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What is the setting of Charles by Shirley Jackson?

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zeus8465 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 28, 2010 at 1:22 AM via web

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What is the setting of Charles by Shirley Jackson?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 28, 2010 at 1:36 AM (Answer #1)

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The author never specifically says where or when this story is set.

However, it seems likely that it is set in the United States (the names, the general attitudes, the existence of the PTA all point to that).  It also seems likely that it is set sometime in the 1950s (you have teachers hitting kids and washing their mouths out with soap and no one thinks it is strange).

Almost all of the story happens at the family dinner table.  So I guess that is the physical setting for the majority of the story.

Overall, the setting is kept pretty vague.  This is probably so that we get the feeling that it could be happening anywhere -- city, country, rich area, poor area, etc.

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