setting


setting
/set"ing/, n.
1. the act of a person or thing that sets.
2. the surroundings or environment of anything: The garden was a perfect setting for the house.
3. the mounting in which a jewel is set.
4. a group of all the articles, as of china, silver, or glass, required for setting a table or a single place at a table.
5. the locale or period in which the action of a novel, play, film, etc., takes place: The setting of this story is Verona in the 15th century.
6. Also called stage setting, stage set. the scenery and other properties used in a dramatic performance.
7. Music.
a. a piece of music composed for certain words.
b. a piece of music composed for a particular medium, or arranged for other than the original medium.
[1325-75; ME; see SET, -ING1]
Syn. 2. See environment.

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▪ literary device
      in literature, the location and time frame in which the action of a narrative takes place.

      The makeup and behaviour of fictional characters often depend on their environment quite as much as on their personal characteristics. Setting is of great importance in Émile Zola's novels, for example, because he believed that environment determines character. In some cases the entire action of a novel is determined by the locale in which it is set. Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary (1857) could hardly have been placed in Paris, because the tragic life and death of the heroine have a great deal to do with the circumscriptions of her provincial milieu. It sometimes happens that the main locale of a novel assumes an importance in the reader's imagination comparable to that of the characters. Wessex is a giant, brooding presence in Thomas Hardy's novels. The popularity of Sir Walter Scott's “Waverley” novels is due in part to their evocation of a romanticized Scotland. Setting may be the prime consideration of some readers, who can be drawn to Joseph Conrad because he depicts life at sea or in the East Indies; they may be less interested in the complexity of human relationships that he presents.

      The setting of a novel may be an actual city or region made greater than life, as in James Joyce's characterization of Dublin. But settings may also be completely the work of an author's imagination: in Vladimir Nabokov's Ada (1969), for example, there is an entirely new space-time continuum, and in The Lord of the Rings (1954–55) J.R.R. Tolkien created an “alternative world” in his Middle Earth.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Setting — Set ting, n. 1. The act of one who, or that which, sets; as, the setting of type, or of gems; the setting of the sun; the setting (hardening) of moist plaster of Paris; the setting (set) of a current. [1913 Webster] 2. The act of marking the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Setting — may refer to: * A place where something is set * Set construction in theatrical scenery * Setting (fiction) in literature * In jewelry, when a diamond or gem is set into a frame or bed, see also stonesetting * Campaign setting in role playing… …   Wikipedia

  • setting — [set′iŋ] n. 1. the act of one that sets 2. the position or adjustment of something, as a dial, that has been set 3. a thing in or upon which something is set; specif., the backing for a gem or gems, or the style or shape of this [a marquise… …   English World dictionary

  • Setting — (englisch für ‚Anordnung‘, ‚Schauplatz‘) bezeichnet in Literatur, Theater und Film den Schauplatz oder Ort der Handlung in der Psychologie die spezifische Gestaltung der Therapieumstände, siehe Setting (Psychologie) In der Terminologie Timothy… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • setting — index atmosphere, case (set of circumstances), posture (situation), scene, site, vicinity Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • setting-up — UK US adjective [before noun] UK ► SETUP(Cf. ↑setup) adjective ► relating to an amount paid to a financial organization when putting money into an investment fund for the first time: setting up charge/costs/fee »National Mutual s Sipp has a… …   Financial and business terms

  • setting — late 14c., fact or action of being set or setting, from SET (Cf. set) (v.). Ref. to mounts for jewels, etc. is from 1815; meaning background, history, environment is attested from 1841 …   Etymology dictionary

  • setting — setting; un·setting; …   English syllables

  • setting — [n] scene, background ambience, backdrop, context, distance, environment, frame, framework, horizon, jungle, locale, location, mise en scène, mounting, perspective, set, shade, shadow, site, stage set, stage setting, surroundings; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • setting — ► NOUN 1) the way or place in which something is set. 2) a piece of metal in which a precious stone or gem is fixed to form a piece of jewellery. 3) a piece of vocal or choral music composed for particular words. 4) (also place setting) a… …   English terms dictionary

  • setting — *background, environment, milieu, mise en scène, backdrop …   New Dictionary of Synonyms


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