Highlights from “The Importance of Setting” task

Here are some useful generalizations that you wrote in the task last October 12th. Read and ponder, then please complete the reflection, below.

  • Not only does Prospero have control over the island and nature, he also exerts his power with Ariel, and reveals the characters’ history and the play’s context. – Fon
  • Without the setting, conflicts would not have emerged between the characters and the audience would not have seen the hunger for power and survival of these characters. – Gaem
  • Setting can illustrate the traits and history of a character, because a character is shaped according to their environment. – Naam
  • Setting makes characters act the way they act. – Daven
  • In “The Tempest,” setting is the key in driving the motivations of characters which can shape and change their behaviors. – Pond
  • Without setting, it would be as if the story is floating by itself without context. – Chelsea
  • The island where the play takes place is very important to the plot because it gave Prospero a significant advantage over the King of Naples and his party. – Charlotte
  • Setting helps build characters. – Prim
  • What setting does is it expresses a great ideal or image of the way each society is forced to act. Setting allows the reader to have the ability to explore human behavior in various situations. – Dear
  • Different settings means having different opportunities challenges, and motives for both the theme and character. – Pat
  • Setting shapes character. – Volk
  • Settings, like Verona, can symbolize the limitations and control of people’s thoughts. – Fuji
  • We could see that setting led to an encounter, and therefore carried out the themes of fate, love, and decisions. – Miriam
  • Authors find that setting does not only give the audience time and place, but there is a hidden allegory within each setting. – Lee


Read the statements above and write a short reflection with this routine: “I used to think…but now I think…”

Please post your reflection as a comment to this post, by October 16th at 9.00 pm BKK time.

Author: alavina

Cognitive Coach and author. I simplify personal power so you can use mental resources and find pathways to your goals, be more productive and feel in control every day.

13 thoughts

  1. I used to think that setting is there just to complete the structure of a literary work, but now I think that the purpose of setting is to portray the limitations of a particular society, and how each characters are shaped within their environment.

  2. I used to think that setting is there to just determine the time and place, giving more information about the scenes to the audience – but now I think that there are much deeper meanings to each setting that the author chooses. Settings doesn’t only determine the time and place, but it reflects the characters’ choices and their personalities.

  3. I used to think that setting was just the location and time period of where the story takes place, but now I think that setting is a crucial part of the structure of the literary work and has a major effect on the overall plot and how the audience views the characters and their actions.

  4. I used to think that setting was just another literary term that was significant, but I didn’t think it was to the point that it had “hidden allegory” that is significant to the plot. Now I think that a story cannot take place without a setting, not only because it is the time and location, but also because it shapes characters and foreshadows plot events.

  5. I used to think setting was just background information provided for better understanding of the literature’s context, but now I think the setting is a limitation that shapes the context of the literature, thus shaping conflicts, themes, shapes and other elements relevant to the literature.

  6. I used to think setting was just a decoration, an extra element that illustrates the time and place of a literature. That should be the major significance, but now I think that setting can be the main attraction for some literature. Based on the author’s choice, setting can shape the overall plot, theme, or character. A story without a setting would be like a glass of warm water without ice, the water is there but without the ice, it’s just plain and ordinary.

  7. I used to think setting is only for support for the story and characters, but now I think setting is really important and is the skeleton of the story. Setting shapes the narrative arc and the resolution of the story. Setting affects the characters and the plot greatly.

  8. I used to think that settings were just there to embellish the plot with sceneries, but now a new concept of setting has appeared in my mind. I now believe that settings weren’t just there to decorate the story with ornaments, but is there in order to make the story’s plot transpose and drift with drama and suspense. Thus, setting is an ideal thing that is essential and necessary in order to make literature flow continuously and to be filled with tension.

  9. I used to think that setting determines how the characters react and how the story turns out to be. I thought that setting provides a condition where it forces humans to act in a certain behavior or way. I also used to think that setting mainly provides time and the place where the characters can interact with each other based on the given setting. Now, I think that settings could help us explore more on human behavior and how they would act in different setting. I also think that setting could help us judge the characters based on the culture in the setting.

  10. I used to think settings for stories are the times and places. They are just parts of the requirement and are there just to allow the author to continue on with the plot. It does not provide any significance towards the stories and characters. But now I think setting can have a major impact on the readers. Settings can motivate, change, or develop the characters in ways we cannot think of. They are allowing readers to visualize the story clearly and making the readers feel that they are part of the story.

  11. I used to think that setting was just another normal element or component that builds upon the greatness of a literary work, in other words, setting is like the base (setting) of a tree that allows individuals to support oneself upon climbing up to the peak of the tree (literary work). But now I think that setting worths more than individuals view it, considering that setting is one of the author’s choices. This shows that setting is significant and there are hidden meaning behind the setting(s) of each literary work, take Tim Burton’s setting (seasons) as an example.

  12. I used to think that setting just means where the story took place, e.g. the good old beautiful palaces in fairy tales, the scary forest that made me scared at night. But now I think that settings can represent the depths of the author’s choices and reflect the potential tone of the text. For example, Northrop Frye’s archetype of the four seasons representing: comedy, romance, tragedy and satire. Settings does not only give clues for the audience (predominantly archetypal critics rather than “New Critics”) to infer about the context of the literary work, but it also allows characterisation and the narrative arc to happen, which also leads to the text of the work, not just the context.

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