Physical setting

The short story “Parole” by Mathieu Cailler takes place in Des Moines, Iowa. The reference to carving pumpkins on the porch hints that the events most likely take place around Halloween.

More importantly, the son’s house and possessions now represent the narrator’s only means of connecting with him. In many ways, the house is a reflection of the son and his personality, which is why the narrator looks around, trying to find out more about the kind of man Louis was. 

The narrator also tries to establish a connection with his son through the house: “I made it, finally, to his home, my shoes aligned on the carpeting where his feet very well could have stood weeks prior.” This moment foreshadows the events at the end of the story, when...

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