The Assault

Setting and character portrayal, not plot, are essential elements of fiction: The Assault and Chronicle of a Death Foretold 12th Grade

Setting and character portrayal play monumental roles in conveying themes as well as the author’s purpose in literature. In The Assault and Chronicle of Death Foretold, Mulisch and Marquez use these techniques to illustrate the dynamic within groups as well as the impact of society on an individual. In these works of literature, setting and character portrayal help the authors critique society and convey major themes, while plot plays a minimal role, thus proving that setting and character portrayal are more essential in literature.

In both works, the setting plays a critical role in shedding light on the society the novels exist within, and through this major themes are developed. For example, The Assault takes place in Holland, and one of the defining characteristics of that society is its violence. The novel details events such as Anton’s “house burning inside and out” (p 28) and it becomes apparent to the reader that war is a constant there. Violence and war are major part of their culture and its effect is nowhere more prevalent than in Anton’s life. The entire novel focuses on how Anton deals with his post-traumatic stress, and the reader watches as he struggles with processing his emotions and accepting his past. This...

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