Impact of Setting on a Literary Work

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Many people wonder what helps to make a novel/short story/any other work of literature into a timeless classic. To tell the truth, there are various literary devices that go into these pieces that help them becoming induring. One of the most important devices is setting. Setting contributes to the mood of a piece, which can change the whole way you think of a story. Two stories where this is very clear is Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell and Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. While reading these stories, it is very clear setting helps to make them timeless literary works by affecting the mood and in return the plot and theme of the story in ways such as using the setting as a part of the plot to using the setting to project a certain mood.

One place where setting’s impact on a story is evident is The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell. The setting of this story is a tropical jungle area, and the home of the eccentric hunter General Zaroff. Among the obstacles in Zaroff’s hunting grounds are the ocean, quicksand, and the rocks which trapped ships, which gave the island its name of Ship-Trap Island. But, the most important way the setting impacts the novel is in its mood and emotional intensity. At the beginning of the novel, when Rainsford is talking to his friend Whitney, they talk about how spooky the island Ship Trap Island is. When Whitney is describing his feelings about the island he says “ What I felt was a--a mental chill; a sort of sudden dread.".” This helps to set the stage for the suspenseful and eeriness that the book tries to encompass the whole story. Additionally, the fact that Ship Trap Island is Zaroff’s home terrain causes anxiety and a disadvantage to Rainsford. The setting helps to affect the plot of the story by saving Rainsford on several occasion, in specific when Rainsford jumps off the chateau into the ocean when Zaroff is chasing him. Although Zaroff believes that Rainsford has committed suicide, Rainsford...
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