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The Knife – Positive Representations & Different Settings

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Plinio’s hometown setting clearly has a more positive portrayal within the short story than Melbourne and leaves the reader showing favour to the hometown more than the city. His hometown is often described with tranquil words, evident through the line ‘Many memories – sad, gay, tender – danced through Plinio’s mind’, which create a sense of peace within the readers mind when thinking of that setting. Along with the description of the setting, the values and views of the characters within the hometown highly contrast that of the city. Plinio highly values his family and cares not for selfish views, believing his family comes before himself.

This is evident through the line ‘”You will help us very much by going, Pinio.”‘ Plinio gives up his hometown and life all so he can help sustain his family. Plinio also has a high amount strength and perseverance, working as hard as he can for as long as he can. In Melbourne, the antagonist, Tommy, has numerous views and values which contradict Plinio’s. Tommy is highly Xenophobic, believing he is above all foreigners and therefore also being self-centred. Tommy does not value a foreigner as a human, clearly portrayed through his attempted murder of Plinio. Not only through the description of the setting itself, but in the character’s values and views, it is clear Plinio’s hometown is viewed through a much more positive lens than Melbourne.

Different Settings
There are a large umber of limitations set upon Plinio’s hometown, the foremost being their lack of money. This, therefore, leads to lack of technology and food. As most of the men from Plinio’s hometown left in order to find better work, there is a shortage of people for jobs and the there would be longer hours and harder work, evident through the line ‘But Plinio’s pleasures were only fleeting, slight incidents in a life of work.’ Due to this, the people in Plinio’s hometown acknowledge every possession the have and do not take each for for granted as each of them struggle with hard days and tiresome work.

There are a few pleasure within Plinio’s hometown, including a reference to numerous dances and the holiday of the Virgin Mary. In Melbourne, there are no many limitations placed upon the Australians, however, there is a large quantity of discrimination placed upon foreigners. As the city is quite wealthy and it’s inhabitants are alike, there is a large amount which they take for granted and do not have the same communal bonds placed in Plinio’s hometown. The only limitation present within in this text is through the line ‘and in cities they had taken the jobs of Australians.’ This shows the meaning behind the disdain for foreigners and also shows how the Australians are worried about losing all their jobs to foreigners.

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