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Great Expectations

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Great Expectations serialised in the London magazine 'All the Year Round' from December 1860 to August 1861 tells the story of a young, common boy who lives to become a gentleman in London. He is an orphan raised by his sister and brother-in-law, on the Kentish marshes. His mother, father and five younger brothers died early on in his life. Like Pip, Dickens had an eventful childhood. He worked from an early age, just as Pip had to. Dickens' dislike of the prison system, probably linked to when his father was put into prison for debt, also shows in the story. Later on in the story you see that both Pip and Dickens can make out what makes a true gentleman. The novel begins with the dramatic meeting of Pip and Magwitch, the escaped convict. He and Pip first meet in the churchyard where Pip's family are buried. At this point Magwitch is in hiding from the law after he has escaped, from a prison hulk, an olden day prison ship. The timid Pip is visiting his parents' grave in the churchyard when Magwitch jumps out. ...read more.


This non-standard English reflects how poor he is. The way he talks, in a way, makes him look extremely mad. Like a maniac just trying to force his words out. In a way though, the dialogue does reflect his character; scruffy, desperate and dishevelled. At one time he uses a wry and sarcastic type of speech. When he is talking to Pip at the graveyard, just as Pip leaves Pip says 'goo-good night sir'. To which replies 'Much of that! I wish I was a frog, or an eel!' He says this in a sarcastic tone because the landscape he's in is just a cold, wet flat. A nice touch by Dickens. Commands, insults and threats are three main factors of speech when Magwitch is talking to Pip. The first time Magwitch speaks, he uses all three in just a couple of sentences; 'Hold Your Noise!' cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from among the graves at the side of the church porch. 'Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!' 'Hold your noise' is a command, and Pip would really been startled by this, just popping up out of nowhere. ...read more.


She is a fairly emotionless, yet a dramatic character. But the house she lives in defiantly rubs off on her personality. Also the passages of her home are like a maze, and feel easy to get lost in. She is like this because when Pip spoke to her, he almost spoke in fear because he didn't know which way she'd take it. This is like a maze because you don't know which way to approach it. The things in her house also reflect how wealthy she is; Large wax candles, rich materials such a s silk, satin and laces and then the jewels just simply lying around. Wax candles, proper wax candles were so expensive in those days that hardly anyone, except the richest people would have them. Also with the materials, maybe people would have them in little quantities, but she has them in most clothes, table clothes and what we see it in, her wedding dress. Those days a family must have had so much money because a material of that quality would cost astronomical amounts of money. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sam Griffiths Rhyn Park School 29190 GCSE English and English Literature Prose Study Great Expectations How does Dickens create striking and memorable characters? ...read more.

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