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In this essay, I will discuss three different locations that are of special importance to 'Great Expectations'.

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Introduction

Dickens' Use of Location In this essay, I will discuss three different locations that are of special importance to 'Great Expectations'. In each case I will consider how they are important, the effect on the reader Dickens tries to create and the methods he uses to create them. I have chosen descriptions of the marshes near Pip's childhood home; Satis House where Miss Havisham and Estella live and Wemmick's house. Dickens uses the setting of the marshes, at the beginning of the book, to create an unwelcoming atmosphere; to heighten the emotions surrounding the events that take place there and to install in the reader the fear Pip is feeling. Dickens also associates Magwitch with the marshes. . By associating Magwitch with this 'insupportable' place, Magwitch is created as an object of fear. Pip's view of the marshes can be seen to echo his feelings for the convict: at the beginning, he is scared of both the marshes and of Magwitch. However, by the end of the novel he no longer fears the marshes or Magwitch, and has learnt to love Magwitch. Dickens uses a variety of methods to make the reader feel frightened and apprehensive at the beginning. ...read more.

Middle

Gothic novels from this time inspired Dickens, and created a taste amongst his readership that he was eager to supply. Finally, the house serves as a reminder that riches are of no value, for in the end death is inevitable. Dickens uses the setting to develop these themes, and he uses many methods to create these effects. Satis House provides the perfect setting for Miss Havisham. The whole house is an outward manifestation of her life. The 'airless', 'oppressive' house echoes Miss Havisham's own character. Just as she has not changed from her wedding gown for many years, so the house has not changed. Miss Havisham is said to have a 'diseased' mind. She has not left the house for many years and its atmosphere has greatly affected her. 'In shutting out the light of day, she had shut out infinitely more... in seclusion she had secluded her self from a thousand natural and healing influences.' Both she and the house are seen as equal, similar in their derangement. In Satis House, Dickens creates an atmosphere of mouldering doom, and satisfies the taste of his readers for novels with a gothic and sensationalist feel. ...read more.

Conclusion

'He had constructed a fountain in it, which, when you set a little mill going and took a cork out of a pipe, played to that powerful extent that it made the back of your hand quite wet' Dickens builds up the fountain to be something much bigger than it is. In reality it only trickles and splutters enough to wet the back of your hand, it is not 'powerful' in the least and this is also comic. The contrast between this amusingly pretentious cottage, and the serious world of Jaggers' office provides a metaphor for Wemmick's dual character. Wemmick is a different person when at home. As he approaches Jaggers' offices Wemmick gets 'dryer and harder' and 'his mouth tightened into a post office again'. The drawbridge shows this separation of work and home. 'After I have crossed the bridge I hoist it up-so-and cut off the communication' The drawing up of the bridge can be seen as a metaphor for this detachment from his job. Dickens creates many locations in 'Great Expectations' and one of Dickens' most powerful gifts is for description. He is able to create different effects using many methods, to create a powerful sense of location. He does this not just for its own sake but also to help illustrate themes in the plot or aspects of the major characters. ...read more.

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