The primary function of setting in this novel is to accentuate the comfortable and secure upper middle-class lifestyle that Janie Johnson leads. Her suburban Connecticut neighborhood contains a sense of tradition that can make room for growth.
Their's [the Johnson's] was an architecturally mixed neighborhood. Originally a street of substantial older houses with front porches, big attics, and trees that dumped a million leaves every autumn, each side lot had been built upon. Modern ranches and cute little Cape Cods lay between each brown-shingled old place. Her own house was an old one dramatically modernized with sheets of glass where once there had been dark, hidden rooms.
A typical New England autumn becomes the seasonal backdrop replete with mountains of leaves piled in the street gutters waiting to be collected. A Saturday tailgate picnic before a football game and a drive into the country to witness the fall colors contrast with the tumbled colors in Janie's turbulent mind indicated in italic print.
Inside, her mind spun. It was like having a color wheel for a brain. When it slowed down, things were separate, like primary colors: I have a mother and father . . . I have a childhood . . . I was not kidnapped . . . kidnapping means bad people . . . I don't know any bad people . . . therefore I am making this up.
But when her mind speeded up, the colors blended...
(The entire section is 263 words.)