Physical setting

The short story “Baglady” by A.S. Byatt takes place in a country in the “Far East” by the sea, probably Thailand, since it is a popular destination for tourists and business trips. Despite being a popular tourist destination, with several shops catering to middle and upper-class tourists, Thailand is a poor country. Also, the image of the “soldiers with machine-guns and the uniformed police with their revolvers and little sticks”, and the “bulletproof glass” windows of the car suggest political unrest. 

The beginning of the story takes place around the breakfast table at the Precious Jade Hotel, which appears to be a luxurious and comfortable environment. The table is “beautifully laid with peach-coloured damask, bronze cutlery, and little floating gardens in lacquered dishes of waxy flowers that emit gusts of perfume”. The wal...

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