The setting of a story is of extreme importance as it adds to the overall understanding of the way in which the various events that occur, unfold. Setting can be described as the time and place or location in which the story is being told by the narrator. Time in Literature can refer to the actual ‘clock’ time as well as how time relates to history (events that span over a number of years). Place or location can refer to the physical environment in which many of the characters are placed as well as the non-physical environment, which basically is any of the situations that characters may have gone through before, that may have influenced they way they think or operate.

In the story Nineteen Thirty- Seven, the setting is an important part of the entire story as it is through this as well as many of the other elements of prose that we the readers get a deeper understanding of the position and situation that the first person narrator is telling us about. As aforementioned, setting can be described in terms of the time in which events unfold. In Nineteen Thirty- Seven, there are various flashbacks which are reflective of aspects of time. For example, “I remembered so clearly the day Manman was arrested.” (Danticat 450) and “When I was five years old, we went on a pilgrimage…” (Danticat 450), in both excerpts we have examples of the narrator remembering what occurred in the past but this still has close relevance to what is happening in the present. The movement of time also shows development of the story as we see that the character Manman actually changes in appearance as time pasts.
Descriptions of locations and places within the story also lends to the overall understanding of what is happening in the story. “The yellow prison building was like a fort…” (Danticat 448). In this example the narrator describes exactly what she sees and we get an idea of where exactly the character Manman is in terms of the physical environment.