How Does Dickens Use Settings In His Novel Great Expectations ToRevel Character And Status?
The novel ‘Great Expectations’ is opened straightaway with one of itsmain characters Pip. His abusive sister and her husband, Joe Gargery,the kindly village blacksmith brings up Pip. Magwitch, an escapedconvict confronts Pip in the churchyard on the Kent marshes anddemands food and a file to break his chains. Out of fear Pip compliesand Magwitch escapes. He is later recaptured and transported toAustralia where he prospers.
Miss Havisham, an eccentric old woman meets Pip. Pip found out thatshe also has an adopted daughter called Estella, whom Pip falls inlove with. Estella has been taught by Miss Havisham to break men’shearts as restitution for Miss Havisham having been left at the altaryears before.
Pip is apprenticed to Joe but longs to become a gentleman after havingbeen made to feel inferior by Estella. He begins to be ashamed of Joeand home and asks Biddy to help educate him.
A lawyer named Jaggers meets Pip and Joe at the blacksmith’sworkplace. Pip recognizes Jaggers as a man he has seen at MissHavisham’s house. Jaggers relates to Pip and Joe that Pip has greatexpectations through an unnamed benefactor, which Pip assumes is MissHavisham. Jagger tells them that Pip is to be released from hisapprenticeship to Joe and become a gentleman and is to go to London tobegin his education. As part of the mysterious circumstances of hisgreat expectation, Pip is told that he is not to try to discover whohis benefactor is.
When Pip arrives at London he sees Jaggers and his clerk Wemmick whoset him up to begin his education with Matthew Pocket, who is MissHavisham cousin. Pip has chambers w…
… leaves home andenters the world of London.
From reading the novel, I think the novel is very effective on showingits views on the 19th century. It revealed a lot of 19th century lifethrough its main character. Miss Havisham, from the upper class whorepresents the immense greed and corruption in the 19th century. AndWemmick, who represents the lower classes and wishes to keep hismorals and have a simple, independent life. The funny thing isalthough Wemmick may be from the lower classes society, he has a moreenjoyable lifestyle than Miss Havisham, and this highlights theirstatus. He emphasises the problems in the 19th century greatly, usingdifferent characters and situation. I loved the way Charles Dickensshows us what is important in life and money is not everything. Healso makes you understand that being poor can be better than beingrich.