The setting

What do you have to look for when you have to characterize the setting?

  1. ➢ description of the place of the action
  2. ➢ description of the time of the action
  3. ➢ description of the social circumstances of that time and place

From that list you can see that it is not enough to describe the place (and maybe its atmosphere) but you also have to look at the time and social circumstances when the action happens. In the case of the text about Sheila, the story is set in the 1970s, a time when America was involved in the Vietnam War — a topic the people kept talking about at the parties Dan took Sheila to. In this contemporary context it is especially relevant (and unforgiveable) that Sheila has no idea about it, for which reason she appears "dumb" to Dan and the informed reader.