What are the settings usually like in a fable?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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A fable is a very short tale, usually set in a mythical or generic environment, usually containing animal or stereotyped human characters. Because the task of a fable is to make a universal point succinctly, both in characters and setting fables avoid particularization. In this they share more in common with modes of oral traditional narrative than with most literate work.

The settings of the fable are normally general ones such as a village, a farm, the forest, or a city. Rural and wilderness settings are very common, and urban settings less so. The characterization of the setting is quite limited – the forest may be described as big or dark or quiet, but the extensive descriptive passages one might find in a novel or short story are absent.


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