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Great Expectations

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Great Expectations How does Dickens use language to introduce and develop characters and settings in chapter1? Charles Dickens was a famous English novelist generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. He is much loved for his great contribution to classical English Literature. His epic stories, vivid characters and exhaustive depiction of contemporary life are unforgettable. He was born in Portsmouth on February 7, 1812. The good fortune of being sent to school at the age of nine was short-lived because his father was imprisoned for bad debt. Dickens was sent to work in Warrens Blacking Factory where he earned six shillings a week pasting labels on the jars of thick polish. Charles Dickens stated the conditions he endured at the factory, were appalling and he often felt loneliness and despair. After 3 years his father repaid his debt and Dickens was sent back to school. However the experience was never forgotten as he fictionalized aspects of the experience into Great Expectations. 'Great Expectations' was Charles Dickens' second to last completed novel. It consists of 59 chapters and was published as a weekly series in 1860. The story follows a young orphan Pip, who discovers 'Great Expectations'. From chapter one, we learn the main themes in the novel are education, ambition, the class system, poverty and opportunity. Dickens uses his own personal from both working class and 'aristocracy' to reflect on the character Pip and the novel; such as what constitutes a gentleman, how ...read more.


Pray don't do it, sir." Pip is terrified as he witnesses the fearful man (whose image provokes the situation to become even worse). In an adults perspective they are in a position to sympathize with the Convict because of the technique Dickens uses to describe the Convicts appearance. "A man 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 ." From this quote, an image is created for the adult reader of a man who is struggling and in need of help. Pip's description of the convict helps the reader to create a sympathetic view towards him, as the passage can be perceived in two different ways; Pip's perception as a child, also the adult audience are able to use their intelligence to interpret their own view of the Convict. Pip addresses the Convict in a polite manner, his tone is weak yet Pip is still able to speak correctly. An example of Pip's style of vocabulary used towards the convict is; "Tell me your name [- -] Give It Mouth" "Pip, Pip, Sir." This informs the readers Pip is well spoken yet timid; the connection between Pip's use of speech and the class system successfully works, making the novel more interesting. Also Pip's intellect bemuses the readers as in the Victorian era it was uncommon for uneducated children to possess Pips intelligence. ...read more.


The encounter with the Convict is useful as further on in the novel (chapter 39) Pip and the Convict reunite unexpectedly. Also it influences the readers to read more as we are eager to discover the upcoming events. The modern reader's reactions differ from the audience of 1860 on subjects such as; how Pip is able to speak proper without any form of education. In 1860 it was very rare that the lower class population were gifted enough to speak correctly without an education; which they couldn't afford. Pip's deceased family also caused a problem for the modern reader. In the 21st century; life expectancy is at a high factor. However, in the Victorian period it was common for children to depart before they reached their first birthday. It was also an achievement to reach the age of 50! In chapter one, I enjoyed the experience of learning Pip's lifestyle, and the comparison of his environment to ours. The style in which Dickens has written kept me interested throughout novel as it allowed me to devise images; which allowed me to encounter the same experiences, feelings and emotions suffered by Pip. I dislike the landscape and also the Convict as I find both of them intimidating. Also I find the landscape and Pips situation non relatable. However, Great Expectations is intelligently written. This prompts the audience to read the story through Pip's point of view. Without chapter 1, I believe the novel would not have been as effective and enjoyable to read. Naomi Mistry English Coursework 11/03/2009 ...read more.

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