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Great-Expectations is just one novel that follows a tradition of novelsthat choose to focus on one particular character and their developing life story.

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Introduction

Great-Expectations is just one novel that follows a tradition of novels that choose to focus on one particular character and their developing life story. Other novels that follow this same tradition are Adam Bede (1959) and Jude The Obscure (1894) which I may use as comparative texts due to the fact all three books/novels are written around the same time and tend to high light crime death and poverty using similar techniques. Death, crime and poverty feature strongly in the vast majority of fiction during the Victorian era. Many authors including Charles Dickens thought by repeatedly writing about the harsh inhuman conditions that many poor people were succumb to that the middle and upper classes would gradually begin to change there stigmatisms and prejudices. "Great-Expectations" concentrates mainly on two sections of Pip's life, Pip as a young bashful child and the mature sophisticated Pip that develops as his life unfolds. Both Pips I think paint a very diverce picture of Victorian life one being Pip in a ramshackle unpleasant environment the other being Pip in a lavish gentlemanly one. In the opening paragraph, we are introduced to Pip who is the main character in the novel. We know that Pip is a young child because he describes him self in having an infant tongue that cannot pronounce the word Pirrip his fathers name or his Christian name Philip. Other indications that Pip is in the early stages of his life are that he thinks that the words on his mothers and fathers grave stone some how illustrate to him what they may of looked liked. "The shape of the letters on my father's grave stone gave me the odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair" I believe this to be a obvious indication that Pip is a fairly young child aged around six to eight. Pip is visiting his mothers and fathers grave stone in a churchyard he describes as being a bleak place, over grown ...read more.

Middle

The food on the hulks was so bad that most men melted candle wax into there soup to try to make it more nourishing. Early prisons in this period were so crowded and dirty, that's why hulks came about I think that they were made to try to ease the heavy burden that was on the shoulders of the English prison system. Because petty theft was such a big deal then Pip found it almost impossible to steal from his sister's larder. We know that Pips steeling for understandable reasons and doesn't deserve to be punished, but I think Charles Dickens is showing his target audience that Pip even though he's only a child he feels exceptionally guilty when he steals something. He knows what could happen to him he knows that, ridiculous that it may seem he could be brained with a hot iron whipped by both his elder sister and the legal system and even hung like many children were at that time. The question I think Charles Dickens wants his audience to ask in their minds is should children or adults even, lose there life over something as trivial as theft? Imagery is used in this area of the novel a lot to try to make the reader feel what Pip is experiencing. Personification is also used to convey Pips hallucinations in this area of the text also. When Pip leaves his sisters home with the food that Magwitch the convict requested he describes the mist that he earlier described as being "light and every where" as being "heavier" maybe like a barrier he was up against? Pip says, "Instead of me at running at everything everything seemed to run at me and this was very disagreeable to a guilty mind" These are prime examples of how Charles Dickens makes the setting literally come alive when using Imagery. He painted this picture in my mind so effectively and clearly it was unbelievable. ...read more.

Conclusion

for me: "Towards a great wooden beam in a low nook of the building near me on my right hand, and I saw a figure hanging there by the neck. A figure all in yellow white, with but one shoe on her feet; and it hung so, that I could see the faded trimmings of the dress were like earthy paper, and that the face was Miss Havisham" The setting has played tricks on Pip's mind as he stills has the horrific image of Miss Havisham fresh in his mind from he first met her inside the house. When Pip goes to Mr Jaggers Office for the first time he's dressed in London business attire and is an up an coming gentlemen. References to crime and death in this section is where Pip describes Mr Jaggers leather chair looking like a coffin "Jaggers's own high black high chair was a deadly black horse hair with rows of brass nails round it like a coffin." The office was a dark place. Pip uses the word "Dismal" when describing it, he also says that there's no light in the room other than a skylight not for the first time Pip feels the he is being watched in an accusing this time by buildings that appear to peeping in at him through the skylight. Pip came across a "Rusty Pistol" whilst in Jaggers office, Pistols were not uncommon in this period and many crimes such as murder and highway robbery involved them this might explain their presence. The setting of Jaggers office I think has made Pip slightly anxious it's nothing like he expected "There were not as many papers as I expected to see and there were some odd things about". Charles Dickens uses imagery to make Mr Jaggers look like a scary sort of person. Pip says that there were shoulder grease marks on the sides of the walls as if people were scared to go in the centre of the room with Mr Jaggers. ...read more.

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