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Great Expectations

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Introduction

Great Expectations - Charles Dickens * Visualise the Setting * Understand and appreciate the characters more fully * Learn more about Dickens 19th century world Charles Dickens is a very well established author and many of his books are world-famous. He grew up in poverty, and his father, John, got into major debt, and as well as all of his household belongings being sold, he was thrown into the workhouse. Charles was forced to leave school to support his mother, Elizabeth, and sisters, and to insure that they did not end up where his father was. Charles worked at Warren's Blackening Factory. It was this personal experience that influenced Charles to write such books as 'Great Expectations' and 'A Christmas Carol'. The significant chapters in great Expectations are 1,3, and 8. These are where the main storylines unfold. Chapter one - pip is introduced and you hear about his family history. You learn that his mother and five brothers have died. You get a very detailed description about the country where Pip lives and you also meet Magwitch, the escaped convict. ...read more.

Middle

He also shows the characteristics of being a lonely child. When he speaks you can tell he hasn't had much communication on his part, and that he has spent his life just doing what he is told; never arguing back or standing up for himself. "Pip sir"... "Pip, Pip sir"... "Yes sir". (Chapter 1, Page 6). He over uses the word Sir which shows he has been brought up to be polite to adults, whoever they are. The next character we meet is Magwitch. On first impressions he is a violent man who is out for all he can get, regardless of anybody else's feelings. We also get the impression he is quite rough 'n' ready. "...Pint out the place..." (Chapter 1, Page 6). This shows quite a common accent. However at the end of chapter one there is one line that makes you feel this is a cover. "...he hugged his shuddering body in both his arms - clasping himself, as if to hold himself together..." (Chapter 1, Page 8). Miss Havisham is a tired, withered old lady, who hasn't left her house in 20 years or more. ...read more.

Conclusion

For somebody to create a book that makes you feel like you are actually present in the 19th century, it is a great achievement. I think the fist paragraph of the first chapter makes you feel un-easy about reading on, but as soon as you get past the full explanation of his family, things really start to get interesting. It doesn't take 3 chapters for the story to start; you are introduced to two of the main characters on the second page. I like the way that the book gradually goes through his life, and without a "3 years later" in the chapter title. It leaves it up to your imagination to picture what age he is. Overall I think Charles Dickens deserves his reputation as a great period writer, as you can tell a lot of thought and time has gone into his work. There are no chapters, or paragraphs for that matter, that have detail missing because of a moment of no focus, or tiredness. No part of this book suffers with lack of interest, and anybody, who comes up with this length book and doesn't lose the audience, deserves a great reputation, and deserves their books on the shelves for a very long time. Jess Brooks Great Expectations 10K ...read more.

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