Setting and Mood The AP Vertical Teams Guide for English
Setting (write in your interactive notes) • Creates the world in which the characters act and make choices • Historical place and time • Social circumstances • Elements of setting • Geographic location – topography (landscape), scenery, room layout (type & position of furniture), buildings, stage set or design; the physical dimensions of the place • Cultural backdrop/social context/time period – occupations/working conditions, way of life, way of talking and behaving, clothing, gender roles, traditions, habits, attitudes, customs, beliefs, values, speech patterns, laws, past, present, future • Artificial environment – rooms, buildings, cities, towns, villages, futuristic settings, etc. • Props – tools, implements, gadgets, clothing/costumes, furniture • Interactive Notes • Your setting • Sketch your setting (house, room, etc.) • Write down at least three events that have shaped your life. • What is one thing you always have with you?
Questions to Consider • How many locations are described? • How effective are the visual descriptions? • Are there connections between the locations and the characters? • What is the state of the objects, furniture, or dwellings? • What conclusions does the author expect the reader to reach as a result of the world of the story?
Setting As It Creates Mood or Atmosphere • Details about the environment create the emotional charge of the piece that prepares the reader for what is to come. • Light, shadow, colors, shapes, smells, sounds create distinctive moods • Mood is how the author makes the reader feel (closely related to tone which is how the author feels about the subject) • Use words such as sad, gloomy, foreboding, suspenseful, ominous, dreary, brooding, tragic, hopeless, romantic, mysterious
William Golding’s Lord of the Flies • Simon dropped the screen of leaves back into place. The slope of the bars of honey-colored sunlight decreased; they slid up the bushes, passed over the green candle-like buds, moved up toward the canopy and the darkness thickened under the trees. With the fading of the light the riotous colors died and the heat and urgency cooled away. The candle-buds stirred. Their green sepals drew back a little and the white tips of the flowers rose delicately to meet the open air. • Now the sunlight had lifted clear of the open space and withdrawn from the sky. Darkness poured out, submerging the ways between the trees till they were dim and strange as the bottom of the sea. The candle-buds opened their wide white flowers glimmering under the light that pricked down from the first stars. Their scent spilled out into the air and took possession of the island.