How does the setting add to the conflict of the story Woodsong by Gary Paulsen?

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Woodsong by Gary Paulsen centers itself in two main locations.  Paulsen begins the first part of the book by reflecting on his life in northern Minnesota.  The rest of the novel takes place in Alaska.  Specifically, it follows Paulsen's 17-day account of his Iditarod competition.  

Knowing that the book is taking place in Alaska immediately alerts the reader to a book that is likely to be about difficult wilderness situations.  This, coupled with the knowledge that Paulsen is writing about one of the most difficult race competitions in the world, lets the reader know that conflicts will arise.  The race itself goes through the Alaskan wilderness and is run solo, with just the musher and his team.  That means the conflicts of the story are more than likely to be man vs. self and man vs. nature than man vs. man.

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