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

Great Expectations

Extracts from this document...


How does Dickens direct the readers' emotions in "Great Expectations"? Great Expectations is the story of Pip, on his journey through life as he attempts to become a gentleman. Dickens wrote the novel for a magazine, with a chapter appearing each week. Because of this, almost every chapter contains a cliff hanger. The underlining theme of the novel is that of self betterment. Dickens uses a variety of techniques to direct the readers' emotions throughout "Great Expectations", including atmospheric tension, repetition and rhyme, the narration by Pip and literary allusion. Dickens creates atmosphere and appeals to the senses. This is evident throughout the novel, but nowhere more so than in the first chapter. Dickens captivates the audience in the first chapter to keep them reading throughout the novel, through his long descriptive sentences: "A man (Magwitch) 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 as he seized me by the chin." ...read more.


Dickens gives the readership these subtle hints to build up to Pip finding that Magwitch is his benefactor. The other major hint of the first chapter is the references to the fact that Magwitch is a criminal: "shook the house that night, like discharges of cannon, or breakings of a sea. The rain came with it and dashed against the window." The reference to the cannons can be linked to when the cannons on the prison ship signalled that the guards could come aboard. Also, the language in the quote shows Pips isolation and fear, as he is alone in his house at the time: "What nervous folly made me start, and awfully connect it with the footstep of my dead sister, matters not." The atmosphere and Pips isolation make his mind wander, eventually leading to him thinking about his dead sister. Dickens purposefully stretches this descriptive passage over several pages to keep the tension high. Also, this allows him to control the pace of the text, directing the readers' emotions. ...read more.


This allows the readership to read Pip's point of view before and after he becomes a gentleman; showing the reader how being a gentleman affects your point of view. One example is how the readership sees him transform into a "snob". This becomes evident in the novel when Pip would rather his fortune came from Miss Havisham (who has inherited all of her money) than Magwitch (who has worked his life to earn the money). The use of characters names by Dickens is an important factor in showing what will happen later in the novel. The name Pip suggests that he will blossom (into a gentleman) under the right conditions. Estella means star, which hints that Pip is going beyond himself in his attempts to woo her. Abel is Magwitch's Christian name, which is connected to Cain's brother, who was a sheep farmer. Abel and Cain were the the two sons of Adam and Eve. In Genesis, Cain kills Abel. Cain could be referring to Compeyson, the other convict who escapes with Magwitch. As "Great Expectations" was written when books were one of the only sources of entertainment, most people would have read much more that they do today. Because of this, Dickens uses literary allusion throughout the novel. ...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. How does Dickens present Abel Magwitch in the novel great expectations.

    The descriptions of Magwitch before his conversation with Pip presents modified ideas, which do not correlate with the ideas I have already explained; some statements are more sympathetic towards him. Dickens uses Pip's narration to add thoughts that the convict has been through great hardship.

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

    Although Pip has these problems to deal with, in the first stage of the novel, these do not matter once he arrives in London. Throughout the second and third stages, when Pip becomes a gentleman, the opinions and outlooks of Pip change.

  1. Character Essay of All MY Sons

    several days and this kid came to me, and gave me his last pair of dry socks" also: "they didn't die they killed themselves for each other."(pg 33) Chris was a kind, caring man and even though the war has ended and he s home safe.

  2. Great Expectations

    Pip made the mistake of mentioning Mr. Wemmick's dual personality in the work place, in front of Mr. Jaggers, the boss. Pip "turned to Wemmick, and said, ' Wemmick, I know you to be a man with a gentle heart. I have seen your pleasant home, and your old father, and all the innocent cheerful playful ways with which you refresh your business life.

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