Ethnography - John Malloy Alyssa Straight ENG111...

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John Malloy Alyssa Straight September 15, 2010 ENG111 – Ethnography The Importance of Place Hey Arnold! is a Nickelodeon TV show about a group of fourth grade students and the problems they face. The show is based in an urban area, very similar to the likes of New York City, and is set in a variety of locations within the city. Among the most prominent locations are Arnold’s house, the characters’ school, and the streets of the city. Through the interactions in the locations in Hey Arnold! , the characters are put into specific and well-defined roles: Arnold is the optimistic, helping friend, Gerald is the cool kid, and Helga is the bully with a secret crush, just to name a few. All these characters and their roles are strongly influenced by their surroundings. Were the series set in a rural area as opposed to an urban area, most of the issues would never have risen, which would have hampered the character development. For example, in one episode Arnold kicks a football that ends up landing on “Stoop Kid’s stoop” (“Stoop Kid” Season 1 Episode 3). In this particular episode, Arnold helps Stoop Kid overcome his fear of leaving his stoop and seeing the world, which helps define Arnold as the friendly problem solver. There are countless examples of this throughout the life of the Hey Arnold! series that show just how vital the setting is to the development of the characters and the show. Probably the most prominent and noticeable location of Hey Arnold! would be Arnold’s house. As a child, Arnold’s parents disappeared and he was left to live with his two crazy
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2 grandparents, Phil and Gertrude. Instead of having a traditional house, however, Arnold’s grandparents own a boarding house. The boarding house is made of brick with a very distinguishable green wooden door. Inside, there are numerous rooms that never get shown. Probably the most often shown room is Arnold’s bedroom, which is located in the attic of the
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Ethnography - John Malloy Alyssa Straight ENG111...

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