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GCSE: Great Expectations
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Dickens also makes us grow fond of Pip by creating sympathy for him. The reader feels sorry for him and immediately feels close to him and wants him to do well. We can see his vulnerability in the first chapter by the way he reacts to Magwitch; he is terrified ' "O! Don't cut my throat sir", I pleaded in terror, "pray don't do it sir"'. It is clear that the reader would also develop a liking for Pip because he is polite and humble, we can see from this quote and throughout Chapter 1, during which, he calls Magwitch, a terrifying convict, sir.
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He felt compelled to highlight the problems of the structure in place in Victorian society, due to the events Dickens faced within his own life, having come from a working class background however. Dickens managed to work his way up through the classes. As a result of this he had experienced first-hand, the attitudes and views between the classes. His father was also imprisoned for debt; a trivial matter which is common in today's society and seems unworthy of a jail sentence, Dickens also felt the Victorian justice system, as well as the social class system together with the attitudes
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The themes that are introduced and emphasised in Chapter 8 of Charles Dickens Great Expectations are a near complete summary of the themes of the novel as a whole and of the conditions in which the English people had to live with in the 1800s.
In Chapter 8, he is controlled by Pumblechook (as afore mentioned), Estella ('"You are to wait here, boy."') and Miss Havisham ('"Play!"'). In particular, Miss Havisham manipulates the lives of Estella and Pip to suit her own twisted, selfish needs to the point where she is remorseful of her actions. Dickens stresses the point that, in this era, the wealthy people dictate the actions of the poorer people. The fact that Pip is sitting back and enjoying the ride, so to speak, is a result of the people around him ordering and demanding things of him. Pip rarely has a choice to make, and is manipulated and used by many people, some with good intentions (Magwitch), some with evil intentions (Miss Havisham and Compeyson).
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Pip is also the shortest version of his name which helps to give the reader the image that Pip is small. The word ' infant' creates an instant impression of youth and sounds as if pip is referring to himself in the past giving the impression that this is the adult pip telling the story of himself as a young boy. Pips name also helps to give the reader an impression of his character in that the name is simple and short (one syllable)
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Explore Dickens introduction of the characters of Magwitch and Jaggers in Great Expectations, and consider how these characters are developed during the course of the Novel
strengths are shown, through the eyes of the young naive Pip - the reader will be able to see things that Pip cannot. When Magwitch is reintroduced into the story, it soon becomes apparent that he is prepared to do as much as he can to benefit Pip, despite the fact his poor and uneducated background would make this a great challenge. By doing this, Dickens goes against the expectations of the reader, establishing himself as a social commentator and making the reader question their own lines of thought.
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Those who were born into a family like this often took on the role of their parents, boys would inherit their fathers job and girls would be 'married off' to other families, their life mainly consisting of housework, reproducing and attending to their husband's needs. This was all because of the lack of money. Without a large amount of money coming in from somewhere, educating children was simply unaffordable, and therefore they had no hope of getting a job that would have a much larger pay and wouldn't consist of any hard labour.
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A number of families then considered moving to towns to get jobs. Town children lived in overcrowded streets which quickly became slums; children had to share one bed or sleep on the floor; they had a bad diet and dressed badly. They were prone to diseases such as, smallpox, measles, diphtheria and tuberculosis. These children worked in local mines, factories or as chimney sweepers. At the beginning of the novel we find out that Pip is illiterate, for example he says: "I fell among those thieves, the nine figures, who seems every evening to do something now to disguise themselves and baffle recognition." This shows that Pip can barely read or write.
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At that time divisions between the rich and the poor were wider than ever. People were moving from the countryside to London in the belief that it would bring better jobs and living conditions giving them a happier life. This was not however, the reality, as the amount of people living in London combined with the pollution from the factories led to London being a very dark and crowded place which was not at all pleasant to live in. Social mobility was rare and people tended to stay within the class they were born to.
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In the churchyard, the landscape from a distance can be seen as a line which has been smudged to give it its industrial looking colour. Furthermore, the line "distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea" describes the impending danger. This is because there are always the natural elements and species that can sense danger before humans can. However, in this case the wind rushing suggests that there is danger that is on its way. The word "savage" is a word associated with violence and brutality which suggests that something terrible is on the "horizon".
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Furthermore, I felt remorseful regarding Pip's despondent background due to the fact that he grew up with no main authoritative figure. On the other hand, Victorian readers may not necessarily have the same sentiments. History reveals that, during this era, there were countless other young children in similar predicaments, therefore they would have classified Pip's scenario as conventional. Dickens has skilfully crafted his writing with the intention of reciprocating a sense of compassion, which can be developed in subsequent events.
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"Wooden house, as many of the dwellings in our country..." This gives us an idea that the place Pip lives in is crowded, hard to live in and considered a slum like. There is very little to see in the area except for a broken down light house and a gibbet. "The beacon...like an unhooped cask upon a pole-an ugly thing...a gibbet, with chains hanging to it which had once held a pirate". The only things he can see are a gibbet that in its self is horrible.
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Dickens also uses an example of personification in "the wind was rushing" describing the wind as if it were actually moving and hurrying deliberately fast. This imagery helps the reader to picture the scene and also makes it seem that even the weather is against Pip. The fact that it is set in the barren marshes and graveyard does not only appear terrifying but they also have close links to death. Obviously the graveyard houses most of Pip's family and the reader fears it may also become home to him, especially when Dickens cleverly describes the tombstone on which Pip is sitting, "he came closer to my tombstone" as if Pip may die just there in that exact spot.
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Dickens started of his literary career as a journalist like many others in his time. Dickens engaged the reader in all his novels with epic stories and his vivid characters which are so memorable. Dickens talent is shown within his novels as he includes many autobiographical aspects of his personal life which makes this novel a brilliant read. The opening of the novel is very dramatic and we find out the Pip's tragic history. 'Great Expectations' is written in first person but there is also dual narration in the course of the book.
