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English Coursework: Dickens, Explore how Charles Dickens creates a sense of place and authentic characters in the chapters one and eight of his novel 'Great Expectations'.

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Introduction

G.C.S.E Coursework Assignment 5 Explore how Charles Dickens creates a sense of place and authentic characters in the chapters one and eight of his novel 'Great Expectations'. Charles Dickens was born in 1812, a century that is considered to have been eventful in British history. Charles Dickens is very well-known for his wonderful contribution to British literature and drama. His prolific style of writing was professed for its ability to capture an audience and to ensure that a reader was always left wanting more and eager for his next instalment. Unlike many other authors of his time, Charles Dickens was quite rich and famous within his own life, which was regarded as an unusual occurrence in those days, as many authors of that time only rose to fame long after they were dead. He was recognised as a British icon. Charles grew to be prosperous in his adult life; however his good fortune was not dictated by a conventional childhood as he suffered some events which almost changed his life completely. Charles grew up in Portsmouth where his father John Dickens worked as a pay clerk in the Navy Pay Office. The Dickens family were of middleclass status and had sturdy finances until the father was unable to manage their money efficiently and was briefly sent to Marshal Sea Prison. ...read more.

Middle

Pip tells the reader his first, guilty memories of helping a convict and how he was sent to play with a beautiful, but cruel, girl. The story is told in the first person by Pip, as a narrator looking back from a mature perspective and commenting on his conduct while growing up. This is effective within the text because the main character is able to input personal response which makes the novel seem more believable. Charles Dickens opens this novel by introducing the main character Pip alone, visiting his parents' graves on Christmas Eve. Here, the author creates a bleak and hostile atmosphere in the graveyard and surrounding marshes with the use of an advanced language. This prepares the reader for the frightening introduction of the escaped convict into the story. Dickens starts with Pip weeping for his dead family in the churchyard, establishing him as an orphan for whom we feel sorry and protective. The opening chapter shows this vulnerable child standing in front of the seven graves of his mum, his dad, and his five brothers. The narrator lists the names of his dead brothers, "Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias and Roger". This adds to the realism within the story as the list of names gives them an identity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Her appearance is alarming as she dresses in her a wedding gown which is yellow with age, "the bridal dress had withered". Charles Dickens also describes Miss Havisham as a "skeleton", which is a representation of death and decay. She is manic and often seems insane with many unpredictable outbursts and her character is more emotional than the situation demands. It is clear that Miss Havisham intimidates young Pip because he avoids her eyes as she speaks. Estelle is Miss Havisham's adopted daughter who she has trained to embody the same antipathy for men Miss Havisham feels. In this novel Estelle is made to appear superior to Pip. Estelle is very pretty and vey proud. She makes Pip feel bad about his honest upbringing. She says "With this boy! Why he is a common labouring-boy". Estelle believes that she is better than Pip because she is upper class. At the end of Chapter Eight, we find the narrator, reflecting on his first visit to Satis House. He says "look at my coarse boots and my common hands". Estelle's behavior made Pip feel inferior and self conscience. 'Great Expectations' is a novel that has many underlying themes and most of these are revolved around the subject of social background. The novel is quite thought-provoking as the characters are very authentic as they have all been carefully stereotyped. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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