This GCSE English Literature quiz takes a look at setting in Susan Hill's The Woman in Black. Setting refers to the time and location in which a work of fiction takes place. As in life, the events in most texts usually take place in several different settings, in a variety of locations and times. Individual settings within texts include natural features, buildings, vehicles and other spaces. Atmosphere will also change multiple times over the course of a fictional work. Contrasting various settings can be a useful exercise to help you analyse the meaning of a text..
Events, whether occurring as part of the plot, or taking place in the background, provide another crucial element to a text’s setting, with social and political issues often playing an important role. For instance, the personal tragedy of Jennet Humfrye’s loss of her son belongs quite specifically to the particular social class and time in which she was born.
Setting in The Woman in Black is complex. The novel contains three narratives, each set in a different time. The beginning of the novel sets the scene with Arthur Kipps as a comfortably settled, mature man, surrounded by family. Within this frame, he narrates the main story, his account of the events which took place when he was a young solicitor travelling to an isolated town to attend the funeral of an old client of the law firm for which he worked. His business, which appeared to be simple and straightforward before he discovers the local ghost which haunts the town and island, continues to haunt him in later life. The final narrative, of Jennet Humfrye and her sister, Alice Drablow, is revealed through the letters exchanged by the pair. The geographical locations for these different narratives ranges narrowly; these locations are dominated by the magnificent border between sea and land where Arthur first views Eel Marsh House.
Answer the questions below on setting in The Woman in Black.
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