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The Setting in Great Expectations Essay

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The 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?" and Pip's
response being "There sir" as he points to his Mother, Father and five
sibling's gravestones.

Throughout the book the settings reflect Pips moods and hopes; such
places as the blacksmiths and Satis house affect Pip's state of
thought profoundly. Pip's experiences of suffering and torture, both
mental and physical...


... middle of paper ...


...oney 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.



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