pulling me down."
What is symbolism?

What is symbolism in setting?

Symbolism in the Text
Brown Bomber
What does the brown bomber symbolize?
Page numbers 141, 146, 147
"Maybe someone could say the Brown Bomber was old and ugly, but you could never say anything bad about its seats, they were the best things in the world." 141
"The lights knocked some of the darkness out of the way and we felt safe again." 147
The couch
What does the couch symbolize?
Page 193
"There was a big enough space between the couch and the wall for me to squeeze in back there and just sit in a little ball. It was quiet and dark and still back there."
The restrooms
North & South

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