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Literature

What is setting? Setting = The importance of objects, place, and time (physical

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What is setting?
Setting = The importance of objects, place, and time (physical location is important, but there are other ways to consider setting.)
There are three types of settings.
To reveal or highlight qualities of characters, authors sometimes include many details about objects.
“The Things They Carried”—the lives of the characters depend on the countless objects they must carry on their military missions.
“A Rose for Emily”—a random strand of hair illustrates Emily’s dark behavior.
“Cathedral”—a television set playing a program about a cathedral serves as a catalyst for Bub and Robert’s bonding and Bub’s transformation.
Place, either manufactured or natural, is important.
Manufactured = Houses, streets, public parks, park benches, churches, etc.
“The Necklace”—the loss of a comfortable home brings out the best in the major character by causing her to adjust to her economic reversal.
Without the island in Lost, the series as we know it couldn’t exist.
The store in “A & P” helps to accentuate the conflict between the three bikini-clad girls and Lengel.
Time: Cultural and Historical circumstances are often important in literature.
The broad cultural setting of “The Lottery” is built on the primitive belief despite the sophistication of our own modern and scientific age.
The conservative vibe of the 1950s of “A & P” helps to explain why the girls walking into a small store would cause such a ruckus.
Symbol
Here is an easy way to define symbol: “It is what it is and something more.” There are conventional symbols that many are familiar with such as a red rose symbolizing love or a white dove symbolizing purity or peace. When identifying a symbol in literature or film, context is important. A literary or contextual symbol can be a setting, a character, action, object, name, or anything else in a specific work that maintains its literal significance while suggesting other meanings. For example, the white whale in Melville’s Moby Dick takes on multiple symbolic meanings in the work, but these meanings do not automatically carry over into other stories about whales.
Film: Rhinos (2012)
Director: Shimmy Marcus
Length: 17 min
Synopsis: Ingrid and Thomas are thrown together by circumstance. Despite a language barrier, they learn more about each other than they thought possible.
PROMPT: Write a response (minimum one-page) in which you explain how the director’s use of setting and/or symbolism creates a bond between the two main characters even though a language barrier exists between them. In your response, mention specific examples of setting and/or symbolism and explain how they contribute to the young couple’s relationship.

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