Setting (narrative)  

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Capriccio with the Colosseum (1743-44) - Bernardo Bellotto, a type of landscape painting that places particular works of architecture in an unusual setting.
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Capriccio with the Colosseum (1743-44) - Bernardo Bellotto, a type of landscape painting that places particular works of architecture in an unusual setting.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In works of narrative (especially fictional), the setting includes the historical moment in time and geographic location in which a story takes place, and helps initiate the main backdrop and mood for a story. Setting has been referred to as story world or milieu to include a context (especially society) beyond the immediate surroundings of the story. Elements of setting may include culture, historical period, geography, and hour. Along with plot, character, theme, and style, setting is considered one of the fundamental components of fiction.

Broadly speaking, the setting provides the main backdrop for the story and often sets the overall tone for it as well. For example, many of William Faulkner's novels are set in the early 20th Century in Yoknapatawpha County, a fictional county in the American South. More specifically, the term "setting" can also refer to the time or location of a single scene in a larger story. In John Cheever's short story "The Swimmer", for example, the story's protagonist visits various swimming pools in his neighborhood with each pool serving as its own unique setting.

Genre specifics

  • In a theatrical production, the term "setting" can also refer to the actual scenery itself.
  • In the literature associated with role-playing games, the term "setting" often refers to a specific campaign setting, meaning the fantasy world or other milieu in which a series of related game adventures occur
  • also includes the "mood" of a story
  • In literature, setting may refer to the geographic location, place of action, time of day, season, historical period, or the characters' customs.

Types of Settings

Settings may take various forms:

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Setting (narrative)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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