Why is the setting of "A Christmas Memory" important?

2 Answers

Top Answer

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The story’s setting is a morning in late November, sometime in the 1930s.  We know this because the story was published in 1956 and said to have taken place “more than twenty years ago” (p. 1).  The story also takes place in “a spreading old house in a country town” (p. 1).  The setting is important because it is twenty years before when the writer writes it, and therefore a memory.  It is also important because it is almost Christmas.

The narrator says of his older cousin that they “are each other's best friend.”  She is “still a child” as she remembers her childhood, calling him Buddy.

It's always the same: a morning arrives in November, and my friend, as though officially inaugurating the Christmas time of year that exhilarates her imagination and fuels the blaze of her heart, announces: "It's fruitcake weather!” (p. 2)

The setting is also important because the narrator is remembering a simpler time, and a time in his life when he was happy.  Now, as an adult, he remembers it fondly.