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Great Expectations

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Introduction

Great Expectations Charles Dickens was a successful 19th century Victorian novelist, writing other successful novels as well as Great Expectations such as Oliver Twist and a Christmas Carol which address important social issues which are present in Dickens' novels. He was acclaimed for his supreme storytelling and memorable but vivid characters, achieving popularity in his lifetime. Dickens wrote serialised novels meaning the public would have to wait. He was criticised for involving grotesque characters. Dickens was born on February 7th, 1812 and spent the first nine years of his life living in Kent. Dickens' father was a kind and likeable man, but he was incompetent with money and piled up massive debts. When Dickens was nine years old his family moved to London. When he was twelve, his father was arrested. Charles then worked in a blacking factory. After his father was released from prison Dickens went back to school. He eventually became a law clerk, then a reporter and finally a novelist. His first novel, The Pickwick Papers which was a huge success made Dickens popular at only twenty-five. ...read more.

Middle

I think that Dickens takes great care in distinguishing the two sides of Pip. He uses the maturity of the older Pip as the narrator with his perspective while also imparting how Pip the character feels about what is happening to him. As there are two Pips present this is executed very well early in the book, when Pip the character is a child, Pip the narrator injects fun into his younger self, but also enables us to see and feel the story through his eyes. The name 'Pip' resembles a small character in a big world. As a Bildingsroman, Great Expectations presents the growth and development of Pip who has experienced family bereavement and we the reader have sympathy for him. Dickens uses the gothic genre to engage the reader. The setting is Pip in a cemetery one evening looking at his parents' tombstone, Pip is then isolated within the gothic setting and was the perfect time for the convict to enter as small Pip looked endangered and isolated. ...read more.

Conclusion

This changes everything for Pip. No longer is he the darling of a rich old Miss. Havisham but rather the project of a low criminal. The convict is described as an old and spooky visitor with long grey hair making him look old and fragile before breaking into tears. The storms and the new information keep Pip in a miserable state of despair and fear, so much so that he locks the convict in the room. Pip falls asleep in a chair; his great expectations seemed to be crushed now for good. The moral theme of Great Expectations is that wealth and class are less important than affection, loyalty and inner worth. Dickens shows the social class ranging from criminals, to middle class and then onto rich (Miss. Havisham). I think that Dickens is a good person to point out the social class that is happening in the world, he is clever the way he ties it into the story but we get the message across. Chris Hartley ...read more.

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