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Great Expectations - Why is it so enjoyable?

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Why do readers find Great Expectations so enjoyable? Michael Johnson Dickens uses pathetic fallacy to illustrate the predicament that faces the characters in the novel. It also depicts the emotions the characters feel and indicates how the scene is going to change. For example, the dramatic weather change, conveyed in the line, "The evening mist was rising now," during the second ending when Estella and Pip meet, mirrors the realisation of Pip and Estella's true feelings for each other. The novel was presented in a serialised format in which two chapters would be published regularly in 'All the year round', a magazine of the time. Because of this feature Dickens was able to listen to the criticisms and comments of his readers and adjust his next instalment to meet their tastes. This flexible and revolutionary attribute that Dickens had for his penultimate novel turned it into the perfect novel for his avid readers. One of the many contributing factors, to readers finding this novel enjoyable is that, like a TV series, Great Expectations was presented in a serialised format in which Dickens had to introduce cliff-hangers to keep his readers gripped and keen to read his next part. ...read more.


Dickens gained inspiration for these verbal ticks by watching live theatre. And these sayings help us gain a feeling for the past, and for the private lives of the characters and so deepens our understanding of them. The settings in which significant scenes take place illustrates Dickens ability to conjure up wild yet believable situations. Examples include the Graveyard, the Village and Satis House. Satis house is the home of Miss Haversham and her companion Estella. It is a fairy tale world where time has no residence, yet is abundant with mould and decaying food from an untimely incident involving Miss Haversham and her fianc� in which Miss Haversham acts out her deep psychological trauma. The overgrown garden, the disused brewery, and rotting barrels all play an intricate part in Pips fascination with and utter bewilderment at Miss Haversham, Estella and everything that was, is and could be Satis House. Dickens describes Pip's entry into Satis House; "We went across the courtyard. It was paved and clean, but grass was growing in every crevice. The brewery building had a little lane of communication with it; and the wooden gates of that lane stood open, and all the brewery beyond, stood open, away to the high enclosing wall; and all was empty and disused." ...read more.


Feminists would not see Pip's version of events as neutral or unbiased but a product of a male point of view. Dickens created similar personalities for his leading three ladies, Estella, Mrs Joe and Mrs Haversham. The story may have been seen as evidence of his own troubled relationships with women and repressed hostility towards them. The popularity of Dickens book was possibly due to the serialised format which imposed the need for strong characters that were instantly recognisable, and cliff-hangers each fortnight. But Dickens skill in meeting that need made his book a masterpiece. His own past and traits heavily swayed the novel. The issues and characters he chose were potentially decided by his views and prejudices, which he expressed through both character and plot. However, this is probably true for many, if not all authors. We should not think of him as sour, or writing a book so it could be a platform in which he could rant and rave. We should think of him as the supplier of Pip, the lovable child. Mrs Joe, the narrow-minded ranter. Mr Joe, the cheerful simpleton, Estella, the object of desire and Mrs Haversham the quite wonderfully weird one! It is also an unforgettable story of a man learning the hard way the difference between money and true value. ...read more.

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