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Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Introduction: 'Great Expectations' was one of Dickens' best-known novels and was written in 1860. 'Great Expectations' is a Bildungsroman and follows the progression of Pip from child to adult; from humble blacksmith to gentleman; from innocence to experience; from rags to riches and on his journey, Pip meets a range of interesting characters, from the comical Wemmick, to the cruel Estella. This novel reflects parts of Victorian times, with class divide, child labour and improving one's fortunes. Dickens wrote to entertain the public and the public got a say in how the novel progressed due to the fact that Dickens wrote in monthly instalments in a magazine called 'Household Words'. Dickens even had to re-write the final chapter so that the public was satisfied. Therefore Dickens needed to make his characters striking and memorable so that they were remembered later in the book. This novel also reflects Dickens' own life experiences. Dickens was poor as a child and throughout his life, he worked his way up and became rich and this is reflected in the story with Pip going from a poor, lower class boy to a rich, upper class gentleman. In this essay I am going to explore how Dickens made his key characters striking and memorable by using different methods. ...read more.


Pip meets Miss Havisham in the 'dressing room', which is strange and unusual because it was not normal to have gusts in your dressing room. Pip continues to say that it was a "pretty large room, well lighted with wax candles", this is also very strange as Pip went to visit 'Satis House' during the day and wax candles were very expensive in those times. Therefore people usually save the candles for the evenings and use as much natural light as possible during the day. This setting is quite striking for Pip and for the reader and gives the impression that Miss Havisham is strange and makes the reader ask questions such as: "Why is the room lighted with candles instead of natural light?" Pip goes on to say that all of the "clocks had stopped at twenty to nine". Dickens made Miss Havisham a mystery, she is so bizarre and strange that she was very memorable for the reader. Again Dickens uses speech to make Miss Havisham striking and memorable, Miss Havisham asks a lot of questions of other people, but doesn't expect any questions asked of herself. She asks very straight forward questions but is also snappy and is quite commanding, "Play, Play, Play!" ...read more.


Pip says, "aged heats the poker and Wemmick times it to perfection. Wemmick stood with his watch in his hand until the moment had come for him to take the red hot poker from the aged and repair to the battery." This is extremely unusual and very bizarre and this makes Wemmick striking and memorable. Conclusion: Dickens uses different techniques to make characters striking and memorable; he manages to make a variety of characters from a range of social backgrounds striking and memorable through use of physical description, setting and speech. The way that the characters interact with Pip is also important. Dickens makes Magwitch striking and memorable because of the way he is introduced through speech and the way he makes Pip and us feel. Miss Havisham is made particularly memorable to the reader, as she is so bizarre- receiving Pip initially in her dressing room and living her life in a time warp. Wemmick is perhaps the character most people can relate to- he is middle class and lives two separate lives. His individualism, his appearance and choice of home make him striking and memorable. The character who makes the biggest impression on me is Mr Wemmick because I think that his house and his actions are very bizarre and I believe he is a funny character and I think he is the character I can relate to. ...read more.

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