Analysis Of The Use Of Setting In Great Expectations By Charles Dickens

2295 words - 9 pages

Analysis of the Use of Setting in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The novel, Great Expectations, starts on the dull lonely marshes of
Pip’s home village. Pip has a lack of identity in this book because it
says, ‘My Father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name
Phillip, my infant tongue could make of both the names nothing longer
or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be
called Pip'. This shows us that his lack of identity is down to the
fact he has not got a proper first name because he could not say it
and that because of that he says he has not got a real identity.

The marshes reflect Pip’s identity and emotions because they include a
graveyard where Pip’s parents are buried and obviously Pip is feeling
very emotional. The book says the marshes are, ‘that dark flat
wilderness beyond the church'. This is what Pip is feeling inside
himself. Dark and bleak feelings. This also gives off the impression
that it is a very depressing and scary place to be but Pip doesn’t
care as it is the only refuge from his dreaded, evil sister, Mrs Joe
Gargery, and to be in the place with the ones he loves, his family.

On these same marshes Pip manages to bump in to an escaped convict,
Magwitch. This man is described as, ‘ a fearful man, all in course
grey, with a great iron on his leg'. you already get the impression
this man is a man not to be crossed with and is obviously very
dangerous. It goes on to say, ‘a man with no hat, and with broken
shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. A man who had been
soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamped by stones, and cut
by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and
shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his
head'. this great way to describe a potentially very evil man reflects
the marshes as they are dark and obviously scary and this is exactly
what Magwitch is.

Later on in the novel, Pip gets invited to Satis House, Ms Havisham’s
humble abode. I say this as its not really humble or an abode. It is
rather old and decrepit just like the owner. The house is described
as, ‘all dark passages, and still was all dark and only the candle
lighted us'. This creates the impression that the owner is probably
very old and hasn’t seen the light of day and doesn’t particularly
want to. The woman inside, Ms Havisham is shown as, ‘her head leaning
on one hand, sat the strangest lady I have ever seen, or shall ever
see'. This givers the impression he is amazed that anyone could be so
old and look like a statue. This is a great person to put in the house
as she has frozen in time because when she was going to get married
the man to whom she was a bride let her down. She has frozen the time
she lives in and the house at the exact time when her husband left and
she is...

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