Examine the setting's significance in October Sky.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The original question had to be edited.  Coalwood is highly significant to the development of the narrative.  Coalwood is the small town prototype in America of the 1950s.  Either one plays football, the town sport, or one goes to work in the coal mines of the town.  For young men of the town in this time, there are no other paths. While Homer's brother is a football prospect, Homer, himself, does not like football and does not wish to follow the footsteps of his father in working at the coal mines.  His desire to leave Coalwood is as much motivation for his rocket building than anything else.  In this, one sees how significant the setting of the narrative is for Homer.  It provides the motivation for him to escape.  The setting is what helps to fuel his love for science, his desire to build rockets, and construct a vision of his future that defies the traditional countours of what Coalwood has to offer.  It is here in which the setting operates as important and relevant to the narrative of the plot.  It is a motivating force that is as significant as any character could be in terms of what Coalwood means for Homer.