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Explore the events in Pips early life which make him want to go to London and become a gentleman. How does Dickens use language/imagery in Chapter 20/21 to show that his 'expectations' of London are instantly disappointed?

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Introduction

Explore the events in Pips early life which make him want to go to London and become a gentleman. How does Dickens use language/imagery in Chapter 20/21 to show that his 'expectations' of London are instantly disappointed? The novel Great Expectations was written by Charles Dickens and is about a young boy, Pip who falls in love with a young girl, Estella and inherits money in order for him to go to London to learn how to become a gentleman. Pip has many various reasons for wanting to go to London and Dickens uses powerful imagery to show how Pip is easily disappointed upon his arrival to London. Great Expectations is about Pip looking back on his life which means that this is a 1st Person novel. In Great Expectations Pip wants to go to London because of a number of reasons dating back to his childhood. He felt threatened by the convicts that he had met at the graveyard. 'You get me a file and you get me wittles...or I'll have your heart and liver out'. He is being terrorised by one of the convicts and forced to steal from his own family which makes him into a thief and a liar. ...read more.

Middle

'Mr Jaggers' room was lighted by a skylight only' is a good use of imagery by Dickens because it gives the impression of a lack of light which could lead to corruption in the legal system or corruption in London in general. Dickens uses a simile in Chapter 20 which shows how the characters all are in Great Expectations. 'Like a broken head' links to various characters such as Mrs Joe who has a broken head because she is paralysed and to other characters such as Estella who is being controlled by Miss Havisham and Pip who doesn't know what to do in his life. 'Old rusty pistol, a sword in a scabbard' shows the death of Pips expectations and how they are instantly disappointed because swords and pistols are pieces of equipment linked to death so could be the sign of the death of Pips expectations. Another piece of imagery used to show the death of Pips expectations is 'deadly black horsehair...like a coffin' which could show the death of Pips expectations because coffins are associated with funerals and this is a ceremony of death. The 'deadly black' creates the impression of darkness in London which shows how Pips expectations are disappointed straight away. ...read more.

Conclusion

Uncle Pumblechook is not a true gentleman because he looks down on Pip which Joe doesn't. Old Orlick paralysed Mrs Joe which is not what a gentleman would do. Because of this Joe is the only real gentleman in the story. I can see that Joe is the only true gentleman in the novel because he shows compassion to the convict which many other people wouldn't do. 'We wouldn't want you to starve to death' shows that he is a gentleman because he could have judged the convict straight away but because he didn't know him he didn't feel he was in the position to judge which proves he is a gentleman because he gets along with everybody. Another incident which shows that Joe is the only true gentleman is when he offers Pip gravy at the dinner table. This shows tenderness towards other people and he did this because of Pip being mistreated. This makes him gentleman because it shows he cares for people no matter what happens. In conclusion I can see that the Dickens use the title for irony because Pip never had any expectations. Also by starting the novel in a graveyard this shows that Pips expectations were killed off straight away as graveyards are images of death. ...read more.

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