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

Great Expectations Courcework

Extracts from this document...


Great Expectations Great expectations: written by Charles Dickens. 'Great Expectations' was published from December 1860 to august 1861, in Charles Dickens magazine known as 'All The Year Round'. Dickens writing was influenced by his personal experiences. Dickens had a difficult childhood; his father was taken to the debtors prisons, and therefore the responsibility of supporting the family fell onto him. Charles dickens would work 10 hour shifts pasting labels on shoe polish jars, his working conditions were incredibly poor. However, as we know Charles Dickens climbed the social ladder to become a renowned and wealthy author whose work continues to surprise and entertain readers even today. This transition from poverty to riches and the upper classes that Dickens went through is reflected in his novel 'Great Expectations'. Dickens developed a powerful dislike of the segregation between the classes and the treatment of the lower classes. The protagonist of the story is Phillip Pirrip, known to us as Pip. Pip is an orphan and 1 of 2 survivors from a family of 9. He is looked after by the other survivor who is his older sister. Pip lives a low class lifestyle and has little future prospects. As a child Pip aids a convict by bringing him food and a file to remove his shackles. ...read more.


These middle class readers would read about little vulnerable Pip being attacked by the wind and it would cause them to feel sympathy towards him Dickens creates tension by using phrases such as 'overgrown with nettles" this gives the graveyard an unmaintained, derelict and mysterious aura. As I have previously stated Dickens has used description to emphasize Pips vulnerability this adds the feeling of tension as this vulnerable child is all alone in a derelict graveyard. This unmaintained graveyard could symbolise the situation Pip was in as a child; nearly all his family has died and he is living a poor, low class and unmaintained lifestyle. When Magwitch arrives the reader has already built up an image of violence and aggression because of the description Dickens uses. Dickens has used descriptions such as 'the distant savage lair' and 'overgrown with nettles'. The weather is described in an animalistic, vicious way and nettles can also cause pain. Even before Magwitch has arrived dickens has created an atmosphere of violence. Dickens describes Magwitch in a way which makes him out to be a vicious, cruel and ruthless. Magwitch is described in such a negative way so that when he is seen in a different way in the later chapters it will add to the surprise of the reader. ...read more.


Magwitch is described in chapter 39 as an older more tired man who cares enough about Pip to make a life risking journey to see him. Throughout the novel Magwitch would be remembered as a cruel vicious and low class convict however after so many chapters he returns and the reader is informed that it was Magwitch who had been paying for Pip to live his life. Dickens was trying to convey, to his generally middle class audience, the message that people should not be stereotypical about people. This is shown in the way that Magwitch who has been seen as a villain had turned out to be a caring, generous man. Pips initial response is one of shock and he recalls of the physical shock he was in after finding out: "I grasped at the chair, the room began to surge and turn". Pip is shocked because he has built his entire life around the theory that Miss Havisham was his benefactor who was preparing him for marriage to Estella. Pip is in love with Estella and the news that he wasn't brought up to marry her hurts him. Pip also remembers how he has seen Magwitch "down in the ditch tearing and fighting like a wild beast" and decides to lock the door of Magwhitch's room on his way out. ...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. Explore the initial presentation of Dickens Magwitch and Miss Havisham in Great Expectations

    The stopped clocks also indicate to the reader that Miss Havasham has long been in the house, her decaying body still draped with her decaying wedding dress, now yellow, also showing the time she has been in the house. This is an ironic symbol of death and degeneration and can

  2. An exploration of the ways in which issues of class and status are presented ...

    of Ted and Marion, being both deadly and beautiful, than it may also be seen as unnatural, by virtue of society's rules at the time. Hartley has been credited with condemning the restriction of a loving relationship that would be beautiful and perhaps this is the case, though this not

  1. Comparing Chapter 1 of Great Expectations where Pip first meets the convict, with Chapter ...

    cares for anyone but himself and Mr Creakle the ignorant and ferocious schoolteacher in 'David Coppefield'. With knowledge of these characters that take lead roles in Dickens' books we can induce that a similar character will be included in 'Great Expectations'.

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

    This change in Pip is a step toward discovering that one is supposed to help others instead of always worrying about oneself. Pip's relationship with Herbert remains strong throughout the third stage, when Pip becomes partners with him. This partnership allows Pip to become a self-reliant and honest individual who does well enough to achieve contentment.

  1. How does Dickens create sympathy for Pip in chapter 1 and 8 of Great ...

    implies he wanted to be brave and not scared but he couldn't help but be frightened. After all he's just a kid. "Dreadfully" is a very formal word and shows how frightened he is. He is also using a formal word because it was how they spoke then.

  2. Charles Dickens Great Expectations explore the themes used by Dickens in chapter one

    Then, he held me by the arms, in an upright position on the top of the stone, and went on in these fearful terms: "You bring me, to-morrow morning early, that file and them wittles. You bring the lot to me, at that old Battery over yonder.

  1. How does Dickens build tension and how does he set us up for the ...

    This makes us feel sympathetic towards Pip because it makes his vulnerability more prominent. Dickens chooses to mention the 'universal struggle', this suggests that not only was he surrounded by death but life itself was a struggle that his brothers and sisters could not survive.

  2. Great Expectations

    "His eyes looked most powerfully into mine, and mine looked most powerfully up into his". This highlights a key detail of status/position that will be seen in depth throughout the story; it's a running thread for which it is a major theme.

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