• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Great expectations

Extracts from this document...


The book, Great Expectations, was written by Charles Dickens in 1860. The book is set in Victorian Britain, a time when there was a great divide between rich and poor. Dickens was obviously concerned about the divide, because the book illustrates the incorrect assumptions that were regularly made about people's wealth. The story is of a young man called Pip, who has been brought up by, his sister and her husband, a poor blacksmith. However, to Pip's dismay he is offered 'great expectations' and his life is turned upside down. The first chapter begins rather depressingly, with Pip, alone in a dark graveyard on the marshes, tracing the lettering on his parents' gravestone with his finger. The language Dickens uses here, is particularly effective, "dark, flat wilderness; overgrown with nettles". It makes the reader feel sorry for Pip immediately, because although the reader does not know much about Pip at this point, he is alone in a bleak nettled graveyard and his parents are both dead. The convict then sneaks up on an already frightened, Pip and startles him. The convict orders Pip to steal him a file and some food, otherwise he says will remove his heart and liver. Pip is unsure of how to react to the convict, as he has never seen anyone like him. He understands that the convict is rather unrespectable, " a man with no hat and with broken shoes", however Pip still remains polite, even though his stuttering makes it apparent, to the reader, that he is scared, "O! ...read more.


He is very impressionable at this stage and is obviously impressed by wealth. All of the clocks in this house have stopped, "her watch had stopped at twenty minutes to nine". An impression is given to the reader, that the clocks are symbolic to Miss Havisham's life, also stopping at twenty minutes to nine, some years previously. Pip appears to notice this significance also, because Dickens makes Pip notice and, spend a lot of time thinking about all of the clocks. There are many signs to suggest that Miss Havisham was getting ready to go to her own wedding, just before the significant clocks stopped. She is wearing expensive and luxurious materials of silk and lace. She is also wearing a veil and the clothes she is wearing were obviously once white before they faded yellow with age. She has bridal flowers in her hair and she is wearing delicate and expensive jewellery. She is not completely dressed; her shoe is missing; her veil is only half arranged and she is yet to put on her gloves. The reader assumes that she was getting ready to get married when her fianc� delivered a "crushing blow" and jilted her. This extract is again, informing about the characters. Pip is similarly portrayed as obedient and impressionable, however the reader learns that Pip is impressed by money and wealth and aspires to be rich, "pretty large room; prominent draped table; fine lady's dressing table". ...read more.


When Pip is offered "great expectations" he assumes that Miss Havisham is his benefactor, because he has always wanted to be like her, and he knows she is wealthy. He is happy to accept money off somebody he knows to be rich and he believes that Miss Havisham has given him the money so that he can be equal to Estella because he has fallen in love with her. When Pip discovers that it is actually the convict that is his benefactor, he is unhappy because he hadn't given the convict much thought. He had assumed that he must be bad and poor, however Pip begins to understand and he helps the convict. He is angry at Miss Havisham for allowing him to believe that she was his benefactor. Overall, Dickens is trying to highlight the incorrect assumptions people make about wealth, and how in his time people thought poor people were bad and rich people good, which has never been the case. The moral of this story is that we should look at the whole person and not make assumptions because of the situations people are in. Basically; you can't judge a book by it's cover! I personally enjoyed the book and I particularly like the description Dickens uses and was intrigued at how the language used, can influence the reader to feel in a particular way. I did however sometimes find that the long sentences made it less readable, and sometimes the language was difficult to follow. But, it has to be understood that this was written about one hundred and fifty years ago! By Amy Hudson ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work