This GCSE English Literature quiz looks at the setting in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. The setting of a work of fiction includes its location and the time in which the events take place. Context, such as those events which occur in the background, providing the text’s wider fictional world, is also a key component of its setting. Atmosphere, too, plays an important role in establishing setting.
It is important to spend some time considering the setting of any text you study. The world in which the characters live impacts the decisions which they make over the course of the plot. The effect of political or social events on characters can usually be seen in their reported thoughts, behaviour and dialogue.
In Never Let Me Go, scientific development and the use of cloning to provide human organs for transplant creates the context for the constricted lives of Kathy, Tommy, Ruth and the other Hailsham clones. We do not see many of the clones who were located at other sites as children, although Kathy occasionally reports on her interactions with them. Although the world in which this text is located is imaginary, it also feels very real. How is this sense of reality created and how does it affect the reader’s understanding of the text?
Geographical setting can include country, environment, the buildings where events occur, and even the weather. Do all the events occur in the same place? Do characters travel, or arrive from elsewhere? How does the interaction of characters with their environment create meaning in 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 past, present or future. Does this change our understanding of the story?
Answer the questions below on setting in Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.