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Analyse the use of setting in 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens

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Introduction

Analyse the use of setting in 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens The novel, Great Expectations, starts on the dull lonely marshes of Pip's home village. Pip has a lack of identity in this book because it says, 'My Father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Phillip, my infant tongue could make of both the names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip'. This shows us that his lack of identity is down to the fact he has not got a proper first name because he could not say it and that because of that he says he has not got a real identity. The marshes reflect Pip's identity and emotions because they include a graveyard where Pip's parents are buried and obviously Pip is feeling very emotional. The book says the marshes are, 'that dark flat wilderness beyond the church'. This is what Pip is feeling inside himself. Dark and bleak feelings. This also gives off the impression that it is a very depressing and scary place to be but Pip doesn't care as it is the only refuge from his dreaded, evil sister, Mrs Joe Gargery, and to be in the place with the ones he loves, his family. On these same marshes Pip manages to bump in to an escaped convict, Magwitch. This man is described as, ' a fearful man, all in course grey, with a great iron on his leg'. ...read more.

Middle

This creates the impression Jaggers is a man who will do all that is necessary to get his way. What I think of this pistol is that it signifies Jaggers being old and rusty looking but still a very dangerous man, just like his pistol. The room is very dark and full of strange things and I think that that shows to be what Jaggers is like and what he feels like. Pip starts to feel ill and so he tells the clerk he is going for a walk so the clerk advises him to go round the corner to Smithfield. This is the second place in London that Pip visits. This place is described as, ' the shameful place, being all asmear with filth and fat and blood and foam, seemed to stick to me.' There is a good use of alliteration here to give off the full effect of the dirt and disease of London. The word used are very descriptive in a negative way and so you can tell Pip thought of London as a disgusting place he'd rather not be in. Pip goes back to Jaggers office to check if he has come back, which he has not so Pip goes out and takes a tour of Little Britain and goes round to Bartholomew Close. Here he sees lots of other people. Pip is next taken into Mr Jaggers office by Jaggers himself who comes down into Bartholomew Close and dismisses all the other people. ...read more.

Conclusion

When he gets there the weather is describes as, 'the June weather was delicious.' This is a good metaphor to put in here because you obviously cant taste weather and it reflects Pip's feelings and attitude towards going back to the Forge. These are all very positive and cheerful feelings and he seems to be glad to be going back and seeing old Joe Gargery. There is great significance in the novel ending here because it shows that after all Pip's 'Great Expectations' he is back in the place he started off in and is where he belongs. Pip was supposed to become a gentleman, does but would rather the Forge over London any day . In this novel Great Expectations uses the settings to reflect characters moods and personalities. If there was a dark character he/she would be situated in a dark sinister place. This is a good use of setting. Dickens does exactly the same thing with the weather for Pip. For example when Pip is on the marshes the weather is dark and gloomy just like how Pip is feeling as he is visiting his parents graves. Pip's whole journey is one big circle; starting off in the Forge, going to London, India and then back to the Forge again. This shows he was destined to be there from the start and that he should have maybe stayed where he was. This book has had some really good ideas portrayed by the use of setting, weather, character and moods. All in all it was very cleverly written and kept you entertained. I didn't have great expectations for it but enjoyed it when I read it. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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