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Great Expectations' Comparisons and Contrasts BetweenChapters 1 + 39

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'Great Expectations' Comparisons and Contrasts Between Chapters 1 + 39 Charles Dickens was born in 1812, and into family overcome with financial difficulty. In 1824, Dickens was sent to a workhouse after his father's debt finally got him sent to prison. It was perhaps Dickens' time in the workhouse that ignited his imagination, later in life to produce such classic stories. With a yearning for the education that he didn't have as a child, Charles worked hard to earn himself a job at a solicitor's as a clerk. By 1934 he was working as a 'reporter of parliamentary debates'. Then following his popular sketches and caricatures, he had a series in a newspaper called 'Oliver Twist' now a well known and greatly loved novel. It was here that Dickens began to, almost; tell his own story through through the lives, situations and experiences of his characters. Everyone knows of Charles Dickens and has more than likely read at least on of his books, if not, seen a film adaptation of one. No one doubts his international success, but why and how has he achieved it? Why do we love his stories so much? And how did he evoke such interest in his work? I believe the element that perhaps activates this success, in his books, is the ability to write in a way that makes the reader sympathise, empathise and even relate to what is happening, also his ability to bring life into the characters in his book. ...read more.


Although Pip's confidence in this particular chapter doesn't have a huge effect on the reader, it is Pip's gradual and increased confidence in previous chapters that has made the reader feel more comfortable with him, as the reader has followed Pip's life since childhood. Pip is still confident with the stranger, until he finds out who it really is: "Not knowing what to do- for in my astonishment I had lost my self possession- I reluctantly gave him my hands." Not only is this a less polite approach than he had had before, it also lacks the seemingly boundless confidence shown before. He has lost his 'self possession', he has lost all the things he had gained since his childhood, in terms of pride and confidence, he instead returned to his previous nervous disposition and more importantly his guilt! The reader would notice the vulnerability that had returned and so their feeling of pity and sympathy returns. Pip's dislike and disgust turns into hatred and repulsion as he learns who his true benefactor is: Magwitch, Pip's convict. "All the truth of my position came flashing on me; and its disappointments, dangers, disgraces, consequences of all kinds rushed in such a multitude that I was borne down by them and had to struggle for every breath I drew" and also "The abhorrence in which I held the man, the dread I had of him, the repugnance with which u shrank from him could not have been exceeded if he had been a terrible beast." ...read more.


Each time Magwitch appears he causes havoc, as a storm does. Also there is a certain irony because although Magwitch does bring all this bad weather, he also turns out to be the sunshine after the rain, also. The reader obviously doesn't like Magwitch until they realise that he is the ray of sun, or has caused the sunlight after the storm in Pip's life. Magwitch messes up his life, but then completely turns it around again, by the offer of opportunity and money that Magwitch gave him. Another literary device used is that Dickens has written it in first person narrative. It gives it a personal touch and an extra insight into Pip's thoughts as we 'see' through his eyes. Also the use of 1st person relates the story to Dickens own life, in a way, because it could seem that it is him telling the story, and just using Pip as a spokesperson. It is an insight into Dickens mind. Dickens uses a lot of literary devices, use of language and strong contrasts to convey certain characteristics and personality of characters, and has used it to convey atmosphere and setting. The use of all Dickens' ability and skill to create sympathy and empathy within the reader, Dickens sophisticated writing approach has created a believable, well written and well loved story. ...read more.

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