The imagery allows the general mood of whichever scene to be given to us, and often, his characters subtly create the images he wants, without being of “Great Expectations” plays a vital role in the communication between Dickens and his readers, and is constantly used, in many different ways, throughout the narrative. This use of too blatant.
One time where this kind of imagery is clearly used, is chapter twenty. Pip has just arrived in London, having gained an inheritance from his mystery benefactor, and has been ushered into Jaggers’ office. He hasn’t yet come into contact with Jaggers in person, and so is extremely observant of this office and it’s surroundings, subconsciously drawing from it conclusions about Jaggers’ character and the type of person he is. Here, Dickens is slyly introducing Jaggers and his position in the novel with relation to Pip, whose story we’re following. This allows us (his readers), to have some idea of the man we are soon to meet, how we are supposed to look to him, and what our feelings are towards him, as we are practically watching the story unfold from behind the point of view of Pip, our narrator.
On entering this office, the very first thing to strike Pip is its darkness, and lack of lighting; “…the room was lighted by skylight only…a most dismal place”, the fact that it is lighted by skylight only, suggests that there needs to be more. Immediately, this gives an impression of an unwelcoming environment, in a place that one ought to avoid, a place where Pip has just stepped. It is dark and dismal, possibly reflecting the personality of the man to whom this office belongs. Jaggers has clearly not created any light by him, it is already here, and there is actually as little light as possible. Even so, this solitary source of light is still not perfect, it’s “eccentrically patched like a broken head”, meaning that there are clouds in the sky. This is the weather, the state of the world at this very moment in time. Cloudy, grey, dismal. It brings down the entire atmosphere, taking with it the moods of the people, and their outlook on life. Everything is seen from a more negative point of view. But maybe, this piece of skylight reveals to us a piece of happiness in Jaggers’ life. The light of this room is purely natural and is not fake, perhaps representing true happiness. He is trapped in this continuous cycle, where his work is his life, in this dark and dismal room, with that small window of natural happiness.
Also from this window are the houses outside, the “distorted adjoining houses looking as if they had twisted themselves to peep down at me through the skylight”. Again this is coming from that one place where there is light. This also shows us how Pip feels intimidated, even the houses outside the window look as if they are scaring him. They seem to be on Jaggers’ side, watching to see if you do what he wants, as if to frighten clients.
This is also the case for many other objects around; “an old, rusty pistol, a sword in a scabbard, two dreadful casts on a shelf…” they are all little reminders of death -the ultimate price to pay if full attention is not given to Jaggers. There are also “not many papers about, as [Pip] should have expected to see…” suggesting that this is not a place of calm and quiet work, but that it is real and to the point. These objects and images, are all around, and almost impossible to ignore. It is obvious that Jaggers has intended for these things to be seen by all, the casts are ion display.
Jaggers works in the middle of this; his office, all a part of him. He sits in his “high backed chair, of deadly black horse-hair and rows of nails round it, like a coffin…” again, a reminder of death, a big one.