Explore the Relationship between Character and Environment. Essays

1112 Words5 Pages
"It is the habit of my imagination", wrote one Victorian novelist, "to strive after as full a vision of the medium in which a character moves, as of the character itself." Explore the relationship between character and environment in any one or two fictional works of the period. Both Great Expectations and David Copperfield are characterised by the close relationship between the characters and their immediate environment. This is emblematic of all Dickens' novels, reflecting Dickens' own life, recreating his experiences and journeys, using people and places to symbolise feelings and emotions. David Copperfield opens to `Pip' in a churchyard on the eerie marshes of Kent sombrely reading his parents' gravestones. Dickens describes the…show more content…
Through doings this, Dickens is enlightening the reader of the links between crime and social oppression in the novel. Pip believes that when he is older Miss Havisham will let him marry Estella and will give him Satis House, and so this becomes his main desire. This represents all that he ever wants - wealth, status and Estella. Satis House portrays the emptiness of Pip's desires, a "ruined garden, a grim, ironic parody of the supposed pastoral qualities of the village...the house in which no emotions are nurtured but the convoluted, stunted and poisonous." (Schwarzbach 188) To Pip, the weeds in the garden look like "precious flowers." (Dickens 255) The next instalment of Pip's life comes when he inherits a sum of money and goes to live in London. London plays a major part in all Dickens' novels, as he spent a lot of his time there. The city is, as Pip says, "ugly, crooked, narrow and dirty" (Dickens 153). The characters introduced to the reader in London include Jaggers and Wemmick. Both of these characters have different ways of dealing with the austerity of London life, Jaggers' being strictly formal, washing his hand of it whenever possible, and
Open Document