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The Importance of Settings in Great Expectations Essay example

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The Importance of Settings in Great Expectations



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.

Dickens ability to set mood, tone and atmosphere to compliment his
characters was crucial in their success, for example, Abel Magwitch
and his first appearance in the story as the ‘convict’. What better a
place to situate a convict but in a place where it is misty, foggy,
cold, damp, dark, dangerous and perilously silent? What makes it even
better is that also Dickens puts in a timid boy who has come to visit
his dead relatives, only to be ambushed by a convict. The atmosphere
created here really works and is effecti...


... middle of paper ...


...reate 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.


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