Discuss Bois Sauvage from Salvage the Bones and its deprivations--the poverty, unemployment and housing. How does the area shape the people, especially young people, who live there for better and for worse?

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The setting of Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones contributes greatly to the empathy that is built between the reader and the speaker, Esch. For instance, the reader learns in the first chapter that Esch's family has suffered and still suffers from poverty. Esch's mother died in childbirth due to inadequate healthcare; Esch's father is an alcoholic who has no opportunity for rehabilitation; Esch is sexually active with Manny without using protection; the family lives off of canned goods. All of these point to an archetypal poor family and community at large.

The very title itself indicates the challenging disrepair that is already present in Esch's hometown of Bois Sauvage and introduces the motif of salvaging (rescuing from loss, especially as it relates to the sea) before any destruction from Hurricane Katrina comes to the town. This choice on Ward's part to create an impoverished setting makes the ultimate destruction of the hurricane all the more tragic. There is, however, a small glimpse...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 719 words.)

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