Importance of a Setting in a Short Story

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The Importance of Setting Setting is the psychological time or place in a story. Setting plays an important role in the success of stories. Three examples of this importance can be explained through “To Build a Fire” by Jack London and “The Cask of the Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe and “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty. The settings used in these stories set the reader’s mood. A good writer’s depiction of setting puts the reader right into the story. “To Build a Fire” by Jack London takes place on a trail in the Yukon. This setting is vital to the story because nature, the cold and the snow become the the main character’s worst enemy. Nature is flatly indifferent to mankind’s survival. The cold will not change because of man nor does it care about human existence. The temperature in this story is set at a frigid seventy-five degrees below zero. The main character is a man who is walking a trail by himself trying to make it to a camp near Henderson Creek where other men are staying. He was warned not to go out into the cold, especially alone, if it is fifty degrees below zero or more. The man is ignorant to reality. His only companion is a dog who is almost smarter than the man. The dog knows what he must do to survive and is the only one who succeeds. The man has to build a fire in order to dry his boot that had gotten wet. At one point in the story, the man wants to gut the dog and put his hands inside the carcass for warmth. The last fire that the man builds is what kills him. The fire is put out by snow that has fallen down from a pine tree branch. The man freezes to death. He dies with dignity. Setting is very important to this story, without it, the reader would not learn of the common ignorant human behavior when it comes to survival in an indifferent environment. The setting of this story does not regard the man as important and is unconcerned with his suffering and death. Mankind can not control nature and our survival in it. We can heed warnings though and...
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