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Great Expectations

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Elsa Melrose Charles Dickens: Great Expectations Coursework 'How does Dickens shape the readers' first impression of Miss Havisham?' Writers in general shape or influence a reader's response to their characters by using many clever techniques. The writer does this so he gets a certain response and opinion on each character. They can influence and shape the reader's views by using techniques like rhetorical questions, alliteration, show and not tell, descriptive writing, choice of setting, the 5 senses, the characters physical and emotional state, and metaphors. It is important for some writers to do this as the reader gets a sense the character's personality and what sort of role they play within the novel. Great Expectation by Charles Dickens was first serialized in "All the year Round" from December 1860 to August 1861. My personal opinion on the Great Expectation overall is that is it based around status in the class system and love. Charles Dickens gives this impression that it is based on status in the class system as when Pip was made into a "gentleman" he thought it would bring happiness, love and respect but all it brought was loneliness, greed, and a broken heart. This displays and teaches the reader that being high class and having power does not necessarily bring happiness in your life. The novel had a lot of love related aspects also which plays a key part. For example Miss Havisham is stuck with a broken heart throughout the novel- "What do I touch? ...read more.


young boy's body it's self and as if they can actually feel his physical and emotional state as the story is told. This is because a working class child would be more scared and wary going into Satis house as they would never had that type of experience before and wouldn't know what to expect "I was not at all at my ease regarding the manner in which I should acquit myself under a lady's roof". From a view point of a young boy he does not question the situation Miss Havisham is in so it leaves the readers imagination to fix all the pieces together. He still respects her despite the strange predicament. Pip describes the scene with a sense of ore and bewilderment, glancing at every inch of the rooms. This makes the reader get a sense of Pip's naivety. Dickens uses lots of commas and full stops, this shows that Pip is feeling anxious. Pip explains what he sees with a wild childish imagination "Ghastly waxwork" and "skeleton in the ashes of a rich dress" this language makes the reader's imagination be like a child. Personification is used when Pip describes Miss Havisham as the 'ghastly waxworks', Dickens creates an image of Miss Havisham looking like a skeleton waxwork doll- 'waxwork and skeleton seemed to have dark eyes that moved and looked at me' This language indicates Pip sees Miss Havisham as ghost like and is terrified by her appearance. ...read more.


I assumed at the start she was a kind woman as she was giving Pip extra money, which helped their family a lot due to their financial difficulties. Another reason for use to feel this way was that we believed that she was his mystery benefactor, which gave him a better life expectancy. However during the end of the novel I imagine our view changed, the readers' felt unsympathetic towards her due to her selfish behave and destroying Estella's life: as she learned to become cold hearted. Her actions resulted in Pip and Estella to heartache over each other. A modern version of the novel would be completely different. The novel would have different morals and values, which Great Expectations is mostly about: The class system, Marriage and the rights of women make up what the novel content is. A modern interoperation would be more lenient on Pip and Estella getting marred as the class system in today's society is not as strong as in Victorian era. Also Miss Havisham being a 'spinster' would not be seen as sociably wrong as our morals and values have changed a lot over time. More people now can have children before marriage or even don't see the need to get married at all. Plus now day's middle class and working class don't have many boundaries as then, people mix with other classes and don't seem to think is socially wrong. Also Pip working his way up the class ladder is now easier compared to Victorian era due education is more accessible. ...read more.

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