What is a "physical setting" in a novel, in particular, three physical examples of setting in Animal Farm?Thank you!

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Setting is one of the major elements of a work of literature (some other major elements include character, tone, mood, conflict, symbolism). Setting is defined as the time, place, circumstances, and physical details in which a story occurs. For instance, you could write as story about the year 2018 and place it in Boston, MA, in the downtown shopping district in summer, with a physical detail of horse drawn carriages. Then you could write another story about the year 2020 and place it in Boston, MA, in the downtown shopping district again but in December, not summer, with a physical detail being a great Christmas Tree in the Town Square.

For your assignment, "three physical examples of a setting" (which admittedly is confusing wording), you will pick three instances of time, place, circumstance and physical detail. These will be your three settings. For example, Chapter 1, page 1 of Animal Farm develops a setting that is as follows: Time: night: "hen-houses for the night." Place: Manor Farm farmyard: "hen-houses...across the yard." Circumstances: closing up for the end of the day: "made his way to bed." Physical detail: lantern: "ring of light...dancing from side to side." There are a number of different settings in Animal Farm, which would be wherever in the text the story continues in a different location. Pick three and analyze them the way we've just analyzed this one and you'll be all set (no pun intended)! [You're welcome!]

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