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Written by Aleksei Marchyn
Weather plays a very important role when used as a background for the plot. In the story the narrator starts one of his days by leaving his renting room for inability to pay for it, and so he has no place to go. The weather this morning is not very promising either: “The streets were glistening from the rain which had fallen in the early morning. The sky hung damp and heavy over the town, and there was no glint of sunlight visible. I wondered what the day would bring forth?” At some point, such a morning does not predict anything good. His purposeless wanderings around the town along with gloomy weather give an impression of hopelessness and despair. And as foreshadowed he ends the day by sleeping on wet ground in the forest.
The image of the quay
The narrator very often comes to the quay, its look makes him peaceful and calm, “the sea rocked in the sunshine”, “there was bustle and movement everywhere, shrieking steam-whistles, quay porters with cases on their shoulders, lively "shanties" coming from the prams”. All this atmosphere has an inexplicable effect on the narrator, he watches into the sea and becomes unworried. The image of the sea also is important, as in the very end he decides to leave on one of the ships as a sailor, so it seems that the sea has lured him.
The author does not choose winter a time of the hero’s misfortunes by accident, it adds additional depressive tone to the story - “a raw, wet winter, almost without snow. A foggy, dark, and everlasting night, without a single blast of fresh wind the whole week through. The gas was lighted almost all the day in the streets, and yet people jostled one another in the fog.” Constant darkness, fog, moisture, dampness – this all creates an unbearable atmosphere, plus narrator ‘s constant starving and misfortunes makes it even worse for him.
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