• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

GCSE Great Expectations Essay

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. Great expectation

    This puts Pip among people associated with crime and the criminal justice system. When Pip returns from the jail he feels contaminated by being around the convicts. As Pip gets older he realises more and more about his life, his background and the people associated with it.

  2. Compare, Contrast and Analyse Chapters 1 and 39 of Great Expectations.

    iniquitous aura around Magwitch, as the underworld has connotations of demons, the devil and evil, further enhancing the fearsome image of Magwitch created. The speech within this quote is also very harsh, aggressive and directed at a young innocent boy.

  1. Charles Dickens's writing techniques in Great Expectations.

    He also intimidates him into doing things for him: "A boy may lock his door, may be warm in bed, and may think himself comfortable and safe, but that young man will softly creep up and creep his way into to him and tear him open" (4).

  2. Character Essay of All MY Sons

    He asks Dr Bayliss if Frank is: "Talking sense"(pg 6) this suggests he don't understand him, and maybe he uses to many intelligent words for Joe. Also he is amazed that books are published everyday: "What is that, every week a new book comes out?"

  1. Great Expectations' Comparisons and Contrasts BetweenChapters 1 + 39

    Not only does he ask, but he seems to test the person standing outside to challenge his idea, he has confidence in his convictions. The man outside calls 'Mr Pip?' the use of 'Mr' is important, because it shows respect.

  2. Media Essay Comparing the way tension is created in the

    legs and then the camera shows Pips perspective who is seeing the old church behind Magwitch upside down. In the 1997 version the convict merely proceeds to make him threats and does no such thing. David Lean had chosen to cast a very slender looking child for the character of Pip.

  1. Great expectations character list

    Behind the scenes, he becomes Pip's secret benefactor, funding Pip's education and opulent lifestyle in London through the lawyer Jaggers. Joe Gargery - Pip's brother-in-law, the village blacksmith, Joe stays with his overbearing, abusive wife-known as Mrs. Joe-solely out of love for Pip.

  2. Analysing and explaining Charles Dickens' Great Expectations; Chapter 1.

    Pip's actions they can sense the drastic moment will occur in any moment from when Pip gains the nerve to move. The 8th shot is a repeated shot of the close up of the creaking tree. The fast alternation and repetition of this, and the shots of pip create tension

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work