The short story “Popular Girls” by Karen Shepard is set in 1982 in New York (l. 6) and follows the lives of five upper-class teenage girls. The time setting is a Friday in April (l. 150).
The physical setting includes various places that are character-building (the girl’s rooms), ironic (the girls study in a former Christian Episcopalian school, but they are promiscuous), or that illustrate the decadent nightlife of the 1980s (the club, the boys’ apartment).
The action begins on the benches outside the girls’ private school which used to be an Episcopalian school. The benches symbolize the way in which the girls have put themselves in a position of power at school.
The story describes the girls’ rooms in detail to suggest aspects of their character and the privileged, spoiled life they have:
Our rooms at home are designed by architects and interior decorators famous for their work on small museums and boutique hotels. Our ...