Study Guide

Code Name Verity Setting

By Elizabeth Wein


Great Britain and France Before and During World War II

We'll admit we went a bit broad in our description of setting here, but that's because the narrators give us so many settings to work with. Worry not, though—we'll take it in parts.

Part 1, which Julie narrates, is set in the headquarters of the Ormaie Gestapo in occupied France between November 8 and November 30, 1943. She writes her entire story during this span of time. However, Julie's own setting and story serve as a frame for the story she's telling, which is about her and Maddie's friendship. And to tell this story, Julie flashes back to 1938, when Maddie started flying, and follows Maddie and Queenie through multiple locations in England and Scotland between 1938 and 1943.

Part 2, which Maddie narrates, is set in Ormaie and the surrounding area between October 11 and December 11, 1943, and then at the undisclosed location of an SOE airfield in England in late December 1943.

Both settings in France are places neither Maddie nor Julie were supposed to end up: it certainly wasn't Julie's goal to be taken prisoner, and Maddie never should have been in France at all. Because of this, these settings remind us that war is unpredictable. France and England are often contrasted throughout, with France representing death and danger and England representing life and safety. Of course, this is a historic reality: anywhere not occupied by the Nazis (England and Scotland) is a lot safer than anywhere that is.

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