Symbolic References in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

1017 WordsJul 8, 20185 Pages
On most occasions, an object can be more clearly explained to the reader if the writer uses a symbol to represent it. In politics, flags, banners, acronyms, and pictures can be used as a symbol. For example, the United States flag contains fifty stars, each star representing a state. It also contains thirteen horizontal stripes. These stripes signify the thirteen colonies. Symbols are also used in math operations, shapes, and sets of numbers. For instance, in the equation 20+10=30, the + symbol is used for addition, and the = symbol is used to show the answer for the equation. Colors may also be used as a symbol. In some countries, the color white represents purity while the color black embodies evil or mourning. Colors, in…show more content…
Miss. Havisham literally stopped her life when she refused to see the light of day. It appeared as if nobody lived in Satis House. The place, like Miss. Havisham, slowly began to decay. Cobwebs, insects, and dust dominated the scene at Satis House. Even the rotting wedding cake intended to be consumed on such a festive day lay there on a grubby table. This gloomy, dreary, and unclean house was complete with the dreadful memories of the decrepit Miss. Havisham. Another symbol used in Great Expectations is the mist in the marshes. When Pip was small, he lived near the marshes. The marshes are Great Expectations’ setting, a place where Pip meets the convict, his benefactor, for the first time. He met him in a bad situation and since Pip was so naïve, Abel, the convict, tried scaring him into doing what he wanted him to do. The marshes were the place where dangerous scenes happened in the novel. Sometimes the marshes were not mentioned, but were substituted with words like: the cloudy sky, the fog, and the cemetery. Explaining the marshes in an article titled “Great Expectations: Themes, Motifs, and Symbols,” the author declares, “The misty marshes alert the reader that this apparently positive development in his life may have dangerous consequences” (5). These misty marshes symbolize “danger and uncertainty” (5). In this novel, when something dangerous is about to happen, the marshes appear. Finally, fire
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