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Discuss Dickens' presentation of Pip's character in the first part of "Great Expectations".

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Introduction

Discuss Dickens' presentation of Pip's character in the first part of "Great Expectations" A famous Victorian novelist Charles Dickens wrote the book "Great Expectations". Many of Dickens' novels were based on orphans and his own childhood experiences. Dickens grew up in a sad family community and many of his books are a reflection of his feelings. In "Great Expectations" Dickens writes about a young boy called Pip, who lives with his sister Mrs Joe and her husband the blacksmith. Throughout this novel Dickens presents Pips character in different ways by using a manner of writing techniques. In Chapter one, Dickens' use of setting and atmosphere creates an early sensitive feeling of sympathy for Pips. The "marsh county" where Pip lives is described as "bleak and overgrown with nettles", the word "nettles" is used to suggest that the marshes are a dangerous place to be. This is unsettling for the reader to picture, this small boy living in such a frightful surrounding. ...read more.

Middle

Uncle Pumblechook is one of the characters with a large influence on the way Pip feels. Pip does not like Uncle Pumblechook and describes him as a "hard-breathing middle-aged slow man, with a mouth like a fish"; Dickens uses a caricature to illustrate Pips dislike of him. Uncle Pumblechook is a wealthy man and looks down to Pip "be grateful boy". Uncle Pumblechook makes Pip feel guilty, " be grateful boy, to them which brought you up by hand" he is trying to suggest to Pip that he should appreciate Mrs Joe and that " young people are never grateful", which is a stereotype. In chapter four Uncle Pumblechook joins Pip and the Gargerys for Christmas dinner. Mrs Joe invites Uncle Pumblechook to "have a little brandy", which Pip knows has got tar water in it and that he is guilty of that fact. Pip watches Uncle Pumblechook "throw his head back, and drink the brandy". ...read more.

Conclusion

This is shown in how Dickens kills off two of the main character, Mrs Joe and Miss Havisham. Mrs Joe who is crawly beaten up and Miss Havisham who burns in a horrific death. Pips character is conveyed in the novel to be depressive and lonely with no true friends of his own age. He appears to have a vivid imagination "I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled" which is shown early on in the novel. In this novel Dickens tries to explain that it should not matter what social background you are from but the person that is inside that matters. The children that were engaged in his novels always concluded to be loved and excepted in a happy family. "Great Expectations is a symbolic name of the book because Pip was never expected to make anything of his life. I think Dickens' message is that people can better them selves in life and those that try to pull you back are the people who cant manage themselves. ...read more.

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