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

Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Great Expectations - Charles Dickens Year 10 Essay Charles Dickens' classic novel Great Expectations was, in its day, a pioneering tale viewed through the eyes of the narrator Phillip Pirrip, who introduces himself to us as Pip. In the first chapter Dickens sets the scene with the misty marshes and opens it into Pip's humble beginnings and the twists of fate that will follow throughout the story and the way his expectations change from boyhood to adult life. In the first paragraph we are introduced to Pip, the central character of the story. The metaphorical significance of his name is also important, the pip is the start of a fruit and it grows into something bearing great potential. While Pip grows, so do his expectations and his potential for bearing good or bad fruit. From the opening words you know that he is the narrator and the central part of the story. The paragraph is short but its significance barely registers on a conscious level because already you have been drawn into the second paragraph and initially the rest of the book. In the second paragraph we begin to learn more about Pip's family. He tells us in an almost comical way how he imagines his parents and his five brothers to have been when they were alive and the only thing he has of them are their gravestones to look at. ...read more.

Middle

What actually happens is that Magwich picks Pip up and turns him upside down in order to empty his pockets. Dickens describes the way Pip saw it: - "When the church came to itself - for he was so sudden and strong that he made it go head over heels before me, and I saw the steeple under my feet" Immediately you feel a smile come to your lips. The way it's put so beautifully seen through the eyes of a child - as if it is the world and not Pip that has turned upside down. This is a seemingly unimportant part but after reading the rest of the book you realise the significance of this is that Magwich is the one to turn Pip's world upside down and take him out of the poor existence he should have had and into the world of the Gentry. Magwich is shown to think with his feet rather that his head. When he thinks Pip's mother is near by Dickens writes: - "He started, mad a short run, and stopped and looked over is shoulder." You can see the way that Magwich is on edge and does not have time to think about things but merely time to save his own skin. His way of using actions rather than thought is shown again in this part: - " 'Blacksmith, eh?' ...read more.

Conclusion

The whole mood of the chapter has changed from fairly comical and light hearted to deep, dark, dismal thoughts. Dickens has changed it so you do not notice it has changed - even though the change is a dramatic one. At first, even though Pip was voicing sad facts to us about his family the mood was not a serious one but as we gradually go through the comic and frightening moments, we end up at this dismal depressing point to finish on. The expectations Pip might draw from this encounter are not the ones he concludes later on in the story because at this point he is very young but this affects him enough to have a lasting impact. He would most likely be frightened for his life if the young man comes to find him but I think he's knows in the back of his mind that Magwich will be kind to him if he obeys his orders. Pip's expectations do not really accumulate until later in the story but for a first chapter an awful lot has happened and you are so drawn into the story that you have to read on and find out what happened to Pip and ultimately to the convict Magwich. ...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

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. How does Charles Dickens hook the reader into reading Great Expectations?

    'Pint out the place!' his Kent dialect makes him sound more common and a bit rough. This also gives us the impression that he is uneducated, bad-mannered and intimidating. Pip language is much more simple and kind as he speaking regular English; this also makes the reader feel sympathy for the protagonist.

  2. Charles Dickens's writing techniques in Great Expectations.

    Could this news have saved Magwitch? Madwitch worked for many years to give Pip the lifestyle of a "gentleman", and in the end, I feel Pip failed him by not seeing Magwitch for who he really was, a devoted companion. Pip was given two central people in his life that cared a great deal for him.

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

    face, but what it does show you is that the chaser has escaped from somewhere because of the chains on their feet, and only convicts and prisoners have chains on their feet, hence implying that a prisoner is after pip, and since prisoners are nasty, perverse people, this increases tension

  2. The opening of Great Expectations could be seen as your average opening to a ...

    and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin.' Pip's description of the man clearly shows that the author wants us to understand the man's position - that he has a great iron on his leg - this is probably referring

  1. The opening graveyard scene of Charles Dickens ' Great Expectations' has become part of ...

    The differences in the voices and the atmospheric sounds build up the tensions in the first scene. Pip is dressed in poor-looking clothes but he still looks like he is well cared for because he is wearing warm clothes, we already know from the sounds that it was cold, the wind in the trees.

  2. Explore what Charles Dickens

    died suggests that his family weren't particularly well off and infant mortality was high among the working class. People born into the working class had little hope of climbing the social ladder, so when Mrs Joe hears that the very rich but strangely eccentric Miss Havisham wants Pip to visit

  1. What does Pip have to learn in order to achieve some Measure of Contentment?

    was put into linen of the stiffest character, like a young penitent into sackcloth, and was trussed up into my tightest and fearfullest suit...I had never parted from him (Joe) before, and what with my feelings and what with soap-suds, I could at first see no stars out of the chaise cart.

  2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

    Prompted by his conscience, he helps Magwitch to evade the law and the police. As Pip has learned to trust his conscience and to value Magwitch's inner character, he has replaced an external standard of value with an internal value.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work