In "Hoot," how does the setting of each chapter impact the plot?

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The book Hoot is fairly simple in terms of setting.  The story takes place in a small Florida town, and within that town a few locations become repeated setting locations.  Those locations are Roy's home, school, the school bus, and the construction site for the new pancake house.  

Chapter 1 takes place on the school bus.  It's an effective location to introduce readers to Roy and Dana.  It also allows the author to have Dana smash Roy's face against a window and see a strange running boy.  

Chapter 2 begins on the bus.  Readers get a repeat of Dana's bullying, but this time Roy punches Dana in the face in order to chase after the boy.  The chase moves onto a golf course, and Roy is hit in the head with a golf ball. The story picks up at school.  The return to school is important because readers are introduced to Beatrice Leap, who is strangely protective of the mysterious running boy.  

Chapter 3 has two settings.  The first is Roy's house. All this does is introduce readers to his parents.  The second location is the construction site.  It will become a key location as the story continues.  In this chapter, it only introduces readers to the fact that there is ongoing vandalism there.

Chapter 4 is mainly at the construction site.  Delinko falls asleep in his squad car, which is important because it allows his car to be vandalized.  

Chapter 5's setting is near the construction site.  The impact on plot at this location is that Roy finally gets to meet the mysterious boy.  His name is Mullet Fingers.  

Chapter 6 is all over the place.  Parts of it are at Roy's home.  Other parts at the police station, Roy's school, the golf course, and the construction site area.  In terms of plot, not much actually happens during this chapter.  The police station is important because Delinko is confined to desk duty for a month.  The construction site is important because Roy is attempting to bring Mullet Fingers some shoes, but instead his bike gets stolen by Beatrice.

Chapter 7's key location is a junkyard.  It's important to the plot because it gives Beatrice the privacy to tell Roy that Mullet Fingers is her brother and that's why she is so protective of him.

Chapter 8 returns to the construction site because readers are told that Curly is trying to secure the site against further vandalism.  He does this by bringing in four Rottweilers.  

Chapter 9 is basically a straight continuation of chapter 8.  Most of the action takes place at the construction site.  All of the dogs have run off because snakes have been found on the property.  The plot result is that Chuck is further enraged and orders bulldozing to begin immediately.  

Chapter 10's setting is en route to the construction site.  Along the way, Beatrice tells Roy a bit more about Mullet Fingers and her family situation.  Once at the construction site, an important plot detail is finally revealed.  Mullet Fingers is trying to stop construction in order to protect some owls.  

Chapter 11 continues at the construction site.  In terms of plot, the most important thing that happens here during this chapter is that Mullet Fingers is not doing well after getting bit by one of the dogs.  He's in such bad shape that Roy and Beatrice are forced to take him to the hospital.  

Chapter 12 is at a new location for the story.  It takes place at the hospital.  Mullet Fingers tells the hospital that he is Roy, and Roy's parents are contacted and come to the hospital.  This forces Mullet Fingers to flee, and Roy is left trying to explain his way out of the situation.  

Chapter 13 is back at Roy's house.  The most important plot point for this chapter is that Roy explains almost the entire situation to his dad.  His dad says that he'll help look into the situation, but readers aren't sure anything will actually come of it.  

Chapter 14 takes place at an old shipwrecked stone-crab boat.  This again is one of those chapters where not much actually happens, but it’s a critical chapter in terms of character development.  Roy and Mullet Fingers spend most of the time talking to each other about the construction and the owls, and the result is that the two boys bond and become closer friends.

Chapter 15 is a chase sequence.  It begins at Dana’s house and ends at the construction site.  Roy successfully lures Dana to the site, and Dana winds up getting arrested and accused of being the vandal.  This removes the Dana conflict for the remainder of the book.

The bulk of chapter 16 takes place at Roy’s house.  He hears about Dana’s arrest.  His father gives him some advice on where to look for legal documentation that can stop the construction project.  It appears that Roy’s father has been giving the matter some serious thought, and it looks like Roy just might wind up being successful in trying to stop the construction.  

