The setting for the occurrences of this story takes place on the Chinese fictitious mountain called the Phoenix of the Sky for its "terrifying altitude
". This mountain is home to many small villages, and the main characters Luo and the narrator are sent to the poorest of these villages which is highest up on the mountain. These two young men are sent to this village for re-education
in the countryside. They must live and work alongside the peasants in order to learn how to live a life according to the laws of Chairman Mao.
Picture taken from: http://chineseartstore.com/catalog/images/medium/a406-fall-cranes-chinese-mountain-landscape-painting-detail.jpg