Essay on Setting Up Microcosms

Essay on Setting Up Microcosms

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A critical element to any novel is the setting. Setting is “the time and place of the action of a literary, dramatic, or cinematic work” (“Setting”). A clever author will craft the setting with a purpose. While the characters of a novel live in the setting, “it can help set the mood, influence the way characters behave, affect the dialogue, foreshadow events, invoke an emotional response, reflect the society in which the characters live, and sometimes even plays a part in the story” (Benedict). Both Charles Dickens and F. Scott Fitzgerald take full advantage of the setting in their novels A Tale of Two Cities and The Great Gatsby. The two novels focus on the interactions between the different social classes. The social classes that are portrayed in the two books fit into the classification of either upper or lower class.
The upper class characters are separated from the lower class by their wealth. Both authors created a few characters that represent a whole class of people. Dickens created the Marquis Furemonde and a character known as Monsignor to represent the French nobility. He created Doctor Manette to embody the English upper class. The East Egg is the refuge of the old money society where Fitzgerald’s characters of the Buchanans reside in The Great Gatsby; the West Egg is the neighborhood of the newly wealthy Jay Gatsby.
All of the characters that are part of the upper class are physically separated by the setting. Through their wealth the characters are able to afford residencies that disconnect them from the densely populated urban areas. F. Scott Fitzgerald created the East and West Eggs “twenty miles” “due east of New York” (Fitzgerald 9). They do not live in the busy city. Instead, they are separ...


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... Scott Fitzgerald are masters of crafting settings that contribute to their plots. The different settings make for an interesting plot as well as emphasizing the themes within the novel.



Works Cited

Benedict, Carol. "Story Elements: Importance of the Setting." The Writing Place. 13 Apr. 2010. Web. 27 Sept. 2011. .
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. New York: Signet Classics, 2007. Print.
Domhoff, G. William. "Who Rules America: Wealth, Income, and Power." UC Santa Cruz - Sociology. Sept. 2005. Web. 28 Sept. 2011. .
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner Paperback, 2003. Print.
“Setting.” Def. 3b. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam, 1979. Print.

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