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GCSE: Great Expectations

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  1. Explore the initial presentation of Dickens Magwitch and Miss Havisham in Great Expectations

    Miss Havisham's presentation, and in turn Compeyson's, is used to expose the upper-class. Miss Havisham wants to find her adopted daughter, Estella, a fitting boy of lower class, teach her her own opinions on men. Her intentions throughout the novel are to make young Pip fall in love with beautiful Estella, and then exploit said love, to seek revenge on the opposite sex seeing as she was once jilted at the altar by her almost husband, Compeyson. Compeyson is also of upper class; he went to a boarding school as a child and was quite good-looking.

    • Word count: 2609
  2. Great Expectations -how Dickens uses language in the opening chapter and in chapter 8.

    The reader then goes on to learn that Pip is an orphan since he clarifies that both his father and mother have passed away. "My father's family name on the authority of his tombstone." Already the reader is sympathetic towards Pip in only just the second paragraph due to the fact that Pip is so young and helpless. This, the reader is quickly drawn to this boy who we know little about. In addition, the description of "death" creates airiness.

    • Word count: 2059
  3. How does Dickens present childhood in Great Expectations?

    The Victorian period was also very capitalist - a very individualistic ethos of an economy that made people believe it's their fault if you're in poverty - further playing on why people couldn't pull themselves up from the dirt in the way Pip would do. Dickens' main interests as a writer would be to entertain as well as to gain recognition to be successful and make money. However, Dickens was very much a 'people's writer', meaning that he listened to the praises and criticisms of his readers, and did more of or improved, respectively.

    • Word count: 2247
  4. Great Expectations Character analysis of Magwitch and Pip

    As I compare the different circumstances of both Pip and Magwitch in chapter one and chapter thirty-nine we immediately see the differences on how they have developed through the story. In chapter one Pip is an orphan who is cared for by his sister, Pip refers to her as, 'Mrs. Joe Gargery'. He is very lonely and destitute; often visiting his parent's graves, 'I give Pirrip as my father's family name, on the authority of his tombstone', as well as his five little brothers' graves, 'To five little stone lozenges...

    • Word count: 2468
  5. Discuss how Charles Dickens builds tension in Chapters 1 and in Chapter 39 of his novel Great Expectations?

    Great Expectations is a story that the public can relate to because it shows that possessions and wealth do not change who people are inside, and that finding one's self can be a long tedious process until finally the mists rise and everything becomes clear. The first skill Dickens uses to build up tension is the way he creates the setting. From the start, Dickens immediately builds up suspense by his vivid descriptions of the scenery in Chapter one. He uses lots of detail to describe the landscape to give an atmosphere.

    • Word count: 2683
  6. Great Expectations Courcework

    As a child Pip aids a convict by bringing him food and a file to remove his shackles. Pip often, by request, visits an old lady known as Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham is very wealthy and has an adopted daughter known as Estella, who later becomes the love of Pip's life. As a young man Pip learns that someone has decided to pay for him to live like gentlemen, a childhood dream of his. Pip immediately assumes that Miss Havisham is the benefactor who is paying for him to be a gentleman so he can be good enough to marry Estella.

    • Word count: 2202
  7. How Does Charles Dickens Create An Atmosphere Of Crime And Death In Great Expectations?

    The narrative starts with Pip describing the graveyard. This gives the reader the message that the novel may be disturbing and has a very serious theme of death. As soon as the story starts the word 'tombstone' is used. This is associated with graveyards. Graveyards are directly linked to death so it is an ideal place to start the story. Throughout history death is seen as shocking but Dickens makes death sound very matter of fact. When Pip is talking about his dead brothers, he says their names as though he is reading a shopping list?

    • Word count: 2708
  8. Charles Dickens Great Expectations Moral and Social Issues

    This use of serialisation affected the way Dickens had to write 'Great Expectations'. Since the book was usually read over a long period of time, characters needed to be easily recognised when they reappeared. Therefore, Dickens had to describe each character with specific appearances, speech and gestures. Firstly, Dickens used a technique called characternym. This is when the characters' names gave an idea of the character. For example, 'Pip' represents a small and almost helpless boy whilst 'Wopsle' represents a person who fails humorously in things he does.

    • Word count: 2664
  9. Miss Havisham

    It is apparent that she is manipulative of Estella, her adopted daughter, as she uses hers and Pips relationship to avenge men vicariously through them. This makes Estella an extension of her pervading bitterness towards men and the vulnerable neophyte Pip serves as the perfect target. Miss Havisham states, 'You can break his heart' emphasising her malicious intent to avenge her own feelings of rejection. She approaches Pip in an impersonal manner, putting herself in a higher status as she addresses him as 'boy' highlighting her authority over him.

    • Word count: 2517
  10. How does Charles Dickens create an effective opening to Great Expectations?

    Although Great Expectations is a 'typical' Victorian novel, it is also unique in it's own right. However, when it was first released it was serialised in an immensely popular magazine. This explains the structure of the novel and why there are cliffhangers at the end of almost every chapter. Of course, at the time of it's release as a magazine, there would have to be cliffhangers at the end of every issue to encourage readers to buy the next issue and read on.

