In We All Fall Down the author creates a setting which is different to those in most of his other writings for young adults. He delineates as the locale the small suburban Burnside, a well-kept, upper-middle-class residential area at Cape Cod with "neat houses, with shutters and rose arbors, birdbaths on front lawns, and the lawns carefully manicured."
This area and especially Arbor Lane, the street on which the family of the protagonist lives, radiate an atmosphere of quietness, friendliness, and safety: "People waving hello to each other, evening barbecues in the backyards and the aroma of burning charcoal or wood smoke from chimneys. A neighborhood of station wagons and vans, family cars."
This kind of literary setting situated in contemporary times serves as a means to enhance Cormier's central theme by establishing a very obvious contradiction between setting and subject matter. It is this choice of setting which provokes interest and attention to what happens throughout the plot of the novel.
(The entire section is 162 words.)