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Word Count: 1,840
Edgar Allan Poes Use of Setting Setting is the physical background of a story Normally explained at the beginning it tells the time and place of the storys action Words take the place of paints in describing textures images sounds colors and sometimes even tastes creating a picture in the readers mind in which he or she can place the storys characters and actions In identifying the setting one should start by determining the town and year in which the story takes place It is useful to consider how the nature of the events changes with the settings The kinds of events that take place in a grocery store are usually different from those that occur in a graveyard or tomb In three of Edgar Allan Poes short stories The Cask of Amontillado The Pit and the Pendulum and Fall of the House of Usher he uses setting to paint a dark and gloomy picture in the readers mind Easily associating darkness with death Poe is able to set the mood of the story before any action has taken place Setting can be used for a variety of purposes a single point of the setting may be described in detail making it stand out to the reader usually later having a strong effect on the protagonist Poe did not evoke a historical setting for his stories Columbian Companion 16 In Fall of the House of Usher Poe has the protagonist describe the house and its surroundings as he is led into the mansion using the setting as a key element to the mood of the story Ushers house its windows bricks and dungeon are all used to make a dismal atmosphere The white trunks of decayed trees the black and lurid tarn and the vacant eye-like windows contribute to the gloomy atmosphere Usher 178 Here the mansion itself quickly changes the spirit of the protagonist also setting the mood for the rest of the story
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