    • Word count: 2363
  11. Great Expectations. Discuss how the theme of class is explored through the first part of the novel

    Throughout England the manners of the upper class is very strict and conservative and all men and women must have proper educations and be obliged to behave appropriately and stick to their own kind therefore demonstrating the huge task facing poor orphan Pip to ever become a "gentleman". We see the difference between both classes in "Great Expectations" during Pip's rise from a country labourer into a city gentleman because he moves from one social extreme to another having to adapt to the strict rules of the upper class.

    • Word count: 2632
  12. Great Expectations - Discuss how the theme of class is developed through Pips visit to Satis House

    It will also discuss Charles Dickens' message of how he views the upper, middle and working classes. Dickens was brought up in a working class background. There was a noticeable division between classes in the early 19th century. Upper class people were able to stay at home without having to go to work. The middle class were able to stand over the working class (who did all the work) and live off the money they earned for them working in their mines, factories or farms. Working class citizens lived in small houses with only one or two rooms within the whole house, In 'Great Expectations', Charles Dickens portrays the upper classes through the characters of Miss.

    • Word count: 2405
  13. Great Expectations

    The words "leaden line" imply a low lead river that looks like it has bars on and to Pip this makes him feel imprisoned. Also the words "savage liar" represents to Pip that he thinks that there is like a savage monster out there in the sea. Furthermore in chapter one Dickens explains the marshes as a "long black, horizontal line and the sky was just a row of long, angry red lines and dense black lines intermixed. The words represent anger and danger and black utility, death and emptiness.

    • Word count: 2563
  14. Miss Havisham is one of Dickens most memorable characters. Write about Dickens presentation of Miss Havisham, referring closely to any two passages in Great Expectations

    Unless a woman had money, she needed a husband. Miss Havisham is very fortunate in that she is very rich, and is able to support herself. She has called her mansion Satis House ("Satis" meaning "enough"), as if to imply that all who reside in the house will not need anything else. This is ironic, as it is quite obvious that Miss Havisham yearns for her sweetheart, so the house is definitely not enough for her. In chapter 8, Pip meets Miss Havisham for the first time. As we regard the house through Pips eyes, it is evident that although the building is incredibly large and impressive, it has no warmth.

    • Word count: 2176
  15. Examine how Dickens shoes that appearances can be deceptive in Great Expectations

    From the marshes, Pip moves on to London to become a gentleman. Before he arrives in London, he expects it, being the capital city, to be a magnificent city. In spite of this, on his arrival, he "had some faint doubts whether it was not rather ugly, crooked, narrow and dirty". By using this description, Dickens shows that expectations can often be exaggerated and misleading. He also shows in this that Britain at that time believed itself to be the best and that "it was treasonable to doubt our having and our being the best of everything", even though the reality, like with London, may not be as good as this.

    • Word count: 2578
  16. How does Dickens explore the impact of Magwitch and Miss Havisham on Pips development?

    Although this man is a figment of Magwitchs' imagination, the worry Pip feels that this man will come into his room shows the power Magwitch has over Pip and the fear he strikes into the young boy early in the novel. Initially Magwitch simply scares and intimidates Pip, however what happens on their next encounter has far greater effect on Pip's development into a gentleman in the future. In chapter three Pip returns to the marshes with the 'file and wittles' Magwitch forcefully requested; it is key to remember at this point the convict is in a state of desperation.

    • Word count: 2550
  17. How do David Lean and Julian Jarrold use film techniques to influence the viewers response to the opening section of Great Expectations?

    He even goes out of his way to keep to Dickens' text; for example, when referring to the "wittles", Lean added in, "food, sir" to Pip's script, so that he is sure that his twentieth century audience understands Dickens' nineteenth century language. All this shows that Lean wants the audience to understand the plot in the opening of his film, as he ensures that they understand what Pip must fetch. On the other hand, Jarrold's version shows little of the plot at all, there is almost no dialogue, and none of Dickens' initial dialogue.

    • Word count: 2788
  18. Great expectations - Which two settings in 'great expectations' did you find most effective?

    Pip then begins to describe the marshes where he lives, a marsh, much like a swamp, is a place ridden with disease and danger, it resembles the life at the time of Pip and the life he will have to struggle to achieve in. Pip recites the marshes to the reader explaining how he remembers it on a "memorable raw afternoon, towards evening" the word 'raw' reminds us of meat and the colour red it could also be used to describe pain when body parts are subjected to the cold, which gives us an idea for how Pip is dressed

    • Word count: 2458
  19. Literatute assignment coursework - Great Expectations

    Magwitch came dressed like a vagabond. Wearing "no hat" (meaning he isn't of high status), in "coarse grey with a great iron on his leg", slowly revealing the fact that he could well be a criminal. At this stage, Magwitch speaks in dialect showing that he is different, on a lower class, clearing his reality of being a convict. He wore "broken shoes" with an "old rag tired around his head". "A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and sting by nettles, and torn by briars; who

    • Word count: 2785
  20. Great Expectations

    This shows that he is vulnerable and immediately makes the reader feel sympathy for him. The emotive way Pip describes his family evokes sympathy for him, especially because they are all dead. He explains the images he has in his mind of them were "derived from their tombstones" as he does not have the luxury of remembering them or their appearances. His conclusions as to what they look like are "childish" and this conveys his vulnerability and shows he is na�ve.

