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Explore dickens use of language, setting, characterisation and narration in great expectations(TM) with particular reference to chapters 1 and 39.

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Great expectations Explore dickens use of language, setting, characterisation and narration in 'great expectations' with particular reference to chapters 1 and 39. Charles Dickens Victorian world was full of injustice to the poor and was biased to the advantage of the rich. As his own father had spent time in the poor house, he felt sympathy for those who had suffered social injustice. Pip and Magwitch are a reflection of this. The story begins with pip, as a small boy, sat alone in an overgrown, lonely graveyard. 'This bleak place overgrown with nettles' 'growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was pip'. These two quotes give the reader the impression that the bleak atmosphere of the dingy graveyard reflected how pip felt about his childhood, and that he was a lonely child. This image of a small child, alone, looking at the graves of his parents and brothers, creates an atmosphere that makes the reader feel the greatest sympathy and protectiveness of pip, especially when he encounters the convict. The convict, Magwitch, enters and gives the already cold atmosphere a threatening edge. He also adds mystery to the atmosphere, as the reader doesn't know why he's there or how dangerous he is. ...read more.


This gives the reader the idea that he has a violent childhood, and that he was somewhat neglected. Also, he was never told anything about his parents 'As I never saw my father or mother and never saw any likeness of either of them' This gives more of a idea that he had a lonely, neglected childhood, and makes the reader what kind of upbringing he must have had to not be told about his parents. Pip is semi-illiterate, and the reader can tell this as his speaking sounds poorly educated but he can just about read the writing on his parents and brothers graves, 'My first fancies regarding what they were like, were unreasonably derived from their tombstones'. It is hard to interpret Magwitches character in chapter one as you are only given his appearance to go by, 'A fearful man, all in coarse grey with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied around his head. A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head.' ...read more.


Also, it gives the reader hope, as it gives the idea that Pip survives the encounter with the convict, as well as showing the convict through young Pips eyes, making him more scary. In chapter 39 the narration is a vital part of the readers view of Pip because it shows that, as it was written much later in his life, he realised how cruel he as towards Magwitch and regrets it. Without this insight Pip would have been seen as a cruel, heartless person, unworthy of the work Magwitch had done for him. Both chapters lead to great changes in Pips life. Chapter one leads to a change that occurs long after the encounter was just a distant memory to Pip, but made a huge impact on his life, as it lead to him getting his 'Great expectations'. Chapter 39 leads to a instant change in his life. The world he had built around him, in which he believe he was intended to marry Estella and go onto great things, and where he didn't need the people from his past such as Joe and Biddy, came crashing down, and he realises his 'Great Expectations' is the product of the hard work of someone much lower than him. ...read more.

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