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Great Expectations- Setting

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Grace Clarke

on 30 March 2014

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Transcript of Great Expectations- Setting

Great Expectations- Setting
Satis House
- The Gothic setting emphasizes Miss Havisham's inner darkness
Satis House Quotes
"It was spacious, and I dare say had once been handsome, but every discernible thing in it was covered with dust and mould, and dropping to pieces. The most prominent object was a long table with a table-cloth spread on it, as if the feast had been in preparation when the house and the clocks all stopped together." (88)
Thesis Statement
In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens uses setting to; emphasize character traits, translate the mood of the scene and to parallel themes in the novel. By using setting as a tool Dickens makes the surroundings come to life and become characters in themselves.
-The once grand house is crumbling, mimicking her physical and mental deterioration.
-She has stopped all the clocks to show the moment she knew she'd been jilted, and still wears her rotting wedding dress. She controls her environment and has effectively stopped time.
-When Miss Havisham is burned by the fire (metaphorically the heart of the house) it symbolizes the end of her unhealthy obsession and allows time to continue.
"...The first thing I noticed was, that the passages were all dark, and that she had left a candle burning there. [Estella] took it up, and we went through more passages and up a staircase, and still it was all dark, and only the candle lighted us" cant find the page
"Within a quarter of an hour we came to Miss Havisham's house, which 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. There was a courtyard in front, and that was barred...The cold wind seemed to blow colder there than outside the gate; and it made a shrill noise in howling in and out at the open sides of the brewery, like the noise of wind in the rigging of a ship at sea." (56-57)
Quote Comparison
"By the light of the torches, we saw the black Hulk lying out a little way from the mud of the shore, like a wicked Noah’s ark. Cribbed and barred and moored by massive rusty chains, the prison-ship seemed in my young eyes to be ironed like the prisoners." (40)
Kent
- Represents Pip's innocence which is interrupted by the convict
- Landscape is flat, wet and awkwardly bumpy.
-The land was unusable and marshy aka it had no expectations
-Initially Pip feels most at home in the cemetery. a testament to his lack of a home and his childish feelings.
-He is desperate to go to London and leave Kent but by the end of the novel he realizes he was no happier
- Both Joe and Biddyare both satisfied living in Kent
Kent Quotes
"Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea. My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things, seems to me to have been gained on a memorable raw afternoon towards evening." (1)
"It was a rimy morning, and very damp. I had seen the damp lying on the outside of my little window, as if some goblin had been crying there all night, and using the window for a pocket-handkerchief. Now, I saw the damp lying on the bare hedges and spare grass, like a coarser sort of spiders' webs; hanging itself from twig to twig and blade to blade. On every rail and gate, wet lay clammy; and the marsh-mist was so thick, that the wooden finger on the post directing people to our village—a direction which they never accepted, for they never came there—was invisible to me until I was quite close under it. Then, as I looked up at it, while it dripped, it seemed to my oppressed conscience like a phantom devoting me to the Hulks." (15)
London
-Pip initially has high expectations for London and it is regarded and as a place of action, money and filled with gentlemen. However, when Pip arrives at his new city he is shocked by the gritty, dirty, frightening atmosphere.
This demonstrates the running theme throughout the novel of appearance not matching up with reality. Similar to the “gentlemen” in the novel London appears on the outside to be classy, rich and elite but when examined closely it is dark and in many ways worse of than the small town Pip moved from.
-One of the first things Pip sees is the public yard where criminals are whipped, punished, or hanged for anyone to see.
Reminder that crime is all around him
Foreshadows future visits to the prison including Magwitch's final incarceration
London Quotes
"We Britons had at that time particularly settled that it was treasonable to doubt our having and our being the best of everything: otherwise, while I was scared by the immensity of London, I think I might have had some faint doubts whether it was not rather ugly, crooked, narrow, and dirty." (170)
"A frowzy mourning of soot and smoke attired this forlorn creation of Barnard, and it had strewn ashes on its head, and was undergoing penance and humiliation as a mere dust-hole. Thus far my sense of sight; while dry rot and wet rot and all the silent rots that rot in neglected roof and cellar,—rot of rat and mouse and bug and coaching-stables near at hand besides [...]" (181)
-When Joe visits Pip in London, Pip acts rude in an attempt to appear like a gentleman however it is his environment the prevents him from playing a convincing role.
Wemmick's settings
-At work, Wemmick is cynical, and singularly obsessed with portable property. At home he is jovial and kind, taking care of his aged parent.
A direct parallel is drawn in the settings where his dark bland office is contrasted between his cozy tended to "castle".
-Wemmick's home is literally his castle, decorated with all the adornments of a medieval residence. Wemmick demonstrates to Pip, and to the reader, that particular careers or stations in life don't make a man who he is.
-This use of setting directly portrays the theme that homes reflect where the heart is. We also see this throughout each character in the book. Only Pip is not represented by his surroundings.
Wemmick Quotes
"My Walworth sentiments must be taken at Walworth; none but my official sentiments can be taken at this office" (310)
“These were agreeably interspersed among small specimens of china and glass, various neat trifles made by the proprietor of the museum, and some tobacco-stoppers carved by the Aged. They were all displayed in that chamber of the Castle into which I had first been conducted, and which served, not only as the general sitting-room but as the kitchen too, if I might judge from a saucepan on the hob, and a brazen bijou over the fireplace designed for the suspension of a roasting-jack.” i cant find the page at all
"My own doing," said Wemmick. “Looks pretty; don't it?" (216)
Jaggers's Settings
Like Jaggers's office, his home is charmless to say the least. The point is, as Dickens himself says here, that “he seemed to bring the office home with him."
“So unchanging was the dull old house, the yellow light in the darkened room, the faded spectre in the chair by the dressing-table glass, that I felt as if the stopping of the clocks had stopped Time in that mysterious place, and while I and everything else outside it grew older, it stood still….It bewildered me, and under its influence I continued at heart to hate my trade and to be ashamed of home.” (125)
After years of corruption and lying Jagger's is cold and off-putting. He often washes his hands as if to rid himself of dirty guilt. This is reflected in both his office and his house which are extremely uninviting and lacking any warmth or homey feel.
Jaggers's Quotes
"...rather a stately house of its kind, but dolefully in want of painting, and with dirty windows. He took out his key and opened the door, and we all went into a stone hall, bare, gloomy, and little used. So, up a dark brown staircase into a series of three dark brown rooms on the first floor... The furniture was all very solid and good, like his watch-chain. It had an official look, however, and there was nothing merely ornamental to be seen." (222)
"Mr. Jaggers's room was lighted by a skylight only, and was a most dismal place; the skylight, eccentrically patched like a broken head, and the distorted adjoining houses looking as if they had twisted themselves to peep down at me through it... Mr. Jaggers's own high-backed chair was of deadly black horsehair, with rows of brass nails round it, like a coffin; and I fancied I could see how he leaned back in it, and bit his fore-finger at the clients." (171-172)
Conclusion
- Charles Dickens uses setting to promote both character traits and to parallel the books themes.
Each characters true intentions and heart are portrayed in there surrounding and left to themselves the environments tell a story of their own.
The Way out
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