The Use of Setting in Ind AFF by Fay Weldon

In “Ind AFF,” author Fay Weldon uses the setting of the story to portray her theme. Weldon links a comparison to the uncertainty of the narrator`s love affair to that of the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand, for both events take place in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. In the beginning of the story, the narrator`s expectations of fine weather are extinguished by the downfall of rain. The narrator explains this by stating, “This is a sad story. It has to be. It rained in Sarajevo, and we had expected fine weather” (12).

The narrator and her lover, a married professor, are on a trip to visit and discuss a historical event which takes place in Yugoslavia. During their discussions, Weldon weaves in historical events that link to the theme of the story. “Two footprints set into pavement which mark the spot where the young assassin Princip stood to shoot the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife” (12), two crimes of passion happen at this location. Weldon draws similarities to Princip`s life changing decision for his country, to that of the narrator`s decision of pursuing her relationship with her professor. Peter, the narrator`s professor, can`t seem to decide whether he wants to be with his wife of twenty-four years or his young student. Once scholar claims, “Peter cares about her, but does not do the necessary things to show that he desires a serious relationship” (Wise). The narrator learns to accept the fact that their passion is nothing more than a mere “inordinate affection.”

As the narrator and her professor discuss Princip`s assassination attempt, the narrator comes to the realization that Princip had a second chance. “Princip saw the archduke`s car parked outside, and went for it. Second chances are rare in life; they must be responded to” (16). Weldon uses this to foreshadow a turning point in the narrator`s feelings abou... 

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