Discussion Topic

The setting and time period of Carl Hiaasen's Hoot


Hoot is set in the contemporary town of Coconut Cove, Florida. The story unfolds in the early 2000s, reflecting modern issues and environmental themes pertinent to that time period.

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Where is the setting in Carl Hiaasen's Hoot?

Carl Hiassen is well known for his novels set in South Florida. One of these novels, Hoot, is set in Coconut Grove, a neighborhood in Miami. The readers meet Roy Eberhardt in the first chapter of the book. Roy has recently moved to Florida and attends Trace Middle School in Miami. He has told his classmates he is from Montana, though he was actually born in Detroit, Michigan. Roy did not want to move to Florida because he loved Montana's scenic beauty. Roy loved the mountains and snow, impossible to find in South Florida. However, his father works for the government, and Roy has become accustomed to moving.

South Florida is full of concrete and buildings, unlike Montana. The kids who skateboard hang out at malls and parking lots. This does not appeal to Roy, who looks forward to seeing the natural beauty of the Everglades. During the course of the story, Roy becomes involved with the Running Boy and Mullet Fingers. He also helps to stop the illegal clearing of land for another one of Mother Paula's All-American Pancake Houses, as a species of protected owls live on the site.

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Where is the setting in Carl Hiaasen's Hoot?

Coconut Grove, Florida is the base setting for Hoot by Carl Hiassen.  Roy has recently moved to Coconut Grove from Montana, as this is something he has endured quite often.  Trace Middle School is where he attends school.  The setting of Florida allows Hiassen the opportunity to explore the demands of business growth on the environment and examine the tension that exists between both.  Being a native of Florida, the setting allows Hiassen the opportunity to examine where Florida is now as opposed to where it was and how this shift has caused challenges to the natural setting of wildlife and ecological niches, of which is a major presence in the book.

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What is the time setting of Hoot by Carl Hiaasen?

The simple answer to this question is that Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen, is set in the present day

If we wish to be more specific, we can say that since Hoot was published in 2002, it is set in the present time of which it was written and published (2002). The objects, events, and themes of the novel are still very relevant to our own present day. Therefore, the easiest answer to this question would be that Hoot takes place during present times.   

There are many clues throughout the story that let readers know the novel is set in the present day. A few of these clues include:

1) The existence of cable and television:

Heatedly he banged a mayonnaise smeared fist on the side of the television console, to no avail. The cable had gone out in the middle of a Mother Paula's commercial!  

2) Use of modern colloquial language and slang:

"Hey, you moon somebody and that's it. You get your butt kicked"

"I don't blame you for being p.o.'ed," Roy said. 

3) Use/ existence of computers, Internet, Google, and video games:

The Eberhardts owned a home computer, which Roy was allowed to use for homework assignments and for playing video snowboard games. He was good at browsing the Internet, so with no difficulty he was able to Google up plenty of information about the burrowing owl.

Through the usage and placement of modern language and objects, Carl Hiaasen makes the novel's present day setting easy to detect.

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