Setting is inherent in every story regardless of how detailed it is. In the case of “Bears Discover Fire,” by Terry Bisson, it serves a number of significant functions to accomplish the work of the text. The first important aspect of setting in this story is the physical location. The main physical location of “Bears Discover Fire” is in western Kentucky. The second important aspect of setting is the time, which is in October in the early 1990’s. The third most important aspect of setting in this story is the psychological state of the characters. The narrator describes himself as “old-fashioned, while his brother, Wallace, is “new-fashioned.” All of these aspects contribute to the story as a whole. First of all, western-Kentucky is more rural than other states. Generally speaking, rural areas tend to be more conservative, or “old-fashioned” in the way they do things, live their lives, etc. than their urban counterparts. The time being in October is significant because that is about the time when bears go into hibernation. The narrator and Wallace’s psychological states are important because each of them represent the “old” and “new” ways of life in America. In other words, the narrator represents a time in the past when people had to build and fix their every day items, products, and goods, while Wallace represents the modern way of doing things: buying corporate made-products. The bears represent this conundrum in that, like people thousands of years ago, they discovered something to make their life easier, a convenience. However, bears are still at a point when they are still able to appreciate the little things in life like the burning of a fire, each other’s company etc. Humans, on the other hand, have gotten to the point where they are so individualized that they have little consideration for each other, let alone the environment and the organisms (such as bears) living in it. In other words, the corporatizing of everything is only increasing our sense of individualism, which will lead to greater selfishness. Thus, we are taking a dangerous route that requires a greater amount of responsibility and consideration on our part then ever before.
Monday, April 9, 2012
The Axe Effect - Women - Billions
This Axe commercial relates to our discussion on both “environment” and “nature.” In class we decided that an “environment” can be any type of surrounding in general, whether natural or man-made, while “nature” encompasses anything that isn’t man-made. In the case of this commercial, Axe attempts to establish a link between “nature” and their body spray product by advertising it as this sort of sex pheromone that will attract women. This notion is summed up in the tag line at the end of the commercial: “Spray More, Get More: The Axe Effect.” In other words, by having women in lingerie travel hundreds of miles through various natural environments (such as forests, mountains, beaches and oceans), and fighting each other along the way for the man who’s happily spraying himself with two cans of Axe, Axe is essentially saying that women’s affinity for perfume-like products is as “natural” as sex. Therefore, if men use products that help them smell good, such as Axe body spray, then women will “naturally” want to have sex with them.