This GCSE English Literature quiz takes a look at setting in Meera Syal's Anita and Me. Setting, in a work of fiction, refers to the time and the location in which the events of the story take place. Most works of fiction actually have more than one setting, since events usually take place in different locations, and at different times. Individual settings within a text can include natural features, buildings, vehicles and other spaces. Atmosphere, another element of setting, also changes multiple times over the course of a fictional work. It can be a useful exercise to contrast the different settings found in a text.
Events which occur as part of the background to a text also play a role in forming its setting. This can be especially important where political events or social changes play a role in a text’s plot or its themes. The impact of the British Empire and its role in the history of India and in the everyday lives of Indian families play a crucial part in the events portrayed in Anita and Me.
This novel is set for the most part in a single, small village, encompassing most of the young Meena’s life experience. Although she and her family venture out from the village on some occasions, the perspective of the novel centres on the Kumar household, radiating outward from this stable point. Visits from Aunties and Uncles are recorded; Nanima arrives, bringing reminders of home; and the visiting fair and later, a demolition crew, bring further excitement. It is fitting that the end of the novel brings change in the form of a household move as well as a new school for Meena. Setting in the novel is therefore important not only in terms of the choice to move from one country to another, but also in creating the sense that with movement comes growth and change. Anita, for instance, is left behind without likelihood of positive change when Meena says her farewells.
Answer the questions below on setting in Anita and Me.