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The importance of settings in 'Great Expectations'

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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