Physical setting

The short story “The Gift” by Karen Phillips probably takes place in a contemporary time setting, although the narrative is not explicit about it. The events seem to take place over some years, as there are several hints that mark the passage of time. For example: “Now months go by without Ron and me speaking” (l. 103). Also, soon after the divorce, both Elly and Ben were living with the narrator. In the present, it is suggested that Ben no longer lives with the narrator.

The events of the present take place in the flat (l. 81) where the narrator has been living since her divorce. Several other places are mentioned in the narrator’s flashbacks. One of the most important is the “dairy farm” (l. 54) where the narrator lived with her family. For example, she remembers “…the mud-tide that crept up the door as everyone kicked their gumboots off so that they c...

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