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Kedlyne DemostheneWoodEnglish Composition 102Formal Paper #2ElsewhereThe purpose of a setting in a piece of literature helps set the mood, or the feeling to apiece. Authors strategically pick a setting to pick the mood or tone, provide context of thesurroundings, help foreshadow the plot, or provide a sense of irony. When an author purposelydoes not include the setting, the audiences’ mind begins to wonder and that creates a mysteriousfeeling to the piece. For example in the play The Pillowman, written by Martin McDonagh, hasno setting which emphasizing McDonagh’s main arguments. The main characters, Katurian andMichal, live in a totalitarian regime where they’re being questioned about Katurians’s shortstories that are linked to the real murders of children. The tone is mysterious and creepy becausethe audience has no idea where this story takes place nor how much power the government has.In The Pillowman Martin MacDonagh chooses to set the play in a totalitarian regime because ithelps the author emphasize the themes of freedom of speech and child abuse, while creatingarguments focused around the theme and create questions about the society we live in today. One of the themes expressed in The Pillowman is freedom of speech; the setting of theplay helps the author express the argument of how important freedom of speech is in society andhow much can an author be responsible for the effects it has on the readers. Since the play1
Kedlyne Demosthenedoesn’t have a time or a place the readers don’t know how much power the government has. Thefirst implication of the restriction of speech in the society that the author creates is whenKaturian first gets brought in and the first thing he thinks of is his stories. Katurian thinks thatthe government brought him in because they think his stories are political or socially alarmingand he says, “… that’s what I do, I tell stories. No axe to the grind, no anything to grind. Nosocial anything whatsoever… unless political came in by accident, or something seemedpoliticalcame” (McDonagh 8). He informs the cops that the stories he writes is based on imagination andhas nothing to do with him trying to rally against the government. The violence that occurs in theplay triggers the argument, should there be a limit of freedom of speech? Should the author beresponsible for the effect it has on the audience? The author uses murders of children to ignite astrong response from the readers. McDonagh knows that the murders of children is extreme and