Setting

Physical setting

The main narrative of the short story “Last Bridge Burned” by Ron Rash takes place over the course of one night in North Carolina. The main events take place at a gas station and a bus station two years before the time of the narration. At the time of the narration, the main character, Carlyle, recalls the events because of a song he hears on the radio. 

The physical setting is relevant because of Carlyle’s lifestyle choices. The gas station is somewhat isolated from the city, just as Carlyle lives an isolated life in a “one bed” (l. 64) house with “nail holes in the walls where pictures once hung” (ll. 152-153). The fact that Carlyle watches the interstate from afar symbolizes his outsider status: “…watch headlights pass below on the in...

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