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Great Expectations Coursework

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Introduction

What impression does Dickens give of Miss Havisham and Estella in Chapter 8 of "Great Expectation" and how does he achieve this? The story is set in the Victorian times. It is written by a novelist called Charles Dickens. It is about an orphan called "Pip", who is reminiscing on his past. The novel is written in a 1st person narrative perspective. Chapter 8 fits into the rest of the novel because it is about how Pip learns the way of life and the road to being a gentleman. Pip gets into debt and receives money from a childhood acquaintance - Magwitch, an escaped convict. During the novel we not only see Pip's life we also follow the life of his love, Estella. After falling into debt and running away from the consequences of his reckless actions, Pip realizes that he can no longer be a real gentleman. The first meeting Pip has with Miss Havisham and Estella has a big impact on Pip because it changes his life by showing him exactly how much of a lower class person he is compared to Miss Havisham and Estella. Dickens makes Miss Havisham seem rich, but poor, and scary by the way he describes the outside of her house. ...read more.

Middle

However, "ghastly waxwork" shows the reader that Miss Havisham's body has not moved for ages and therefore is rotting and therefore it has turned into a waxwork. The word ghastly implies to the reader that Miss Havisham body is informal and unpleasant. The irony is that you wouldn't expect someone as rich as Miss Havisham to look informal or unpleasant when they have guests. On the other hand the word ghastly could mean that Miss Havisham is ill and can't afford medical care. One way Dickens makes Miss Havisham look rich but poor at the same time is by the things he says she does. He says she sits in the dark "corpse like" and that she "watches Pip and Estella play". The use of corpse indicates that Miss Havisham is dead. The phrase "watches Pip and Estella play" suggests that Miss Havisham enjoys watching the children play and that even though she is rich, and therefore should have a nanny for the children, she still doesn't mind watching the children even if it might affect her social status. However the phrase corpse like could suggest that Miss Havisham isn't dead but wants to be dead. Dickens also shows the reader that Miss Havisham is of a higher social status than Pip by the way she says things. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the use of "I misdealt, as way only natural when I knew she was lying in wait for me to do wrong" could suggest to the reader that Estella is impatient and can't be bothered to play with someone who is of a lower social status than her. Dickens describes many feelings of Pip's which change throughout the visit. This is shown by "I think she is very pretty" and "I think she is very insulting". This is what Pip whispers into Miss Havisham's ear about Estella. This also shows that he has mixed feelings for Estella. Dickens further describes Pip's feelings about the visit "as if I were a dog in disgrace. I was so humiliated, hurt, spurned, offended, angry, sorry - I cannot hit upon the right name for the smart - God knows what its name was - that the tears started to my eyes" and "as I cried, I kicked the wall, and took a name, that needed counteraction". This clearly highlights Pip's feeling to the reader. He feels a huge amount of rage that he cannot even describe it himself. He has never felt in such a way before as he has been insulted and offended about it his natural social state and at the same time has mixed feelings about what he feels for Estella. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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