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“GreatExpectations” by Charles Dickens.

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Introduction

"Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens In this essay I am going to study chapters 1 - 3 and discuss how the author's choice of setting helps us to understand what is happening in the novel, understand and appreciate the characters, learn more about 19th century life, understand the writers purpose and to appreciate the writers skill. In the novel, Pip meets the convict in the graveyard, which is marshland, overgrown with nettles; it is a "dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard". The writer's language is used to describe the settings and is very detailed, with lots of long, complicated words. The language also helps to show where Pip is positioned in society at this time in the novel. He helps the convict out and in return, without Pip knowing, he gets Pip to help Miss Havisham. He then gives Pip a great amount of money and property, which is progress from the poverty and struggle in the working class to the ease and richness as a gentleman in the noble class. Pip's kindness is repaid for in the end. In Victorian days a gentleman meant that you had money, you owned property and business, you did not have to work for money and you mixed in high society. ...read more.

Middle

He was a mild, good-natured, sweet-tempered, easy-going, dear fellow. In the first chapter Pip meets a convict in a graveyard. The convict is a fearful man, "all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg." He has no hat, broken shoes and an old rag tied around his head. He is soaked in water, smothered in mud, lamed by stones, cut by flints, stung by nettles and torn by briers. He limps, shivers, glares and growls. He scares Pip by threatening and bullying him. This particularly shows that adults are in charge instead of children but later on in the next chapter the convict talks to Pip much more like an equal. The threatening description of the convict is significant for the rest of the novel because it scares you. However, later on in the novel he is kind and thankful to Pip, "thankee, my boy, I do." The convict's character has changed from the threatening one in chapter 1 to the gentle one in chapter 3. 19th century life had many difficulties. Many people had to struggle with problems like poverty, death, disease and cruelty. The author shows how Pip struggles with the death of his family. Pip is an orphan, which is an inconvenience for her, as she has to look after him as well as feeding and cleaning for Mr Joe Gargery. ...read more.

Conclusion

When he describes characters he does not uses as much detail as with the settings. "a fair man, with curls of flaxen hair on each side of his smooth face, and with eyes of such a very undecided blue that they seemed to have somehow got mixed with their own whites." He does not need as much detail because you do not need to say too much about a character to picture them in your minds eye. With the plot he uses quite a lot of description to say what is happening in the novel. He also gives a few hints along the way about what will happen later in the novel. He uses pathetic fallacy with the settings, the dull marshes are foreboding and this emphasises Pips position in society at this time. This is how the author uses language as a skill. In conclusion to studying chapters 1 - 3 and discussing the authors choice of setting to help us to understand what is happening in the novel, understand and appreciate the characters, learn more about 19th century life, understand the writers purpose and to appreciate the writers skill. After doing this I have come up with the idea that the authors choice of settings describes each different point separately but in a different way. Also each setting helps us by reflecting on every point in someway or another. Alan Pepperell 10AW 1 Mr Loggenberg ...read more.

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