Setting  The physical and social context in which the action of a story occurs. The major elements of setting are the time, the place, and the social environment that frames the characters. Setting can be used to evoke a mood or atmosphere that will prepare the reader for what is to come, as in Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Young Goodman Brown." Sometimes, writers choose a particular setting because of traditional associations with that setting that are closely related to the action of a story. For example, stories filled with adventure or romance often take place in exotic locales. For discussions of setting and an exercise, go to the VirtuaLit Interactive Fiction Tutorial.

The definitions in this glossary were adapted from The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Sixth Edition, by Michael Meyer