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

Great Expectations

Extracts from this document...


How does Dickens' use of setting suit the characters Magwitch and Miss Havisham? Focus particularly on chapters 1, 8 and 11 in your response. Magwitch and Miss Havisham are both significant characters in the novel 'Great Expectations', one of the most popular bildungsroman novels and written by famous Victorian author, Charles Dickens, in 1861. Both characters play an important role in Pip's life; Pip develops a special bond with Magwitch, an escaped convit, whereas Miss Havisham is the heart-broken individual, lost in a world of decay. Who inspires Pip to become a gentleman. Dickens also uses subtle links between these two characters and their setting. Magwitch is introduced to us in chapter one when he meets Pip in an old churchyard (the place of which most of Pip's family is buried, including his mother and father; Magwitch acts as almost a second father to Pip, later on in the novel). Since this chapter of the novel is told from Pip's point of view, Magwitch is described as a fearsome and terrifying character - he was scared of the convict, and so his description of him could be exaggerated (the churchyard alone is quite a scary setting, and this could also be linked to how Magwitch is described). Moments before Pip is confronted by Magwitch, the sea is described as being a '..distant savage lair..'; this creates an image of a deadly, dangerous area, possibly from which Magwitch had come from (he could be a keeper of a bigger secret, hidden within his lair). ...read more.


He has no purpose in his life and is quite unkempt and disordered - until, that is, he meets Pip. 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. In chapter eight, Pip meets Miss Havisham - she wants Pip to play with her adopted daughter, Estella, at her house, 'Satis House'. When Pip first sets eyes on her grand house, he notices that her clocks had stopped at 8.40 '..her watch had stopped at twenty minutes to nine..'; this could be a reference to the fact that Miss Havisham's heart is broken - both her clocks have stopped working, and so has her heart (her heart hasn't stopped beating, but Miss Havisham is quite a somewhat evil character, as she toys with Pip's emotions and attempts to break his heart, too), or that she does not want to let go of the past, and that one day, her fianc�e will return and marry her, thus allowing her to ...read more.


could be linked to the way in which Miss Havisham doesn't let too many people get close to her (almost as though she is afraid of warmth -- '..light snow..and it lay nowhere else..' -- and in a later chapter, she is killed in a fire just after apologising to Pip). Also, in this room, '..a fire had been lately kindled..smoke seemed cooler than the cleanest air..', which reinforces Miss Havisham's inability to be engrossed in warmth. In this room is also Miss Havisham's wedding cake; it is described as "..so indistinguishable.."; this could both mean that the cake has just rotted away over many years, and you could not tell by sight that it was a cake, but also how warped and distorted Miss Havisham's personality now is - she is now a bitter and somewhat wicked old lady, whereas she was neither of these things before her fianc�e left her, heart-broken. Miss Havisham says '..this is where I will be laid when I am dead..' - this is quite ironic, since the table on which she will be laid has a table-cloth spread atop it; the very table-cloth that Pip uses to put out the fire as she burns, in a later chapter. To conclude, I would say that Dickens has used a variety of clever, subtle links between the character Magwitch and Miss Havisham, and their settings. Magwitch is a hardened criminal, and the harsh marshes reflect this, whereas Miss Havisham is a decaying old lady, and her house is a decaying ruin. Steven Burnett, 10H ...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 Writing to Inform, Explain and Describe 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 Writing to Inform, Explain and Describe essays

  1. Creative writing - It was supposed to be a great adventure, searching for lost ...

    " Why the main part? ". " People say there were lost things there ". " Alright then, lets go to the market ". We got into the jeep and headed of to the market, again. I was getting quite bored, just going to the market and the hotel.

  2. Great Expectations

    "Why do you, a stranger coming in to my rooms at this time of night, ask that affection?" said I." This makes Pip sound rude and arrogant as he has spoken in a very negative manner. He sounds like a totally different character now as in chapter one he was kind, caring and very innocent.

  1. Great Expectations

    Another way the shock is increased to the reader is when Charles uses the phrase 'and it was not the same man, but another man!' This increases the shock also because an exclamation mark is used to add that element of surprise to the sentence.

  2. Great Expectations

    "By the wilderness of casks that I had walked on long ago and on which the rain of years had fallen since, rotting them in many places", the unused beer barrels' texture has literally eroded away due to the rain and little care, uses of phrases such as "rusty latch",

  1. Explore Dickens notion of what it means to be a true gentleman in

    in search of Estella only to be told that she has gone abroad. Miss Havisham then asks him "Do you feel that you have lost her?" she asks this with "such malignant joy" that Pip finds himself at a loss of words.

  2. great expectations

    All the key themes though out the book. Dickens could have been referring not to the literal mud in the streets, but the dirty and filthy dealings and treatment between the people of the streets. The way they treat those below them on the social ladder and the way they mistreat each other in which to try and better themselves.

  1. Great Expectations

    The man was clearly shivering and not dressed suitably for the weather. Pip is then threatened on a number of occasions, "Hold your noise!" cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from among the graves at the side of the church porch.

  2. Great expectations

    This meant that one or two chapters of the book would be published weekly or monthly in a well known magazine or newspaper. This would allow those who couldn't afford to buy a book, to read the novel. Because of the serialised format of the novel, each chapter would have

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