Chapter 17 has two key locations.  The first is the police station.  This location is important to the plot because it shows readers that Delinko doesn’t believe that Dana is the vandal.  The other location is the construction site. Curly is told by Chuck that the groundbreaking ceremony will begin on Wednesday.  This will force Beatrice, Roy, and Mullet Fingers to do some fast thinking and acting.  

Chapter 18 begins at the construction site.  The importance of the location is that Delinko finally realizes that there are owls present.  The chapter then moves to school, and readers are told that Roy brainstorms a way to stop the construction.  Finally, back at the junkyard, Mullet Fingers listens to Roy’s plan.  It isn’t clear if Mullet Fingers will work the plan or not.  

Chapter 19 is mostly at the construction site.  Nothing happens other than Chuck and the other important construction people showing up for the groundbreaking ceremony.  

Chapter 20 is at the construction site.  This is the climax of the plot.  The owl evidence is presented.  Chuck is enraged, and the crowd begins to support the heroic efforts of Roy, Beatrice, and Mullet Fingers.  

Chapter 21 is the falling action and takes place at Roy’s house.  It’s during this chapter that Roy gives a reporter the legal documentation that proves that the construction company intentionally overlooked the presence of the owls.  This leads to the conclusion: Chuck is forced to resign and the pancake company attempts to clean up their image by donating a bunch of money.  Roy is glad to be in Florida and readers are presented with a nice tidy wrap-up to the story. 

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Explain how the setting influences the story in the book Hoot.

Hoot is a mystery that also is intended to raise awareness about environmental issues. Therefore the setting (i.e., physical environment) of the story is very important. The story takes place in the real town of Coconut Grove, Florida, where burrowing owls really do live. A new chain restaurant planned to be built in the town on the site where owls live will threaten the owls' survival. The importance of the environment is highlighted to the reader through the protagonist's external and internal journey. He has just moved to Florida from another state and often makes comparisons between the two places. As he becomes more invested in the plight of the burrowing owls and in uncovering the chain restaurant's attempt to cover up their negative environmental impact, his appreciation for his new home grows. He cares deeply about preserving the natural environment of a place he originally did not move to by choice. By its ending, Hoot raises awareness about the importance of the environment and our responsibility to respect our natural setting and protect it from destruction in the modern world.

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Using specific details, explain the impact of the setting on the plot in Hoot.

The setting in Hoot has a tremendous impact on the plot.  The setting of Florida illuminates the aspect of territoriality, which has a large implication on the plot.  Roy is an outsider to Florida, seen in how he really is not able to collect his bearings in the exposition of the novel.  He is an outsider to a world filled with insiders like Dana Matherson, who seek to enforce their own territoriality through abuse and intimidation.  This same parallel can be seen in how the industrialists representing Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House wish to pancake over the empty plot of land where the owls live.  The setting is one where there are definite insiders and outsiders, individuals and forces that possess power and exert it over those who don't have it.  Florida, as a setting with wide terrain of unincorporated land, helps to emphasize this condition of what constitutes an insider and an outsider.  The setting is critical because of the presence of land in Florida.  For example, the plot does not make much sense if the plot was set in urban Chicago or New York City.  It is in the setting of Florida where the plot's dynamics of power can emerge.

Delving into the setting's relationship with the plot, one sees the impact of respect on the development of the plot. At first, Roy is unable to fully appreciate the Florida setting, equating it to bullying and intimidation.  For Roy, Florida is the home of taunts like "cowgirl" and being smashed against a bus window.  He is unable to fully appreciate his setting until he is able to see more of it through his friendship and trust of "Mullet Fingers" and Beatrice.  From this point, the setting's power is transformative. Roy is able to generate a sense of trust in the environment as he learns how to trust Mullet Fingers in navigating its challenges.  The need to respect the environment becomes a larger element in plot and characterization.  Setting impacts plot in a similar manner as respect of the land is what provides the critical transformation in the novel.  The respect for the protected species of the owls is what enables the town to generate outrage towards Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House and their encroachment on the land.  Respect for and in the setting is what enables the plot to develop in the manner.

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