What Are Examples of Story Settings?

One example of setting is the house in William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily.” A decaying Southern manor in a decaying Southern town, the house indicates the main character’s aversion to change. The setting is the location, time, place and social context in which a story takes place. Authors commonly use the setting as a reflection of other themes in a work of literature.

Another example of a story setting is the opening of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Rowling opens the story by focusing on Harry’s thoroughly non-magical life in his aunt and uncle’s house. By setting the opening in the conventional “Muggle” world, Rowling establishes Harry’s background, showing his lack of magical knowledge and the difficult life he endures and making Harry’s transition to the magical setting of Hogwarts more affecting for readers.

In addition to place, setting also encompasses time. The time period in which a story takes place has a significant impact on a story. Literature that is set in the past, for example, offers different concerns and difficulties for characters. A 17th-century setting offers a host of issues, such as disease or political turmoil, which are not found in a 21st-century setting. Conversely, protagonists in a future setting may deal with advanced technological issues that are specific to the era.