What is the setting of the story "The Dinner Party" by Mona Gardner?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The setting for Mona Gardner's short story "The Dinner Party" is quite simple, which is perfectly appropriate to this story. The most important element of the setting is announced boldly in the first sentence:

The country is India.

This is an important aspect of the setting, because India is a place both used to cobras but also aware of how deadly they can be. A colonial official and his wife are hosting a dinner party with many distinguished guests in a spacious dining room around a large table, which is an important element in the story. The atmosphere is jocular and festive. The only other details about the setting are the marble floor, the open rafters, and the "wide glass doors opening onto a veranda."

Though the setting for this story is not elaborate or complex, each element of the setting is perfectly suited to the plot and theme of this short tale.