What is the setting like in Chapter 39 of "Great Expectations", and how does this add to the mood and atmosphere.

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The setting of Chapter 39 is in London, a city built and polluted by man. It is unlike the naturalistic marshes in which Pip first met the convict Magwitch. It is a stormy night, which foreshadows the news that Pip is to learn about his benefactor. All along, Pip had believed his benefactor was Miss Havisham, but suddenly he discovers that the person who has been supporting him for years is none other than the dark, swarmy man that scared him half to death years ago on the marshes. By leaving his home and moving to London with the belief that Miss Havisham would someday reveal herself to him, Pip has become proud and haughty. The city has helped pollute his values. Once confronted with the truth, all Pip Pip states, “But, sharpest and deepest pain of all … was that I had deserted Joe." Pip is now affected with a storm inside his heart. His dream of marrying Estella seems further away than ever and he realizes he has hurt the person who loves him the most.

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Great Expectations

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