On Duror's recommendation, Lady Runcie-Campbell houses the cone-gathers in a small hut in the woods that is not fit for human habitation.
Originally she suggested they stay in the much more appropriate beach hut, but she significantly gives in to Duror’s persuasion.
The ‘tiny hut’ serves to highlight the way Calum especially is regarded as an animal and treated like one.
However, despite its primitive conditions, the hut has a
tranquillity which Duror envies and it is described as irradiating light, while Duror lurks in the darkness.
Despite the fact that Duror’s house offers him
warmth after a chilly evening, he is tormented further when he crosses the threshold. So powerful are the visions in his mind that he thinks he is entering the
miserable hut of the cone-gatherers.
This helps to establish the parallel that is drawn between Peggy, Duror’s obese wife, and Calum. Duror therefore has no home, no place of comfort. Also, he no longer has any attachment to the large elm tree outside the house that used to soothe him and help him endure.
In allowing his hatred to grow, Duror
was betraying it –
He could not bear to look at the tall tree.
The settings are used to highlight the class divisions in the novel. Lady Runcie-Campbell’s home therefore, is very grand and imposing. From his position high up in the trees Neil can see
the chimneys of the mansion behind its private fence of giant silver firs.
The cone-gatherers are not allowed to work near this
private fence, which emphasises the barriers within this society. Duror must go in through the servants’ entrance and he speaks with the cook-housekeeper, who is preparing
the silver tray for the family’s morning coffee.
There is a clear contrast here between the lives of the Runcie-Campbells and that of the
sub-humans picking cones on the estate.
Lendrick is the local village. Whilst the villagers are friendly to those who live there, they are distrustful of outsiders.
When two newcomers who are conscientious objectors enter the village pub, Neil finds himself taking part in the ostracism because he wants to be accepted himself by the community.
Clearly Lendrick has not moved with the times and still clings to outdated values which prove to be obstacles for some of its inhabitants.