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Essay: How does Dickens' use of the setting suit the characters Magwitch and Miss Havisham? Focus particularly on chapters 1, 8 and 11 in your response.

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Introduction

"How does Dickens' use of the setting suit the characters Magwitch and Miss Havisham? Focus particularly on chapters 1, 8 and 11 in your response." As a bildungsroman, Great Expectations presents the growth and development of a single character, Philip Pirrip, better known to himself and to the world as Pip. Pip is by far the most important character in Great Expectations; he is both the protagonist, whose actions make up the main plot of the novel, and the narrator, whose thoughts and attitudes shape the reader's perception of the story. Charles Dickens uses an advanced language that plants a clear insight of the setting, the character profiles, and the novels' historic aspects. In this novel, there are two characters that play an important role in Pips life; Miss Havisham, a rich heart-broken old women, and the convict Pip met during a visit to the graveyard, Magwitch. These characters are unusual in the novel, both motivated things that occurred in the past. They both are connected towards the settings, in the way they are presented to the audience. ...read more.

Middle

gives an impression of him being a grumpy, hardened and ageing man. The churchyard setting is momentous and Dickens tries to portray that the convict is wanted for death, as the character was described as "..eluding the hand of the dead people.."; this implies that the dead are seeking revenge on him, by pulling him into a grave (towards the end of the novel, Magwitch is hanged for his crimes) or that Magwitch is trying to escape from his past and change his ways; he is avoiding the hands of the people that he may have affected, or killed, during his streak of crime. Miss Havisham is the wealthy, eccentric old woman who lives in a manor called Satis House near Pip's village. She is insane and often seems flitting around her house in a faded wedding dress although she never leaves her house; keeping herself enclosed in a time-stopped surrounding when, as a young woman, Miss Havisham was left standing at the altar by her fianc� mere minutes before her wedding, and now she has a broken heart and seeks to break any man's heart with which she meets. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Dickens describes Miss Havisham, his choices of words are very dark and gloomy. For instance she has "withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes." It seems as if Miss Havisham has withered like her surrounding. Everything that had been bright, new and beautiful was now old, withered and decaying. The reader, therefore, feels pity and even compassion for Miss Havisham, but her character is much more complex and as Great Expectations unfolds, it turns out that she is a very resentful woman. The relationship is symbolized by mice, which eat the wedding cake and which she claims have 'bitten at her heart'. She even imagines herself laid out on the table for their consumption after her death. 'No glimpse of daylight was to be seen in it', Dickens uses this to show that Miss Havisham shuts her life on everything and everyone. This defiantly suits the setting of the old and 'withered' house; it is suited to Miss Havisham due to her bleakness. Later on in the novel, Pip opens the curtains in Miss Havishams house and lets in the light. By having light in Pips, life, it will help him to grow to become the gentlemen of a higher social class. ...read more.

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