This GCSE English Literature quiz looks at the setting in An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley.
The setting of a work of fiction includes the location where the events take place as well as the time. Context, such as any events occurring in the background of the text’s wider fictional world, is also a key component of its setting. Although more nebulous, atmosphere also plays an important role in establishing setting.
It is vital to understand the setting of any text you study. The context, or the world in which the characters live, impacts the decisions which they make over the course of the plot. This includes any political or social events which might affect the characters.
In An Inspector Calls, social unrest, both local and international, fundamentally alters Mr Birling’s perceptions of events, which in turn dramatically affects Eva Smith’s own life. The experience of gender and class, too, depends entirely on the time in which this play is set.
Geographical setting includes several aspects. Do all the events occur in the same place? Do characters travel, or arrive from elsewhere? If the action is contained within a single building, or room, how does that alter the meaning of the text?
It can also be useful to think about when the text is set and if that differs from the time it is written. Find out why an author might choose to set a text in the future, or one hundred years ago. How does this change our understanding of the story?
Read the questions below to see how well you understand the setting of An Inspector Calls.