87 pages • 2 hours readWatt Key
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Alabama Moon comes alive in its macro-setting of a rural, thickly forested region in the eighties, before updated and advanced technology existed that would have made Moon easier to find and catch (e.g., personal GPS trackers and smartphones). Moon’s ability to disappear into the woods and live undetected for lengths of time with the survival skills Pa taught him is most logical in the dense Alabama forests where memorizing terrain is complicated for the most seasoned of explorers.
The many micro-settings of Alabama Moon help to characterize Moon. Initially he is comforted by and comfortable within the shelter and the forest where Pap raised him. Details of other micro-settings, like the shelves of goods at Mr. Abroscotto’s store, Pinson’s bunk room, and the soft mattress at Hal’s trailer, indirectly show Moon’s changing feelings via his reaction to them. He wants sugar at the store but is content without it; Pinson’s close quarters and inability to leave make him ill; he admits that a mattress and house are safe and comfortable.
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The forests serve as characters themselves by working as ally archetypes to Moon. They hide and protect him, supply his food and necessities, and offer sounds and other sensory fulfillment for him.
By Watt Key