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How does Dickens use setting to reflect character and the issues facing Victorian society in Great Expectations?

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How does Dickens use setting to reflect character and the issues facing Victorian society in Great Expectations? At the time when Dickens published Great Expectations, to make the book in 1860 the genre. Gothic, was an incredibly popular genres. Dickens uses gothic conventions to a great extent in Chapters one, eight and thirty nine. An Example of a typical gothic convention is the graveyard setting in chapter one. "the dark flat wildness beyond the churchyard". This can be associated with many subjects one of these subjects being death; this brings out the emotional side of the reader as it links to Pip's mother and father's death. The reason being for the gothic genre being so popular at this era was the fact that Edgar Allan Poe release of the book "The Fall of the House of Usher." This book changed people's mind about the gothic genre and re-interpreted the way people looked at it. After this event in 1839 people fell in love with the gothic genre. When Dickens first published Great Expectations in a periodical called "All The Year Round" over a period of nine months. The first episode was released on the 1st of December 1860; two chapters were released at once. ...read more.


A setting that does this incredibly well would be "on a memorable raw afternoon towards evening" this is a very superior word because of the fact that it has not one, not two but many meanings; cold, damp, new and exposed. These are all very excellent because cold links to how Pip is feeling, damp would be the setting of the afternoon; these are both pathetic fallacy. New and exposed could convey on how vulnerable Pip is at the time. As we get close to the appearance of the convict Dickens uses several techniques to create tension and suspense. The use of an alliteration "Low lead line" suggests bars and boundaries which implies jail and could represent the up coming of the event. Then we get a series of line that add to the vulnerability of Pip "The distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea; and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it" the use of "savage" relates to wildness which can be related to the setting and the convict this also connote the vulnerability of pip because the words such as "distant", "small" and "afraid" make Pip feel like he's very small and helpless in these situations. ...read more.


Theses points could resemble Miss Havisham. The word "crerice" meaning crack is rather cleaver because dickens could be relating the cracks in the pavement to the cracks in Miss Havisham's life that will never be for filled. But different interpretations of this quote could be that Estella is the grass that is able to grow, despite her environment. After Pip is introduces to Miss Havisam he realises that all the clocks are stopped at twenty to nine. "stopped like her watch and clock a long time ago" the reason behind Miss Havisham stopping her clocks at twenty to nine is that, that was the time we husband run away from her at there wedding. But the clock stopping a long time a go could suggest that Miss Havisham has also stopped and there is no movement no change and no contentment. When Pip is told to play with Estella he takes his chance to get to know her a little better but Estella does not want to play, but after Miss Havisham quoted "Well? You can break his heart" decides to. In the 1860 the mother good was to keep the house hold spotless, and bring respect, happiness, comfort and physical well being to her family and guests; however she does not bring any of these to Pip, those days it would almost be a crime. ...read more.

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