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

The importance of settings in 'Great Expectations'

Extracts from this document...


Great Expectations Essay The purpose of setting is to provide a physical background for the narrative and it must enhance or advance the plot. In "Great Expectations" Dickens has varied and contrasted his settings (on purpose), to make the changes in characters personalities more appropriate. For example Pip goes from a poor, working class boy from the marshes, to a socialite of the upper class who is arrogant and proud in London. In his choice of setting Dickens has made sure that his settings tie in with his characters social class, he has done this with Jaggers the lawyer who lives in London, Wemmick his assistant who lives in a quiet, small, eccentric urban house and the Gargery's in their forge on the marshes. By making Characters settings seem appropriate for their class and personal storyline this makes the novel seem somewhat realistic and possible and this must have been very exciting to the readers of what was then a series and would have been one reason why they might have been eager to read the next chapter. I think Dickens intentionally made his purpose of setting real and authentic to achieve the appeal, which would have been generated from this. ...read more.


Dickens felt this was unfair and put light on it. The setting of London and its strong contrast of social class definitely affects and reflects on Pips personality. As later he copies Jaggers in how he looks down on the lower classes and shows this when Joe comes to visit, also Pip becomes ashamed of his past as he was once lower class himself. This is another time where Dickens has used his setting to bring out a characters individual personality and storyline and question society at the time. Dickens through his settings compliments every character and in some cases creates affection for example Wemmicks house as it shows his devotion to his father. On the other hand he has the power to create fear and hatred of characters like the convict. Dickens brings life to his settings through his mood, tone and atmosphere, this is especially true in his description of London as he really brings out the hustle and bustle of the city. Dickens was good at this because when he was young he went through many tough times. ...read more.


For example ' I found the roadway covered with straw to deaden the noise of passing vehicles' or 'All the uses and scents of the brewery might have evaporated with its last reek of smoke'. Dickens drew on the use of colour to create unique and powerful portrayals of his settings for example 'the sky was just a row of long angry lines and dense black lines intermixed'. By using similes like 'skylight patched like a broken head' Dickens made setting imaginable and so easier to imagine/relate to. The use of setting Great Expectations is of a high standard as Dickens has been able to create vivid world through his involvements of senses and various writing techniques. Also Dickens was able to make his novel realistic as he drew from many of the experiences of his life. Dickens has provided more than a physical background for his narrative as through is settings he has further enhanced and also deepened his plot there for bringing his book to life, also he has used mood, tone and atmosphere to complement his characters effectively and his choice of locations fit in with his story. ...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 Great Expectations 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 Great Expectations essays

  1. Great expectation

    I think that society is using Magwitch, as a scapegoat so that they can charge him for crimes he did not commit so they can feel better about their society thinking it is safer. Whereas the real criminals in the novel are free, for example Compeyson a forger, Orlick a murderer and Drummle a wife beater.

  2. Charles Dickens's writing techniques in Great Expectations.

    Finally Miss. Havisham is introduced. She is seen in her once white, now yellow, wedding dress. All of this description, the old house, the clocks, the wedding dress, explains how Miss. Havisham was left on her wedding day many years ago and that was when her life stopped.

  1. Compare and Contrast Pips Life on the Marshes to his Life in London.

    a man and a gentle man and he is looking at a child's song and singing it. "Too rul loo rul!" This shows that even though he is aspiring to become a gentleman, deep down he is not quite ready or mature enough.

  2. An exploration of the ways in which issues of class and status are presented ...

    and by his distancing himself from Joe. Immediately there is a distance created between the two, making it difficult for Joe to shake himself from calling his old friend "Sir" and trying to, in expression, imitate Pips education that he has not recieved. Instantly, the reader hates the difference that has alienated the two characters, the society

  1. How does Dickens create an effective opening chapter in Great expectations?

    The word "wound" creates the image of distance and the repetition of river creates the feeling of length. Each comma between the descriptions could resemble a new twist or turn to the river. The fact that he is so far away from his home (and society)

  2. Free essay

    Great Expectations. Discuss how the theme of class is developed through Pips visit to ...

    This is the older, stronger Pip narrating the novel. The narration done by the older Pip is shown to be a very educated style which suggests that Pip is now of higher class. However, the narration done by younger Pip is not as sophisticated; he sounds very innocent and imaginative, for example he says: "I saw a figure hanging there by the neck.


    When Magwitch is tormenting him in the first extract he says in the most civil way: "If you would kindly let me keep upright sir, perhaps I shouldn't be sick, and perhaps I could attend more." He tackles this situation in such a grown up manner that Magwitch thinks that he is being cheeky.

  2. What does Dickens reveal about social class in 'Great Expectations'?

    He also has to forgive Miss Havisham and keep her from trying to kill herself as a result of the grief she has had from what she has done. He ends up back in the place where he has started his journey; sees Magwitch kill Compeyson and escapes being killed by Orlick.

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