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How does Dickens use settings to reflect characters in Great Expectations?

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Introduction

Great EXPECTATIONS By Charles Dickens How does Dickens use settings to reflect characters in Great Expectations? Ibtesam Akhter 10-3 Great Expectations is an exceptional novel by Charles Dickens. It was written in 1860-61 and was published in monthly installments. It proved to be a huge success at the time, which led to it being published as a book. Even before Great Expectation was written Dickens had already become a popular writer and was a major Victorian public figure, but this had not always been the case for Dickens. He was born in 1812, his father worked as a clerk at the Navy Pay Office. They lived in Portsmouth, and then in Chatham near the Thames marshes where Dickens spent some of his childhood, interestingly this is also the place where Great Expectations is set. Dickens's father John Dickens got in severe financial troubles, which led him to being imprisoned at Marshlea Prison. Due to the difficult circumstances Charles Dickens had to leave school and work in a blacking warehouse where he earned 6 Schillings per week to help the family. ...read more.

Middle

Gargery in his work. Pip is then invited to "play" at a very rich women's house, who is Miss Havisham, the lady who got abandoned by her groom on her wedding day. The house was called Satis House, Pip also met Estella there and fell in love with her. Pip had thought that Miss Havisham would help him become a gentleman but she only helps him get an apprenticed as a laborer with Mr. Joe. How ever when the news of a mysterious benefactor who had great expectations of him and had given him a large fortune arrives by Mr. Jaggers (a lawyer), Pip thinks that it's Miss Havisham who is his secret benefactor. Pip then travels to London to study as a gentleman; there he also starts to work in Mr. Jaggers's law firm. This is about the time from where Pip's own fortunes start to change. Furthermore, when Pip goes to Satis house he is offered apology by Miss Havisham for her improper behavior and seeks forgiveness from Pip, and he does that. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was the churchyard where the audience comes across the character of Magwitch, the runaway convict who in the beginning threaten to cut Pip's throat. All in a grey course, he had a "great iron" between his legs which suggest that he had been imprisoned. He shoes were broken and with an old rag tied round his head. Magwitch was "soaked" in water, "smothered" by mud, "lamed" by stones, "cut" by flints, "stung" by nettles and "torn" by briars. His appearance and his threat to kill Pip surely made the audience take Pip's side and feel deeply for him. The settings are in a sense parallel to the character of Magwitch. For instance, the surrounding where Magwitch appears is the church yard overlooking the marshes and the marshes are said to be "intersected with dykes and mounds and gates" these are quite similar to Magwitch's state, as he has been smothered in mud, lamed by stones and stung by nettles, these were just the physical features which were similar, furthermore the churchyard and the marshes were bleak and uncivilized places with dark flat wilderness. While Magwitch was a criminal, cruel, barbaric and vicious character. ...read more.

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