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Great Expectations. The opening chapter is important because it addresses the issue of child neglect and the judgmental nature of Victorian society.

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Introduction

Great expectations Molly Clements Dickens wrote this novel to touch on a lot of subjects he was interested in or felt strongly about. He was interested in the difference between rich and poor people and how treatment differed. His love life and his transition between poor to rich can be conveyed through the novel. He produced a dark novel because his life had entered a dark period. The major themes in this novel related to dickens' life because most of the themes have happened in his recent life. The opening chapter is important because it addresses the issue of child neglect and the judgmental nature of Victorian society. Although Pip is the narrator he takes on the voice of Dickens and allows Dickens views to be aired to the public. It's difficult to understand how Pip is constantly polite since he has had such a difficult childhood filled with child neglect but I think the reason he's polite is because of how Joe treated him. 'Pip. She's a- coming! Get behind the door, old chap, and have the jack-towel betwixt you.' Dickens felt children have certain needs: a nurturing home, to be free from emotional and physical abuse, to have a good education and to be allowed to uses their imaginations freely. In order for children to succeed in life Dickens felt these needs must be met. He was trying to raise awareness of the plight of children to his Victorian readers, through his portrayal of Pip. ...read more.

Middle

The setting and atmosphere appeal to a lot of Dickens' target audience because it's very gloomy and also quite lifelike for that time period. Dickens and a lot of Victorian people were going into a dark period of their lives because a lot of the streets and families were surrounded by death and disease. Great Expectations and Oliver Twist are representatives of the works produced by Charles Dickens over his lifetime. These novels exhibit many similarities - perhaps because they both reflect painful experiences that occurred in Dickens' past. During his childhood, Charles Dickens suffered much abuse from his parents. This abuse is often expressed in his novels. Pip, in Great Expectations, talked often about the abuse he received at the hands of his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery. On one occasion he remarked, "I soon found myself getting heavily bumped from behind in the nape of the neck and the small of the back, and having my face ignominously shoved against the wall, because I did not answer those questions at sufficient length." While at the orphanage, Oliver from Oliver Twist also experienced a great amount of abuse. For example, while suffering from starvation and malnutrition for a long period of time, Oliver was chosen by the other boys at the orphanage to request more gruel at dinner one night. After making this simple request, "the master (at the orphanage) aimed a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arms; and shrieked aloud for the beadle." ...read more.

Conclusion

However, later in the novel, Magwitch is re-introduced as Pip's mysterious benefactor and this time, the ambiguity of the situation and our sympathy for Pip make us feel a sense of admiration and content with the actions of this new benefactor; Magwitch. The ending of this book is quite different to most of his other books because he changed it and made it happier. The first ending was more realistic and connected to his life but when he changed it and made it happier although he never said what truly happened it could be said that this was the ending he wanted for his own life. It begins with a mournful impression-the foggy marshes spreading drearily by the seaward Thames-and throughout recurs this effect of cold and damp and dreariness; in that kind Dickens never did anything so good." All the isolation of childhood is there in the first chapter. The first chapter immediately involves the reader because of Pip's terrifying encounter with the convict and the humor with which the chapter is infused. Dickens skillfully introduces several major themes in it. Pip is alone, physically alone in the cemetery and solitary in being an orphan; his aloneness prefigures the isolation he will experience later in the novel. His illusions about his family's tombstones are comic and convincing as the sort of misreading that a child might make; they also introduce the theme of failure to communicate. ...read more.

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