The exploration of setting can be done by examining both the setting in time and the setting of location in the narrative. The title of the story itself presents the initial time frame for the story. This time setting indicates to the reader the historical time indicating that it was a time of unrest in the country. The narrator not only demarcates time on such a large scale but also narrows down the time frame with in the story. This technique is done through the manipulation of temporal diexies. The majority of the narrative is told in the present happenings of the story. However the narrator tactically manipulates the diexies and shifts the story into the past, “I remember so clearly the day Manman was arrested” (Danticat 450). Here the reader is whisked back to the past in order to give them a deeper understanding of the story. The narrator then goes on to take the reader back to the further past, “When I was five years old” (Danticat 450). The narrator also demarcates time on a smaller scale by also indicating time of day. An expression such as, “the sun was just rising” (Danticat 447), shows that it was the morning period. Other time manipulating expressions in the story include, “she came in the middle of the afternoon” (Danticat 452) indicating that it was the afternoon and “she will be ready for burning this afternoon” (Danticat 454) indicating that it was the morning period.

Setting is also seen by examining the geographical or physical setting of the narrative. Identifying these features is key in determining the characters social class and lifestyle. “The roads to the city were covered with sharp pebbles only half buried in the thick dust” (Danticat 447), this image foregrounds the poverty of the island to the reader. Even when Josephine arrives at the prison, the use of the simile, “the yellow prison was like a fort” (Danticat 448) not only indicates a visual image of the jail but is also coaxes an emotion from the reader.