We speak student! Power in Literature: Setting a la Shmoop. Okay so let’s shift a little bit and talk about setting. Another very important tool used by authors. What is setting? Setting is basically everything. It’s the backdrop of the story. That can be the historical context, both time and place, it can be the micro setting meaning as opposed to
the macro setting which is the big setting of you know, 1920’s New York it can be the micro setting: Gatsby’s house. The smaller location where something takes place. And setting can also be kind of a mental
state if there’s a story that takes place completely in someone’s mind that is the setting like their chronic
mind or whatever the case is but yes setting is basically the context and the
backdrop for the story How should we assess the story or setting in its context? One of the main things we learn from
the Great Gatsby about the nineteen twenties is that alcohol was illegal and it was everywhere and we kind of see this prohibition era, you know, crazy party life happening
and this is something that you know maybe we didn’t learn about in seventh or eighth grade history, and then we come in we read this book for the first time in ninth grade, and we’re like, “wait, what’s the big deal these people are all over 21?” “Oh! Oh alcohol was illegal,” and then we learn this whole new historical concept so you don’t just have to know about the literature you have to know about the history too and you can’t have one without the other
so historical setting is hugely important in all literature. How does setting convey the author’s message? We have kind of the macro setting again that means the bigger backdrop setting. In the Hunger Games, which is post-apocalyptic North America. “Come with me if you want to live.” we’re in the same place that we live
right now but you know however many years in the
future once there’s been a clear war and you know everything’s about to, you know what But we also have these micro settings
for example the Capitol everyone’s dressed up to the nines and
they have created outfits and makeup all this insane stuff
and then you have District 13 where everything is just dreary, dark the reason that District 13 is like that is because it’s a mining town so there happened to be mines in
District 13 and that dictates what the setting it so those are two very distinct micro settings within one larger macro setting. Got it, makes sense. So apply the same logic to a couple of other books: Catcher in the
Rye, Twilight, maybe To Kill a Mockingbird Yeah, sure so Catcher in the Rye, New York City is
basically a character in the story, everything that
happens to Holden happens because he’s in New York City we think about Central Park and just kind of him being on
buses and public transportation this isn’t stuff that necessarily happens in other locations sometimes the setting can be so powerful that it becomes a character
in itself, you mentioned Twilight Forks, Washington it takes place up there
because it’s dark there’s no sun the vampires can live
without being exposed you know imagine if it had taken place in LA, it would’ve ended two pages in To Kill a Mockingbird takes place you
know in pre-civil rights America and we kind of see this tension where Scout like sees what’s happening and African Americans are treated
terribly and she kinda doesn’t get it but you know we get to see into
the heart of exactly what was going on before that’ll happen. Do authors use setting to tell their story? The authors writing what they know it
maybe comes a little bit more naturally and they’re not necessarily having think about it that hard, if
you’re writing something that is a vampire, dystopian, futuristic whatever if you’re writing something that you don’t know well or something that doesn’t exist fantasy stories that’s when you
you have to really become a world builder people like Tolkien or JK Rowling like these people had to create a world
from scratch and those are the people that have to be very focused on setting. Okay, makes a ton of sense. What is setting? How should we assess the story/setting in its context? How does setting convey the author’s message? Do authors use setting to tell their
story? “Come with me if you want to live”

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. I loved the format of your vedio especially the animation and stuffs if feels like nostalgic, like experiencing childhood again

    I loved it…..

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