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What is the setting, tone, moral/lesson, theme, and imagery in “If I Forget Thee, O...

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chelly5 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM via web

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What is the setting, tone, moral/lesson, theme, and imagery in “If I Forget Thee, O Earth”?

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gpane | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted December 1, 2012 at 7:31 PM (Answer #1)

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The setting is a human colony on the Moon, some time in the future after a nuclear holocaust on earth. This colony contains the only human survivors of the human race.The imagery is mainly of the desolate splendour of this setting, the mountains and sky. The moral is never to forget one's roots - in this case amplified on a gigantic scale; the survivors of the human race must never forget where they came from, and aim to return. This is why the trip outside is a pilgrimage, when Mervin's dad takes him to view the earth which appears beautiful but still deadly in the aftermath of the nuclear holocaust. This is the first time that Mervin sees his original home and he is filled with sadness over the loss, but at the same time he instinctively realises that one day, when at last it's safe to go back, his descendants will do so. The tone is sad and elegiac, but retains a glimmer of hope.

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