Great Expectations By Charles Dickens Essay

Great Expectations By Charles Dickens Essay

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The three-part series of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, uses impassioned imagery to draw a mental and physical picture for the audience. Every setting in Dickens’s book discloses more about Pip than the last one. In a way, Pip’s surroundings bring out different attributes in him, affecting him direct or indirectly. No single setting does this book justice, more or less a collage of environments that determine the outcome of Pip’s story. The author exercises the setting to his advantage in more than one way, utilizing the ambiance as symbolism with the novel’s theme. Charles Dickens writes Great Expectations with bounteous contrasts and similarities such as social confinement, the environment, and perception in the northern Kent marshes at the beginning and end of the book.
Initially, the marsh is the humble birthplace of Philip Pirrip, the next generation of lower class blacksmiths in the Pirrip family tree. The modest background of the northern Kent marshes delineates Pip’s innocent upbringing before his involvement with the convict or any of the awaiting fortunes. Unmistakably, Dickens conveys Pip’s home through the words of other characters as socially confining. "Aha!" said the stranger, quickly, and cocking his eye at me. “The lonely church, right out on the marshes, with graves round it!"(Dickens, 72). This excerpt depicts how detached the swamp is and economically destitute northern Kent is, as money is only circulated within the town, not ferried from rich cities. Essentially, there is no way to rise amongst social classes in this Victorian era setting. Jaggers later comments how inferior the swamp is on the social scale by saying: "I am not acquainted with this country, gentlemen, but it seems a solitary country t...


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...air conditions of Joe and Biddy’s wedding in chapter fifty-eight. Also, a blue sky could be perceived as good weather for a positive ending for Joe and Biddy. The sunny marsh is proof that Pip finally reveals that affection and loyalty are more important that social advancement and wealth.
Through and through, Great Expectations delivers more than a story told through the characters, but also through the surroundings of the characters. Dickens unique perspective on dialogue and ambience creates wonderful scenes that eventually contrast with each other. From the greedy boy that Pip left north Kent with, to the caring man he returned as, nothing would have been quite the same without the right framework. Pip’s perception on his surroundings changes as the backdrop changes with him, all the while in his fluctuating social class that brings him back to lower class Kent.

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