The Street- Setting Analysis

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The Street
In the opening of Ann Petry’s 1946 novel, The Street, the author establishes the relationship between Lutie Johnson and the “urban setting”. Through very descriptive writing, the reader is able to see the characteristics of the wind and understand why Lutie Johnson is out in the wind looking for a place to stay. Petry’s strong use of literary elements helps connect the conflict between the wind and Lutie Johnson.

One of Petry’s strongest literary element in The Street is her use of personification. She gives the wind very distinctive qualities, describing its “violent assault” on the pedestrians and city. The wind can “find” things, “fingering” its way throughout the city, discouraging anybody who tried to endure it. The wind is mostly successful–with the exception of Lutie Johnson. Lutie Johnson is caught by the wind, but never gives up. She keeps on trudging through the powerful wind, no matter how much it tries to stop her.

Lutie Johnson is strong–stronger than the wind. She is looking for a place to stay, and the wind isn’t stopping her. She is hard headed and persistent, able to overcome the same wind that has kept many from going out with her. Lutie Johnson never turns back, waiting to go out another day, she endures the worst and finds what she has been looking for– “three rooms”– a place for her and her family to stay.

While the journey was “discouraging” and it may have been easier to turn back to try again another day, Lutie Johnson did no such thing. The author describes a difficult time in Lutie’s life where she made the sacrifice to endure such terrible conditions outside opposed to staying home with the warmth of her family.

Compared to the urban setting, Lutie is stronger. Unlike the papers and trash blowing away in the wind, Luite stays true to where she is going and doesn’t give up. When most of the city stayed inside and the garbage cans rattled from the “violent assault” Lutie kept going, never stopping. An important...
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