I am trying to write novels where the setting plays a large part. I want the setting to naturally and passively show a truth to the reader. Sometimes it is easy to create such a setting, and other times it seems impossible. This question is about those impossible times.
Before I go further, I realize that some of you will want to tell me how I am wrong, and how I should not use setting in this way. Please do this, but please, PLEASE, do it in a comment. ONLY answer, if you are actually answering the question.
Back to the question. Here's some examples of what I'm talking about. Suppose I want to show government as being oppressive. That is easily done, by showing the result of oppression. Maybe people are starving and are imprisoned in their villages (Hunger Games). As long as the protagonist jumps to the conclusion you want the reader to reach, it becomes obvious that the government is oppressive.
Or maybe I want to show how power is neutral, and not good or bad. Enter Star Wars, where the same power is used for great good and terrible evil.
Note that these are examples only. If you think the setting is actually showing something else, great; let me know in a comment. But please reserve answers for answering the question, below.
These settings are easy to come up with, and show the 'truth' perfectly. This isn't always the case. I am currently trying to create a setting which shows how we are responsible for our actions, rather than the tools we use to perform those actions. I cannot for the life of me create a setting which shows this.
How can I create a setting which shows a truth?
Note: I have found that settings which are defined by the truth generally show it without a problem. Witness Hunger Games and Star Wars. Both of those settings are easily defined by what is being said (intentionally or not). How do I define a setting by saying we are responsible for our actions?
Note that this is not a dissertation on the messages of Hunger Games or Star Wars. Whether or not the creators of those stories intended their settings to present a message, and whether or not that message is central to the stories being told, is irrelevant. I am using them purely as excellent examples.