Time and physical setting
In the short story “Now I Lay Me” by Ernest Hemingway, Nick Adams recalls a night that takes place during World War I (1914-1918), probably towards the end of the war: “They had taken him for a soldier in nineteen fourteen when he had come back to visit his family” (p. 279, ll. 19-20). Nick recalls the events in the story sometime after the war (p. 282, ll. 7-10).
Specifically, Nick recalls what he experienced during his time spent on the Italian front during one summer (p. 276, l. 12). While he does not speak directly about the war, Nick briefly alludes to the violent atmosphere on the front: “I remember the snakes burning in the fire in the back-yard. But there were no people in that, only things” (p. 278, ll. 4-5). The dialogue between Nick and John happens during one summer night, as they try to sleep “on blankets spread over straw” (p. 279, l. 13): “That night we lay on the floor in the room and I listened to the silk-worms eating.” (p. 276, ll. 1-2)
A separate physical setting can be observed in Nick’s description of his memories. Firstly, he describes in detail the stream he used to fish in as a child:
(…) fishing very carefully under all the logs, all the turns of the bank, the deep holes and the clear shallow stretches (…) the cedar trees kept out the sun and there was no grass but only the bare moist earth (…) (p. 276, ll. 15-25).
Nick goes on to describe this ...