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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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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