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Charles dickens

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Prose Study: How does Charles Dickens create an atmosphere of crime and death in 'Great Expectations'? - English/English Literature Coursework In this essay, I will talk about how Charles Dickens creates an atmosphere of crime and death in 'Great Expectations'. Charles Dickens was an English novelist of the Victorian era and was considered to be one of English language's greatest writers; he was acclaimed for his rich storytelling and memorable characters and achieved massive worldwide popularity in his lifetime. 'Great Expectations' is a novel written and serially published from 1860 to 1861 in a magazine called 'All Year Round'. Shortly after that, it was published as a complete novel. It was set during the Industrial Revolution in Britain. The Industrial Revolution brought in a major change in the economy and society resulting from the use of machines and the efficient production of goods. Charles Dickens begins the story in a graveyard. Immediately, we are introduced to the theme of death. The weather matches with the creepy setting. It links to death by using words like "raw afternoon"; the word "raw" suggests that it is painful. "Dark" suggests evil and death; and "flat" suggests something bleak. These words all enhance the gloomy setting. The main character Pip tells us about his parents and brothers who are buried in the graveyard. ...read more.


This Ox of Pip's mind notices him with the pork pie and recognises that the pie is not his. "A boy with Somebody-else's pork pie! Stop him!", "Holloa, young thief!" With its clerical air, the ox seems like a vicar, accusing him of sin. In the beginning of Chapter Eight, Dickens described the Satis House like a prison. It "was of old brick, and dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it. Some of the windows had been walled up; of those that remained, all the lower were rustily barred." Iron bars are like prison bars and it is one of the places where you can't escape from. "There was also a large brewery" at the side of Satis House. This place was very idle. "There was also a large brewery. No brewing was going on in it, and none seemed to have gone on for a long long time". Nothing growing in it signifies death and in this case, the large brewery consists of nothing but waiting death. At one point, Pip was beginning to feel cold as he went through the house. "The cold wind seemed to blow colder there, than outside the gate...". This links to Pip's fear of going into the house. The more he has the feeling of becoming colder, the more he fears going into the house. ...read more.


Pip has also never seen these kinds of objects before in his life and he too, gets fascinated as he looks into them. Pip says that Jaggers' chair is like a "coffin". We have a mental image of Jaggers emerging like a vampire from the coffin. Pip's experiences of the law are linked to Dickens's life: his father had been imprisoned for debt and he had been a court journalist and law clerk. The choice of settings such as the frightening graveyard and the introduction of dark characters such as the sinister convict, Magwitch create the atmosphere of crime and death. Dark weather creates a sense of crime and death in a lot of scenes. Charles Dickens sums up this novel as a crime and death genre. It is also a mixture of crime and horror as well as crime and death. A drunken court official offers to show Pip a public hanging place. This sickened Pip just as it did Dickens who campaigned against such humiliating events and wanted them to be banned. Dickens spent his life campaigning against poverty, crime and death. There was crime and death everywhere all around his time and he chose this genre to make his readers aware of these and to the fact that poverty played an important part which caused high crime rate resulting in unfortunate deaths. By: Your name ...read more.

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