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Great Expectations

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Introduction

Great Expectations. Charles Dickens' highly reputable and famous book, Great Expectations has been one of the most dominating, important and effective novels he has written. It originally emerged in a serialised form in 'All The Year Round' (a weekly journal conducted by Charles Dickens) in 1860 -1861 and is, to this day and age, thought to be one of his paramount novels. When the book was published, critics were instantaneous to give diverse and mixed reviews towards the book, disliking the exaggeration of both the characters and plot Charles Dickens had carefully formulated. Although the critics were assorted in their reviews, the readers were genuinely ebullient towards Great Expectations that the 1861 edition enforced five printings. Great Expectations was published during the Victorian era which also was the time in which Charles Dickens' lived. The Victorian era had a very high mortality rate due to children catching cholera or tuberculosis, which lead to their deaths. Children had strenuous and dejected childhoods, if they were lucky enough to survive in to adulthood; because families did not have enough money children would work to meet financial satisfaction. They were employed in difficult positions, commonly in factories or jobs people would not usually do, with long working hours lasting eight to twelve hours a day and generally six days a week. ...read more.

Middle

It would be blame to me, and not praise, if I had. People are put in the Hulks because they murder, and because they rob, and forge, and do all sorts of bad; and they always begin by asking questions. Now you get along to bed!" ' To keep Pip well behaved, silent and grateful, Mrs. Gargery threatens, punishes and accuses Pip of ingratitude. Pip himself feels an enormous amount of guilt for his innocent actions, like asking some questions, which have been unfairly warped to seem as if Pip was doing a bad thing. The guilt Pip feels is unprincipled. Although, Pip is not only treated this way by Mrs. Gargery, he is also treated unethically by Mr. Pumblechook, Mr. Wopsle and the Hubbles. In chapter three, struggling with the guilt of stealing the food, drink, whittles and file, and the good for keeping his promise and caring for a suffering human being, Pip sets off to deliver these things to convict, Pip runs towards the marshes. '"A boy with Somebody-else's pork pie! Stop him!" The cattle came upon me with like suddenness, staring out of their eyes, and steaming out of their nostrils, "Holloa, young thief!" One black ox, with a white cravat on - who even had to my awakened conscience something of a clerical air ...read more.

Conclusion

The guilt has a depressing tone, so to lighten things up a bit of irony and humour is added. An example of humour is in the first chapter, where Pip calls his deceased parents by the only names he knows them as: 'Phillip Pirrip, late of this parish' and 'also Georgiana, wife of the above.' His deceased brothers are described as 'the five little stone lozenges'. Another example of humour is when Pip politely requests that he be held the right way up when he first meets Magwitch and also when Pip expresses his delight when Magwitch enjoys the stolen food. The innocent way pip describes his sister's outbursts that are targeted towards either him or Mr. Joe are comical too. Throughout the first five chapters of Great Expectations, Pip's narration stresses his negative characters and attributes, namely his guilt and dishonesty. The fundamental meeting betwixt Magwitch, the runaway convict who made sure that the 'young man' was captured even for the price of his own freedom, and Pip, the young innocent boy who is guilt ridden by his very existence, will turn out to be an unlikely but major relationship in Great Expectations. The cardinal relationship that will be the rousing of Pip's Great Expectations. We will also experience his ups and downs through is extraordinarily clear yet intimate narration. ...read more.

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