GCSE English Quiz - Setting (Questions)

The setting is where and when the story takes place. What is the most interesting setting you have found in a work of fiction? A battlefield? A haunted house? Another planet? Some of the best fiction ever written takes place in the most hum-drum environments: a suburban house, a farm, a small village. The eighteenth-century writer, Xavier de Maistre, wrote a travel book set entirely in his bedroom, where he was confined for weeks after being wounded in a duel.

See how much you know about 'setting' by trying this quiz on the subject.

1. What is meant by a novel or story's setting?
[ ] The place a story happens
[ ] The place and time a story happens
[ ] The collection of adjectives which the author uses in the opening paragraph
[ ] The time and place of a story, along with its atmosphere and any events which are taking place
2. A story set in a darkening wood, amid the howl of wolves, with an ancient castle just visible between flashes of lightning would be most likely to belong to which genre?
[ ] Science fiction
[ ] Utopian
[ ] Gothic
[ ] Western
3. A story set in a deserted wasteland created as the result of human greed, warfare, or ecological disaster would be most likely to belong to which genre?
[ ] Dystopian
[ ] Romance
[ ] Detective
[ ] Historical
4. How is setting described in a play?
[ ] Setting is described in the opening lines of dialogue
[ ] The narrator always tells the audience where the play is set
[ ] Setting is given in the stage directions
[ ] Setting is described in exactly the same way in plays as it is in novels
5. Jack London's short story, 'To Build a Fire' begins: 'Day had broken cold and grey, exceedingly cold and grey, when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the high earth-bank, where a dim and little travelled trail led eastward...' Which of the following could NOT be true of this setting?
[ ] The story takes place in winter
[ ] The story takes place on a busy highway
[ ] The story takes place in the wilderness
[ ] The story takes place at dawn
6. The story 'Girl' begins with this line: 'Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the colour clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline to dry; don't walk barehead in the hot sun; cook pumpkin fritters in very hot sweet oil...' Which setting is the most likely for this story?
[ ] The City of London
[ ] A Caribbean island
[ ] St. Petersburg, Russia, in winter
[ ] A quiet, but prosperous, European town
7. Ray Bradbury's story 'August 2002: Night Meeting' begins: 'Before going on up into the blue hills, Tomas Gomez stopped for gasoline at the lonely station.' Where would you expect this story to be set?
[ ] Glasgow
[ ] The Sahara
[ ] Tokyo
[ ] South-western United States / Mexico
8. In question 7, which words hint at the setting?
[ ] Before, blue hills, station
[ ] Blue, stopped, lonely
[ ] Gasoline, hills
[ ] Blue hills, Tomas Gomez, gasoline, lonely, station
9. Within a few sentences, it transpires that the reader's initial assumption about Bradbury's setting is wrong. Which of the following sentences taken from the story communicates the surprise?
[ ] "Kind of alone out here, aren't you, Pop?" said Tomas.
[ ] The old man wiped off the windshield of the small truck. "Not bad."
[ ] "How do you like Mars, Pop?"
[ ] "Fine. Always something new."
10. Which of the following best describes the effect of Bradbury's opening?
[ ] The opening gives the impression that human beings have become used to their new environment
[ ] The opening gives the impression that human beings feel ill at ease in their new environment
[ ] The opening gives the impression that human beings are afraid of their new environment
[ ] The opening reminds the reader how alien the landscape of Mars is
GCSE English Quiz - Setting (Answers)
1. What is meant by a novel or story's setting?
[ ] The place a story happens
[ ] The place and time a story happens
[ ] The collection of adjectives which the author uses in the opening paragraph
[x] The time and place of a story, along with its atmosphere and any events which are taking place
2. A story set in a darkening wood, amid the howl of wolves, with an ancient castle just visible between flashes of lightning would be most likely to belong to which genre?
[ ] Science fiction
[ ] Utopian
[x] Gothic
[ ] Western
Although a good author could surprise readers by using this as a setting for an unexpected story genre, the most likely genres to use this setting would be gothic, horror, fable, fairy tale, mystery or romance
3. A story set in a deserted wasteland created as the result of human greed, warfare, or ecological disaster would be most likely to belong to which genre?
[x] Dystopian
[ ] Romance
[ ] Detective
[ ] Historical
A 'utopia' is the ideal society, in which everything is perfect. Its opposite is 'dystopia' - a work of 'dystopian' fiction will be set in a miserable, harsh, fearful, oppressive future society
4. How is setting described in a play?
[ ] Setting is described in the opening lines of dialogue
[ ] The narrator always tells the audience where the play is set
[x] Setting is given in the stage directions
[ ] Setting is described in exactly the same way in plays as it is in novels
As an example, Shakespeare's The Tempest begins: 'ACT 1, Scene 1 - On a Ship at Sea'
5. Jack London's short story, 'To Build a Fire' begins: 'Day had broken cold and grey, exceedingly cold and grey, when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the high earth-bank, where a dim and little travelled trail led eastward...' Which of the following could NOT be true of this setting?
[ ] The story takes place in winter
[x] The story takes place on a busy highway
[ ] The story takes place in the wilderness
[ ] The story takes place at dawn
Even if you do not know where the Yukon is (Western Canada), the word 'trail' clearly shows that the story does not begin on a highway
6. The story 'Girl' begins with this line: 'Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the colour clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline to dry; don't walk barehead in the hot sun; cook pumpkin fritters in very hot sweet oil...' Which setting is the most likely for this story?
[ ] The City of London
[x] A Caribbean island
[ ] St. Petersburg, Russia, in winter
[ ] A quiet, but prosperous, European town
The author, Jamaica Kincaid, sets much of her fiction in the West Indies
7. Ray Bradbury's story 'August 2002: Night Meeting' begins: 'Before going on up into the blue hills, Tomas Gomez stopped for gasoline at the lonely station.' Where would you expect this story to be set?
[ ] Glasgow
[ ] The Sahara
[ ] Tokyo
[x] South-western United States / Mexico
8. In question 7, which words hint at the setting?
[ ] Before, blue hills, station
[ ] Blue, stopped, lonely
[ ] Gasoline, hills
[x] Blue hills, Tomas Gomez, gasoline, lonely, station
Hills often appear to have a bluish tinge at dusk - but, in this context, 'blue' hints at a surprise
9. Within a few sentences, it transpires that the reader's initial assumption about Bradbury's setting is wrong. Which of the following sentences taken from the story communicates the surprise?
[ ] "Kind of alone out here, aren't you, Pop?" said Tomas.
[ ] The old man wiped off the windshield of the small truck. "Not bad."
[x] "How do you like Mars, Pop?"
[ ] "Fine. Always something new."
'August 2002: Night Meeting' is set on the planet Mars. The futuristic story (written in 1950) imagined a time when humans had colonised Mars
10. Which of the following best describes the effect of Bradbury's opening?
[x] The opening gives the impression that human beings have become used to their new environment
[ ] The opening gives the impression that human beings feel ill at ease in their new environment
[ ] The opening gives the impression that human beings are afraid of their new environment
[ ] The opening reminds the reader how alien the landscape of Mars is