Expert Answers
e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In fiction, setting refers to the time, place and atmosphere in which a story takes place. Books can offer various settings, but for any given moment or episode in a book the action always takes place in a single, particular setting. 

Along with plotcharactertheme, and style, setting is considered one of the fundamental components of fiction.[2] A setting is the time, place and social environment in which a story takes place.

The short novel, Of Mice and Men, opens with an extended description of an idyllic setting which functions as a contrast to the book's situation of hard labor and the stark social realities of its characters:

...On the sandy bank under trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them. Rabbits come out of the brush to sit on the sand in the evening, and the dampflats are covered with the night tracks of 'coons, and with teh spread pads of dogs from the ranches, and wtih the split-wedge tracks of deer that come to drink from the dark. 

As we see here, setting is often effectively created through the use of sensory details. Setting can be defined in many ways however, both directly and indirectly, through the use of specific facts of time and place and by hints and subtle details that suggest a larger world. 

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The setting for Moneyballis largely seen in Oakland of the early 2000s.  This particular time period occupies importance in the book for a couple of reasons.  Initially, the early 2000s and late 1990s were a point in baseball where free agency was reaching unparalleled heights.  Teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were perceived as dominant because they could outspend their competitors with reckless abandon.  Lewis' work focuses on how Oakland, a small market team, was able to remain competitive in such an environment:

...a small group of undervalued professional baseball players and executives, many of whom had been rejected as unfit for the big leagues, who had turned themselves into one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball.

The setting of Oakland at the early 2000s and using flashbacks to other time periods helps to drive the story.  The use of sabermetrics and close statistical analysis is what enabled Oakland to be competitive despite their lacking financial reserves. Employment of such statistical data is what differentiated Oakland from other teams of the time period, and is part of the reason for the book's setting.

sheiljohnson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The setting is where and when the story takes place. Setting is revealed through details and descriptions as the story unfolds. Some authors choose to reveal setting directly. For example, in Romeo and Juliet the chorus states that the story is about two households "in Verona, where we lay our scene." Other authors choose to describe the setting and let readers discover the setting. Author Richard Connell, for example, doesn't state where his story "The Most Dangerous Game" is set. He opens the story with "'Off there to the right--somewhere--is a large island...It's rather a mystery..." As readers make their way through the story they discover more details about the setting.

nomeroo eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hemingway's Cat in the Rain is most likely set in Italy. We know this from the Italian parts of the dialogue, for instance the hotelkeeper remarks, "Si, si, Signora, brutto tempo..." after the wife remarks "Il piove." The hotelkeeper asks the wife if she has lost something with the words: "Ha perduto qualque cosa, Signora?" The wife then responds to his question by saying "Si, il gatto." We also know from the text that the story takes place on the coast, because the couple's room faces the sea. Hope this answers your question.

epollock | Student

The story is set in a bleak, cold, lifeless prairie that had once been a battleground. Heavy tanks have broken up the old pavement on the roads, and bombs have left large craters. The land has not yet regenerated itself, although there are "young trees trying again" (paragraph 1). The opening paragraphs convey a feeling of desperation and hopelessness and an atmosphere of harshness. This is a perfect setting to which one could place life in it, or leave it as desolate as it is. This raises the possibility that it could be about man's understanding of himself through his alienation or his destructive power.

princessita-2-day | Student

Time and Place in which something takes place it is also a surrounding

Read the study guide:
The Portable Phonograph

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question