Here, we will focus on the setting of “Noel” by Michael Plemmons.

Time and physical setting

The exact physical and time setting of the short story are not mentioned, but we can assume the events take place in a city in the US, perhaps New York as the references to “South Side” indicates. The time of the events is Christmas Eve.

The main physical setting is the reception room of what is an orphanage business, where children are rented to childless people:

Mrs. Hathaway brought the children downstairs single file and seated them on straight-back chairs around the reception room, boy-girl-boy-girl, seventeen in all. In the corner stood a robust Christmas tree bedecked with candy canes and tinsel tresses.

The initial atmosphere seems to be a typical...

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