Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The World We Write In: How Setting Affects Readers

As I've been reading Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, I have found it rather difficult to connect the story with Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.  What I have noticed, though, is that both authors use a lot of in-depth descriptions to really put the reader into the story.  I'm not entirely sure if this is the direction I want to go, but I think it's a good starting point anyway.  Here's my working thesis statement:

The setting in Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd draws the reader in, allowing them to take the journey with the characters.  The crazy, upside-down world in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass has a similar effect on the reader.  Setting, therefore, is one of the most important aspects of writing because it has such an influence on how the readers interpret the story.

Update (March 12):  I've decided to change my thesis.  After discussing and doing some more research, I'm going to focus my paper on feminism in Far From the Madding Crowd and Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  I'm going to research feminism in the time period of both authors, who Carroll and Hardy approached feminism, and how their female characters interact with their stories.


  1. If there are no apperant connections between your book and Alice in Wonderland, then it can definitely be tricky trying to come up with a thesis statement. However, I think you have the right idea with looking into setting. Think of some "outside the box" literary categories you haven't written about yet. Maybe the stories have nothing to do with each other, but are there other literary elements in you book that share common themes with Carroll's writing? Food for thought.

  2. Interesting concept. The idea of "setting" to journey with the characters is intriguing, though "'m not entirely sure what you mean by it. (But, then again, that's why I'll read the paper, to find out.) I suppose I need clarification as to what you mean by "setting." As in how the setting reflects moods of the characters? Are symbolic somehow? Perhaps some clarification on your definition of "setting." I'm intrigued to read more of your paper, girlie.

  3. I think comparing and contrasting two stories, looking in depth at how each approaches and portrays women is an intruiging topic. Feminism is interesting and controversial right now so if done right, you could really keep your readers hooked by taking a classic and shedding a new light on it like this.