How Character and Setting Are Created in Great Expectations

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Analyse how character and setting are created in Chapter 1 of Great Expectations ‘Great Expectations’ is a best selling novel, written during the reign of Queen Victoria, by the well known author Charles Dickens. This novel was serialised as each chapter would be published in a weekly magazine. Dickens would have to deliberately make each chapter interesting and addictive in order for people to buy the next publishing. Throughout chapter 1, Dickens portrays the two starting characters with a lot of contrast to begin with. For example, we first get introduced to Pip. A young uneducated boy living in the marshes of a small cut off town. Due to low infant mortality and large death rates, Pip’s father passed away along with his mother who died during childbirth with his 5 brothers who also died. Pip is left with his older, hard-handed sister who rarely shows love therefore Pip makes as much effort as he can to visit his family’s graves. During a short visit at the local cemetery on a cold dry day, Pip approaches Madgwick. Madgwick is an escape convict from a prison miles away. He approaches him in very vulgar way, threatening to kill him if he doesn’t get him food by the morning. For a man with no respect, he extremely intimidates Pip so he rushed back to his inland home just in time for dinner with only one thing on his mind- getting the food for terrifying Madgwick.

Straight away when you first read the book, an immediate personality of simpleness and low education is displayed of Pip where it says ‘My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip.’ By giving the impression that Pip could not easily pronounce his name at a young age, it could give the idea to readers that he wasn’t that well educated when he was younger. Although it is not a large quote, it is a brief description of how Pip’s mind works. Another quote supporting this assumption could be ‘As I...
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