• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider Pip's Depiction of London as He arrives in the City at the Start of Volume II of Great Expectations.

Extracts from this document...


Wednesday 20/3/02 Consider Pip's Depiction of London as He arrives in the City at the Start of Volume II of Great Expectations As one can see from reading this extract, Dickens endeavours to depict London in a negative light. His use of language portrays London as a dirty and foul place. Dickens uses the narrator, Pip, to speak in two voices: there is young and na�ve Pip i.e. when he first arrives in London; and mature Pip i.e. when he's narrating the story afterwards. The ironic tone and detailed alliteration enables the extract to be humorous and entertaining, whilst at the same time creating a serious effect. One of Pip's first impressions of London was that it was "ugly, crooked, narrow and dirty". He knew that London was the place to be for gentleman, for Victorian London was known to be the most spectacular city in the world, so he was shocked to see that London was dirty and shabby. He only believed that London was one of the most beautiful places because that is what he had been told; otherwise he would not be able to distinguish the difference between Little Britain and a dirty street. In 1800, London's population was estimated at a million people, but that soon would become 4.5 million, showing that London was getting overcrowded. ...read more.


Once again Dickens emphasizes Mike's clothing, "a velveteen suit and knee-breeches." Even though Mike is dressed smartly, one can tell that he does not normally wear suits because "he wiped his nose with his sleeve on being interrupted." After Mike is thrown out of Mr. Jaggers's office, we realise that Mr. Jaggers obviously does not like to get his hands dirty by dealing with his criminal or less important clients. Afterwards when Pip is walking down Bartholomew Close he overhears people's conversations praising Mr. Jaggers, so he knows that Mr. Jaggers is a good lawyer. We learn that Mr. Jaggers is money-driven, "Have you paid Wemmick?" is a question that is continuously asked to all of his clients. One can also tell that Mr. Jaggers is corrupt and unethical; he does not care about the law, as long as he has his money then he will do a good job. He has many bad qualities but he still earns respect from other people. This shows that London is not moral because the people living there are worried about money only. One of the main settings in this extract is Mr. Jaggers's office, which ironically represents death. Pip saw "an old rusty pistol, a sword in a scabbard and several strange-looking boxes and packages". ...read more.


Today's society is all about money. Money plays the most important role in city life. Religion has been pushed aside as is shown in the extract because money takes priority over everything. The legal system is corrupt and the basic message is that if you pay money; you will get a fair trial. Mike is too truthful, which shows that the legal system is corrupt. Mike has found someone to witness for a case, which shows how bribery and blackmail are all part of the legal system. "This guileless confectioner was not by any means sober," this sentence shows that the legal system enables anyone to be a witness in a trial and the case can still be won as long as there is a good lawyer present. The ironic tone employed by the voice of the "older" Pip brings humour into the story. When Pip talks about the coachman's box being "decorated" with an old hammercloth, there is young Pip speaking but you can hear the sarcasm if the mature Pip is saying it. Mike talks about the witness being dressed "like a 'spectable pieman. A sort of a pastry-cook." The humour lightens the tone of the story making it more enjoyable to read. Dickens has shown London in a negative light throughout the extract. He has portrayed this negative image by describing certain places in London, certain people, their behaviour and the legal system. Pip certainly found out that London was not up to his expectations. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. How does Dickens use characters in Volume One to present the themes of 'Great ...

    The kinds of people that Pip was acquainted with were of the same circumstances and were living in the same environment, so Pip did not know any differently. They lived a harsh life but not an unrespectable one. Everything changed the first time Pip met Estella because she insensitively made

  2. Central motifs of the novel are established vividly in this volume. Imagery and allusions ...

    There are recurring hints to his unseen hand throughout the novel, and Pip is never able to forget him. These allusions to the convict often scare and shock Pip, which is evident in chapter ten when Pip is in the tavern with the strange man.

  1. How does dickens used characters in volume one to present the themes of great ...

    It was here where he was introduced to an upper-class girl named Estella. She would mock Pip and say things such as 'What coarse hands he has,' and call him 'a common labouring boy.' These remarks made Pip become increasingly self-conscious and he soon began to see himself in a different light.

  2. What do you learn of London society from reading Great Expectations?

    In his fourth year of apprenticeship to Joe, Pip's wishes are granted. Jaggers the lawyer, informs him that he is to come into handsome property, and will become a gentleman. He also informs him that he cannot know the identity of his benefactor, but Pip believes that it is Miss Havisham, and that she is preparing him to marry Estella.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work