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The Education that young Pip receives is offered by the ancient Mr Wopsles great aunt above her store. Through the course of the chapter we see that the level of education at the time of history was worryingly poor. Not only was there a deep exacerbation within the already exceedingly low education standards, the children were also accustomed to praising themselves, for being able to read the simplest of words, to further worsen matters, these simple words were not even spelt correctly by most!
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You were generally considered lucky if you survived the high mortality rates. The involvement of this fact early on shows that death, and poverty was an everyday occurrence; it wasn't an unusual nature, hence the matter of fact writing. The weather in this scene creates a solemn yet dramatic tone. A negative pattern exhibiting raging storms, adding to the bleak and cold winter's day atmosphere is vividly painted. It is a gloomy Christmas Eve's day. Pip ventures out into these eerie 'unknowns', which later on prove to be a symbol that his life is going to change drastically too, where peril and ambiguity await.
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Surprised by a Convict who needed help, Pip was threatened to give the Convict food, drink and a file. A day later Pip stole a pork pie, drink and a file. He gave it to the Convict. He needed the file to escape from the English soldiers who were after him. Later on, the Convict gets caught by the soldiers. He helps Pip by saying to the blacksmith (Pips brother in law) and soldiers that he stole a pork pie and file from the blacksmith. The Convict helped Pip because Pip had given him food and a file. A year later Pip goes to Miss Havisham's house, to play with her daughter Estella.
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Central motifs of the novel are established vividly in this volume. Imagery and allusions to crime, guilt, class and death exist throughout".
The arrival of the convict in Pip's life also marks a turning point in his life, as he is then initiated with the act of crime itself, when he is forced to commit a crime to help the criminal by stealing food and a file from the Gargery's pantry, "I stole some bread, cheese...". Allusions to crime and guilt also emerge as a result of Pip's inquisitive nature, when he asks, "And please what's Hulks?" and, "I wonder who's put into prison-ships, and why they're put there?".
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To a modern day reader, this is a very bizarre thought. Nowadays a photograph is not a piece of modern technology; it is something that everybody has, whether it is a digital camera or a camera phone. This is a good example right at the beginning of the story as to how different life was in the 19th century. After this the reader is informed that Pip had five younger brothers, who all died at a young age. This was normal in Victorian times, to have a large family and for many of the children to die in infancy.
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This is why Dickens is biased in this novel. He favours the working class and makes them out to be the better people. As an audience we prefer the younger Pip, this is because younger Pip is a genuine person and we made to like him. We sympathise for younger Pip straight away. In the opening paragraphs of the novel, we see Pip extremely sad whilst he is looking over his parents graves; from this we begin to like Pip. But as Pip grows older we begin to dislike him.
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Pip describes his world as a 'universal struggle,' and we see how Pip looks at life and how his suffering has affected this. Dickens uses the metaphor to describe him as a 'bundle of shivers' and this shows that he is defenceless and vulnerable. The metaphor is assertive and makes the reader understand his conditions. It becomes clear that Pip will have to break the mould of manual labour and has a lengthy journey to go before achieving his aim of becoming a 'gentleman.'
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Pip has had a very strict upbringing by Mrs Joe. Pip and Joe became very good friends they only became this close because Joe treated Pip as a he would if it was a friend and they were always there for each other, and this seemed to be one of his only friends at this point in the story, he always looked up to Joe and wanted to be a blacksmith, when he was older, just like Joe. Pip saw Joe as an a older version of a child and treated him as an no more than an equal.
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The use of his own experiences is shown in Great Expectations, as it is generally agreed that within this novel Dickens's explores his personal mixed feelings about his past more rigorously than in any of his other novels. The first meeting between Pip and Magwitch (the escaped prisoner) takes place on Christmas Eve in a church graveyard. The location of the graveyard is on the Thames Marshes and is also the location of Pip's father, mother and brothers as their bodies lie within the graveyard itself and this is the reason for why Pip is visiting the graveyard on Christmas Eve.
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This shows that the novel in some ways is autobiographical. In 1856 Charles Dickens bought Gad's Hill. This building is considered to be the inspiration behind Miss Havisham's home Satis House. This was where Charles Dickens spent most of his time editing his two journals, Household Words and All the year Round. This huge mansion in Rochester was admired by Charles Dickens when he was a small boy very much like Pip who admired Satis House as a little boy. This also proves how Great Expectations is autobiographical. In 1827 Charles Dickens went to work at a law firm and then later became a journalist.Working for newspapers which led to the publication of his first novel The Pickwick Papers (1836).
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An exploration of the ways in which issues of class and status are presented in Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" and L.P. Hartley's "The Go-Between".
the assumption of the ancient idea of the moral superiority of the wealthy, going back to the Bible story of Job in the Old Testament, where God blessed a good man with wealth. Ironically, Triningham is already displaying the injuries already done to the aristocracy, he has been forced to rent out the home his ancestors have held for generations as he himself can no longer afford to live there; he himself has lost his wealth in his property, even though temporarily. Nevertheless, the middle classes Maudlseys do not appear to have gained by their social rise at the end.
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Dickens is Famous for his dramatic presentation of character and using them as a device for social commentary.
As a direct result of not meeting those expectations, we're told how Miss Havisham choose to stop her life, and live - if you can call it living - in the past, constantly replaying the terrible pain she suffered the day her heart was broken and dreams destroyed. The first time Miss Havisham is mentioned in the novel, Dickens displays great skill, as he shadows everything we're told about her in mystery and doubt; making the reader very curious and more closely examine, the details revealed about her character.
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