Physical setting

The short story “Safe Enough” by Lee Child takes place over three years. However, the main events unfold during one summer, while there are also references to Wolfe’s childhood. 

The physical setting is established through the use of contrast between life in the city and in the countryside (or suburbs). City life (p. 47, ll. 1-8) is symbolic of Wolfe’s own lack of a rich inner life. 

The main physical setting consists of the suburbs – or the countryside – the place where Wolfe moves in order to satisfy the work demand and make more money. Wolfe sees it as a “wild frontier” (p. 47, l. 18), something that is too remote for him to truly understand. In contrast with his place of birth, Bronx, the suburbs are described as follows:

Anyone else would have called it the suburbs, but there were broad spaces between dwellings, and no way ...

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