    • Word count: 2385
  21. How does Dickens create effective descriptions of people and places in Chapter 1 and Chapter 8 of Great Expectations(TM)?

    As Dickens goes to further describe Pip's personality, he states 'as I never saw my father or mother.' This shows us that he is an orphan, which makes the reader quickly feel pity towards the protagonist as he doesn't have the opportunity to have love, support or a close family life. As readers, we are then astonished to know that this was written when the character Pip was an adult, which meant that he was looking back on his childhood. 'Childish conclusion' is used to show that Pip is very innocent and doesn't know how to make simple adult decisions, this affects the reader as the reader wants to get close and protect Pip; it creates a strong emotional bond between Pip and the reader.

    • Word count: 2768
  22. 'Is Magwitch a criminal or victim of society?'

    People started to move from the countryside to cities. These cities filled to overflowing and especially in London it became bad, as the city was not prepared for this great increase in people. People crowded into already crowded houses. Rooms were rented to whole families or perhaps several families. If there were no rooms to rent, people stayed in lodging houses. However By the mid. 19th century the Industrial Revolution reached Europe and North-America and by the mid. 20th century it became global.

    • Word count: 2071
  23. great expectation

    In the novel, Dickens brings about the truth in life in those times; that only rich people had the opportunity to be educated and go far in life. This way the reader had can feel the pain and ambition that Pip yearned to fulfil through his life and; and see how neglectful Pip becomes after he starts to accomplish his dream. The sympathy the reader would have felt towards Pip severely diminishes as the novel progresses, and it is only in the second-half of the novel Pip realises his spite towards the people he truly loves.

    • Word count: 2189
  24. Great expectations-scene one and scene 39

    In chapter 1 he is lower class with a lower life expectancy, he would have been looked down on and he was poor, lonely and an orphan as his mother, father and brothers had passed away leaving his sister, Mrs Joe Gargery, and her husband, Joe Gargery to bring him up. Then were as in chapter 39 pip is a 23 year old educated and wealthy man living in London and has completely forgotten his roots. In chapter 1 the reader feels sympathetic towards Pip, he has no mother or father, as he tells us this early in the first

    • Word count: 2584
  25. How and why does Dickens show the changing relationship between Pip & Joe?

    Another indication of their closeness is the fact that they don't keep any secrets from each other. To show this, Dickens makes use of the incident where Pip steals food for the convict. Afterward, Pip feels immense guilt which constantly eats at his conscience; not particularly because he had done something wrong, but because he believed that he had failed to live up to Joe's expectations. His state of mind is clearly revealed when he says, "I do not recal any tenderness of conscience in reference to Mrs.

    • Word count: 2214

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss the three main female characters in Great Expectations

    "In conclusion I believe these three women have all had their effects on Pip and his life in some way or another. The majority of these effects have been negative and Pip has had to endure a lot in his life. Yet he has come out all in all a very respectable young gentleman when he could've turned very differently."

  • Compare and contrast the presentation of Pip, Magwitch, Miss Havisham and Estella in the opening chapter of 'Great Expectation

    "In conclusion, in the opening chapters of 'Great Expectations,' I believe that Pip earns the most sympathy due to the way he is presented; his frailty and him being an orphan being the key emotional areas. However, later on as we learn more about each of the other characters, we feel more sympathetic towards them. By the end of the novel, each character is an almost contradiction to themselves as Dickens argues against society suggesting that people can change. Poor, trembling Pip has grown up, he has sufficient money, which is what he wanted, he becomes educated and is a gentlemen, whereas the arrogant and beautiful Estella becomes quiet and battered, her beauty now hidden behind her scars. Miss Havisham dies understanding, that although she felt it is necessary to gain her revenge on men, due to her pain, she'd caused a lot of pain by creating a monster in the cold hearted Estella which meant that her once broken heart could finally feel again. Finally, Magwitch, who seemed to be rough and animal like, mellows down and forms a bond between himself and Pip. His story helps the reader understand him and the hatred they felt towards him in the opening chapters is directed towards Compeyson who becomes the common enemy and villain who meets a just end."

  • Having read Great Expectations how effective is the opening chapter? Discuss the methods Dickens used to ensure his readers continuing interest.

    "In conclusion, I believe that the opening chapter of Great Expectations is very effective. Not only is this one of the most exhilarating novels that a person could read, but it is one to recommend too. Due to the narration of Pip, the opening chapter would make readers very intrigued, wanting to know more about 'what's going to happen next' as well as Pip's life and what his outcome in life is. The choice of language as well as the literary terms used such as metaphors, similes and dramatic tension, would draw one's attention and keep them fascinated throughout the entire book."

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