Flight Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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What is the importance of setting in the story "Flight" by John Steinbeck?

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Pepe, the protagonist, in “Flight” by John Steinbeck is a boy in a young man’s body.  Lazy, listless, and unhappy—Pepe waits for the big event that will change his life.  The only valuable possession that Pepe owns comes from his dead father:  a knife.  When he is told to go to town to get medicine, Pepe is throwing the knife. This seemingly innocent event prepares the reader for Pepe’s killing a man just because he calls him names.

There are three setting for the story: the Torres ranch; Monterrey, California; and the mountains. Pepe finds no comfort in any of these places.

  • In Monterrey, he is considered just another Mexican boy who is less than human.  However, to Pepe this errand establishes him as a man.  When he is insulted, Pepe feels it is necessary to retaliate and, unfortunately, kills a man. 
  • The second setting is the home of his family . At the farm,  his mother thinks that he is lazy and shiftless. Pepe wants to be considered the man of the family.  Yet, he does...

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