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"Great Expectations" written by Charles Dickens. I have been analysing the way in which Dickens uses language techniques to create

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Introduction

Great Expectations Matthew Connor I have recently been reading the famous novel "Great Expectations" written by Charles Dickens. I have been analysing the way in which Dickens uses language techniques to create themes, characters and a setting for his story. The novel itself was written in Victorian times and a lot of the themes that occur in the book were also very prominent in the Victorian era. Firstly I want to mention the similarities between the main character and narrator Pip and the actual writer Charles Dickens. They both had a very comparable childhood with family problems and suffering very early on in their lives. The most striking similarity though is that both Pip and Dickens were at the bottom of the social ladder and the theme of social status is probably the most important one in this novel. This theme pieces together the whole plot of the book with a lower class Pip always eager to better himself and reach the top of that ladder. I also believe that due to Dickens being initially subjected to a life of poverty he had a negative view of money and status; almost all the characters with wealth and status in the novel end up destroyed. ...read more.

Middle

I have already referred to this earlier in the essay with my quotes on how vulnerable and innocent Pip is, but I also want to re-mention the empathy that the audience feel towards the narrator Pip: "I was seated on a high tombstone, trembling, while he ate the bread ravenously". This sentence just shows how powerless Pip actually is, through the eyes of the child himself. This idea of the audience seeing everything from Pip's point of view is at a constant throughout the novel because Pip narrates the book, this gives a very biased edge to the book as we only see things from Pip's point of view and through his thoughts and feelings. A very important character in the first chapter is the convict, Magwitch. Magwitch is portrayed as the evil and vicious criminal who toys with Pips innocence by creating scary figures to frighten him. What is interesting is how abrupt Magwitch is to start with: "Hold your noise" is a very sudden and brash comment which immediately seizes the reader's attention. This comment is followed by a threat: "Keep still, you little devil or I'll cut your throat." This threat results in holding the reader's attention constantly. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pathetic fallacy is used throughout the first chapter to project Pip's feelings onto his surroundings and it reflects the human emotions of our narrator. Overall I believe the settings are a very important part of this novel and Dickens uses many techniques to set a great atmosphere within each separate setting. In conclusion to my coursework I definitely believe that the first chapter is an effective one. In one chapter Dickens uses many language techniques to create a tense setting, introduce themes and also characters. After one chapter we as an audience feel empathy towards the innocence of our narrator Pip, but we also feel like a part of Pip due to the fact that we see everything from his angle. I think the audience also feel enticed to read on to see what happens to not only Pip but the evil and monstrous convict, Magwitch. The first chapter introduces many important themes to the novel, such as social class's, loneliness and death which will have a huge effect on the novel later on. Another very important thing about the first chapter is the way in which the setting is portrayed by Dickens, through Pip. He uses alliteration, the image of death and pathetic fallacy to constantly add to the tense and eerie atmosphere of a graveyard. I therefore believe that the first chapter is a very in depth and effective way of opening the novel. ...read more.

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