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Setting in Great Expectations

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Introduction

Setting in Great Expectations The settings of Great Expectations have an important bearing on the storyline; the settings also echo the characters in personality and circumstance. The theme of the book seems to run parallel with the settings in some respects, such as the plain but wholesome life-style of Rochester and the beckoning but ultimately shallow habitat of London. Throughout the book comparisons and relationships between story and setting are made, many subtle and not evident unless reflected upon. The setting from the start of the book is very important, from the bleak and stereotypical graveyard that give the book a starting tense and exiting mood, and the humble blacksmiths that acts as a platform for Pip's expectations and the opposite setting to much of the grander scenery in London. The graveyard at the start of the book is typical example of how the setting contributes so well to the story and the atmosphere, this is just one of the more obvious examples. Starting the book in a graveyard quickly informs the reader of a lot of information about Pips history that under different circumstances would have taken a lot longer to explain; things like Pips parents and family were quickly and briefly explained to the readers via the gravestones and Magwitches asking "Where's your mother?" ...read more.

Middle

not quite the peachy visions that Pip had about the city and in particular the references to Negate seem to point out that some of London is both filthy and depraved as do the quotes on places like little Britain. It is not just Pips state of mind that is affected or represented but the immediate surroundings; Miss Havishams state of mind and existence is well projected by the bizarreness of her surroundings, in particular the rotting wedding cake on the table at which she wishes her dead body to be placed and her relatives to feast upon her own flesh. The tainted chambers in which she resides equal these insane ideas. "Are you not afraid of a woman who has not seen the light of day since before you were born?" Miss Havisham claims to Pip as he nervously replies in the negative; her 'lair' is covered in cobwebs and the windows are boarded up so no natural light can enter her chamber. The picture presented by Dickens seems quite stereotypical of how the dwellings of an evil or mentally infirm person may live and this adds to the effectiveness of the description of Havisham's house. ...read more.

Conclusion

The forge would normally have the appearance of being a dreary place, with fires blazing and the shadow of it lingering everywhere. However, it was actually a place where love was taught from all corners, and good morals were instructed. Satis house, the home of the Havishams, seemed like it should have the appearance of an upper-class home: much more comfortable and wonderful than a lower class home because of the money that the Havishams possessed. Satis means "enough" and that "whoever had this house could want nothing else." The appearance that this house would be "enough" for the Havishams shows what kind of people that they really are in reality. Satis house was "of old brick, and dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it. Some of the windows had been walled up; of those that remained, all the lower were rustily barred." Satis house was not welcoming at all, and in actuality it was very uncomfortable. Another contrast between truth and illusion is of Walworth, Mr. Wemmick's home. Mr. Wemmick, Pip's coworker, has a slight case of multiple personality disorder. In the office, he is like a machine. This appearance he puts forth as an illusion of a hard working man while the truth is that he is very vivacious and sprightly. ...read more.

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