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GCSE Great Expectations Essay

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Great Expectations Essay In this essay I am going to explore the ways in which Dickens builds up tension in chapters 1 and 39 and also how these two chapters are very similar in terms of the technique Dickens uses to build up the tension which is a way of hooking the reader as this technique almost demands the reader to read on and find out what awaits the character, in this case Philip Pirrip. Albeit, there are differences between these two eventful chapters too; such as Pip's attitude towards the convict, Magwitch, who in chapter 39, is revealed to be Pip's unknown benefactor. The book begins with Pip at the graveyard standing alone, referring to death and tombstones. The story is set in a time were disease and death were common, before any major advances in medicine, and it was ordinary to lose a lot of close family to illness- This immediately creates sympathy for Pip from the reader as it emphasises how lonely Pip is with little family member left. Pip describes the setting in a childish list using 'and that' and at the end of his list of the surroundings, he finds himself afraid of the church yard as he tells the reader that 'the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry was Pip.' ...read more.


Pip's vulnerability is further emphasised when Pip believes the story of the young man told by the convict to threaten him. Similes such as 'heart beating like a heavy hammer' are used in chapter 39 to convoy Pip's fear and how the news had surprised him since he had always thought Miss Havisham was his benefactor. Pip says 'I seemed to be suffocating' after finding out the truth. This is where Pip's character begins to be despised by the reader more than any other section in the book. After finding out the truth he does not thank the man who is like a second father to him, but shouts and repeats Estella's name so show that all he wanted to become a gentleman for was Estella. In both chapters, the reader is not told who this man Pip is describing is. Pip refers to him by saying 'the man'. This emphasises the sense of mystery which further creates tension as the reader does not know what this mysterious man is capable of doing or what his business is. In chapter 39, Dickens uses pathetic fallacy, 'so furious had been the gusts', to show Pip's emotions and how he feels. ...read more.


Dickens opposed the death penalty and argued that taking someone's life does nothing to prevent crime. He shows his disapproval of the justice system in the book by showing how the weak form of Magwitch, clearly not a criminal anymore as he had worked as a sheep farmer in Australia for most of his life, an honest day's worker', was given capital punishment along with thirty-two others all in the same court. Overall, Dickens is very successful in creating tension throughout chapter 1 and 39 by using various writing techniques and also letting the reader decide how to feel for Pip for themselves as narrative viewpoint shows the reader how he felt at the time. The main messages of this novel are that being a gentleman does not necessarily mean being born into a wealthy family. This is shown through Joe, Pips father figure. Although he is illiterate and poor, he is honest, loyal and forgiving which are the qualities of a true gentleman. The other main message of this novel it the way the criminal justice system worked in the Victorian times and Dickens' own opposition towards it. The End. ?? ?? ?? ?? Salar Eftekhary 1 ...read more.

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