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Why does Wells begin his novel with a description of the history and geography in...

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rena388 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2008 at 5:28 AM via web

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Why does Wells begin his novel with a description of the history and geography in "The Country of the Blind?"

i know its to emphasise how long ago the book was written and to set the scene. Is there anything else?

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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted November 7, 2008 at 8:48 PM (Answer #1)

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In this way Wells gains credibility to his quite "tall" folk tale. The reader asks himself if such a place really existed after all and entertains the possibility that this far-fetched story might have indeed happened. This conjecture is reinforced by allusion to a series of violent volcanic eruptions, which really did occur along the Andes mountain chain (see reference).

In another way, the exotisim and isolation of the site create a fairy-tale "otherworldness," adding to the interest of the tale. There is a "Once upon a time..." tone of magic and wonder, luring the reader into the main story line.

Note that Wells presents his tale as a story within a story, givng at first the reasons for the isolation of the blind community, then explaining how, many years later, the protagonist Nunez ends up among such a people. 

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