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Great Expectations"- How does Dickens create sympathy for his characters? "Great Expectations" was written by Charles Dickens in the early nineteenth century

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Introduction

Matthew Hunt "Great Expectations"- How does Dickens create sympathy for his characters? "Great Expectations" was written by Charles Dickens in the early nineteenth century, a time in which status, class and money were extremely important. These themes are also extremely important in "Great Expectations". The novel focuses on Philip Pirrip, commonly known as Pip. We follow Pip through his deprived childhood lining by the Thames estuary and then onto when he travels to London, where he hope he will achieve his dream of becoming a respectable gentleman. Throughout "Great Expectation" Dickens creates many vivid characters. These characters have different intentions in the novel but all characters, at one point in the story, make the reader feel a degree of sympathy toward them. Dickens creates the sympathetic atmosphere in many varied ways. Of all the characters in "Great Expectations" it is Pip that demands sympathy the most. In "Great Expectations" Pip is looked upon by the reader as a loveable character. An explanation for this could be the use of Pip as narrator. ...read more.

Middle

"He calls the knaves, Jacks, this boy". This shows of how other characters see Pip. Estella taunts Pip of his low status, this makes the reader feel more sympathy toward Pip than ever before. The reader has already made their mind up as to how they feel toward Pip and any other character that should treat Pip incorrectly will force the reader to form negative opinions about the character in this case, the character is Estella. The reader is first introduced to Estella in the same chapter that we are given an insight into Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham, with her blunt and offensive manner cause an immediate reaction for the reader, much in the same way that Estella does. Not only is Estella similar to Miss Havisham, Estella also bares resemblance to Pip. Both Pip and Estella are orphans. It is unclear if Estella enjoys life with Miss Havisham but Estella does seem to feel she belongs more to her adopted parent than Pip does. ...read more.

Conclusion

Miss Havisham tends to order Estella. She will force her own opinions onto her. This could be an explanation for Estella's attitude. Unlike Miss Havisham, Wemmick, instead of taking advantage of his vulnerable father, treats The Aged with a great deal of respect. Wemmick is extremely polite to his father. This shows how different characters react to vulnerable people. After The Aged has been has been fully introduced to the reader, I believe, that the reader should feel a level of empathy for him. Similar to Miss Havisham, The Aged is secluded away from others. The Aged is also quite a fragile character, blissfully unaware of any happenings outside of his home. This I feel makes the reader feel a degree of sympathy toward him. Throughout "Great Expectations" Dickens employs many devices to create a sympathetic reaction. The device that is used most often is that of vulnerability. All characters in "Great Expexctations" can be seen as vulnerable. This technique that is used by Dickens, I believe is very effective. Dickens does use other methods to create sympathy but it is the idea of an unprotected, defenceless character that is most common as well as being most effective. ...read more.

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