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Great Expectations

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Great Expectations By Charles Dickens 'Great Expectations' is a book about the story of a boy going from being a young working class child, to becoming a gentleman. The story is set in the 19th century when there was a huge gap between rich and poor in society. Pip is a poor working class boy, taken in by his mothers sister when both his parents died, he lives with his aunt and her husband Joe, Joe is the local black smith, and Pip has dreamed of becoming his apprentice. They live on the dank damp marshes of Kent. He is uneducated but one of Joe's friends is teaching him how to write. Miss Havisham is an old decrepit woman who was jilted 15 years earlier; she is very rich and lives in a large house, named Satis house. She has taken in a young girl named Estella. The house she lives in is dark and neglected; because on the time she was jilted, she stopped all of the clocks, barred and covered up the windows, and let time just pass her by. She has become lonely in the house and has invited Pip to come and visit her. ...read more.


Miss Havisham treats Pip as if he is inferior to him; she refers to him as Pip, rather than master Pip. This reflects social class. He is also made to do things e.g. play or work, he doesn't have a choice. Although he isn't at Miss Havisham's out of choice, he is treated much kinder by Miss Havisham that his own 'mother'. She has great satisfaction in the idea of Estella breaking his heart. Estella treats Pip very poorly; she often insults him and tells him 'I hate you'. Pip is offended by this, but doesn't really seem to care because he thinks she is 'so pretty'. She calls him by the name 'boy' and refers to him as 'just a working class boy'. On his second visit to Miss Havishams house, he is asked to 'play', after refusing the offer saying 'I don't think I am ma'am' in reply to 'are you ready to play?'. After he declines he is asked if he would work, he quickly accepts the offer. The great significance of the date he is asked to visit Miss Havisham on is that it is her birthday, although she 'knows nothing of the days of the week, and nothing of weeks of the year'. ...read more.


Because Joe is trying to fit in with upper-class people, he has become a 'different person'. Because he is trying to sound educated and is so nervous and un-expecting, he gets confused and doesn't really make much sense. Pip feels sorry for Joe because he doesn't understand what he should be doing to fit in with the upper-class. 'dear old Joe, looking so unlike himself and so like some extraordinary bird, standing as he did, speechless, with his tuft of feathers(metaphor for his hair) and his mouth open as if he wanted a worm.' After the incident Joe is so dazzled and confused he walks up another set of stairs, instead of down the right one. Dickens is successful in creating the scene of characters because he uses very vivid images that aptly describe the most delicate points of a character and scene. He shows the differences between social classes very well by using dialect. This quickly shows the education differences and the way each character has been brought up. He also shows how the poor, working class people in 19th century were treated as inferior, he does this through the dialogue used towards Pip and Joe, which is often insulting and degrading. The poor are looked down on by the higher class. This creates a large social and financial gap between two types of people. Ben Mister ...read more.

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