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Great expectations

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Katie Hince Great expectations Charles Dickens wrote Great expectations, his 13th novel, in 1864. He wrote it as a response to the social and cultural situations of Victorian England. His personal experience of working as a legal clerk and his consequence knowledge of the legal system feature frequently, in places which are significantly to the plot. Whilst Charles dickens own sad and unloving childhood informs the mood and the experiences of Pip's upbringing. Dickens novel is set along the banks of the river themes moving from the desolate marshes to the bustling streets of London. The themes is more than a backdrop it acts like a character where the ebb and flow of the river is the heart of the novel "the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard intersected with dykes and mounds and the gates with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes; and that the lout leaden line beyond, was the river; and that the distant savage liar from which the wind was rushing, was the sea." ...read more.


Life at the time that great expectations was written was that of the expansion of education for all throughout the nineteenth century meant that more people were able to read and write, Dickens novels were read by members of all social classes, although their greatest appeal was to intelligent working class and lower middle-class readers. As Dickens career prospered, the social fabric of Victorian England was also improving with increasing educational opportunities made economical prosperity for many more people than before. Dickens use of language in the novel is varied and often striking. The use of dialogue and description and the way he manipulates the first person narrative. The characterization of Pip and the convict Magwich are that pip is a young, na�ve weak boy who is over whelmed by this strong, controlling, desperate man who at the time puts the fear of god into a small boy for his own person needs and wants. The narrative perspective in this novel is of a small child, which is shown by the child's point of view and his reaction to things also emotion he puts into it. ...read more.


On the evening that chapter 39 is set the weather is stormy and tempest, as if the violent weather is giving Pip a premonition of the storm that is about to cause chaos among his peaceful life "the city is dirty mud, mud, mud deep in all the streets," and Pip high above the Thames, feels as though he is in a storm beaten lighthouse. He hears rumors from the coast of a shipwreck and death. All the images of water and the sea create a link with the watery marsh country where he first met the convict. This chapter is possibly the utmost important in the book, memorable for its drama and emotion. It focuses on the sudden and violent collapse of Pips expectations as the source of his benefactor turns out to be the escaped convict, Magwich from the first chapter. Through subtle use of language and clues to the true identity Dickens brings the two episodes together. These brief moments mark exceptionally important happenings in Pip's life and are memorable for the reader trough the description and mood in which they are written. ...read more.

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Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. Compare, Contrast and Analyse Chapters 1 and 39 of Great Expectations.

    cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from among the graves at the side of the church porch. "Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat." The use of strong adjectives immediately creates a villainous image of Magwitch, Dickens writes "...

  2. Analysing and explaining Charles Dickens' Great Expectations; Chapter 1.

    In Leans film though, the camera zooms in to take high angle medium shots, containing both Pip and the convict. This creates tension differently to the BBC's version because it doesn't use suspense and shows both the characters emotions rather just Pip's.

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