• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

how charles dickens presents characters in chapters one and eight of great expectations

Extracts from this document...


Coursework assignment Analysis of how Charles Dickens presents the characters of Pip, Estella, Miss Havisham and Magwitch in chapters one and eight of 'Great Expectations'. The novel 'Great Expectations' was written in 1861 by Charles Dickens and it was published in instalments, as were many of Charles Dickens' novels. Great Expectations is the captivating story about the life of a young man called Pip, and his transition from a trainee blacksmith to a fine gentleman. This story contains everything from love and life, to heartbreak and death. The story is written in the first person so we learn about Pip's life through Pip's perspective. Pip's real name is Phillip Pirrip, but he calls himself Pip, as do all of the other fascinating characters in the novel. Dickens' portrayal of varied, mystifying and amazing characters such as Estella, Miss Havisham and Magwitch is brilliant. In the very first paragraph of chapter one in 'Great Expectations', we find out a lot about Pip, in an amusing way. From this first paragraph the reader realises straight away that the writing is in the first person. The fact that Pip says he couldn't pronounce his name properly when he was young so he pronounced it as Pip lets us know that he is quite a funny boy. In this first paragraph Dickens writes 'Pip' 3 times in quick succession, which is a very clever technique that helps the reader to remember the main characters name. In the next paragraph the reader then find out that Phillip Pirrip - or Pip as the reader comes to know him as - has already had a dramatic life, even at a young age. His mother and father died when he was very young, and he says he has never seen them "as I never saw my mother or father, and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before the days of photographs)..." ...read more.


Through dialogue and excellent description we get the impression that Magwitch is an evil, strong and potentially a murderer. The threat he gives to Pip is very visual, and has many morbid references towards Pip's liver. The setting and atmosphere at the time of Magwitch's attack reflects Magwitch's threatening manner. By using vivid descriptions such as "the sky was just a row of long angry red lines and dense black lines intermixed" Dickens creates a morbid atmosphere that matches Magwitch's angry attack on Pip. When Magwitch first meets Pip he is very rough with him, and viciously attacks him. He threatens him and he uses menacing, cruel words. By the time Pip meets Magwitch when he is 23 he has turned into a fine gentleman, and he didn't remember Magwitch at first. However, by this meeting there is a level of respect between the two characters and both of them communicate with each other. Pip must feel as though he owes Magwitch everything, because he was his benefactor. In an ironic twist to the story we find out that Magwitch is in fact Estella's father and nobody knew this. In chapter eight of the story, called "Play Begins", Pip visits Satis House for the first time and meets Estella and Miss Havisham for the very first time. Ironically Satis House means Enough House, the owner of this house will have everything they want, and they could want nothing else. This is not the case with Miss Havisham, and at points in the story it is not true for Estella either. Although Charles Dickens is writing the story in the first person, it is written almost as an account by Pip, where he is older. You can tell this by many of the words that he uses. A young boy wouldn't know the definitions of some of these words and wouldn't know how to use them e.g. ...read more.


She doesn't know what day of the week it is, and all of her clocks and watches have been stopped at twenty minutes to nine. I think this is because Miss Havisham was 'jilted' by Compeyson, and this ruined her wedding day, which is meant to be the best day of a woman's life. I think Miss Havisham never got over this rejection, and it ruined her life. Therefore she wanted every day to be relived like the one that ruined her life. She didn't want to live anymore, she had given up. Nowadays a failed marriage is not a big problem, it happens to many people, but back in the 19th century this would be a huge embarrassment, especially to someone of such a high class as Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham again doesn't treat Pip with any respect. She sees him as a target through which she can get revenge on the male gender. She is constantly breaking his heart, whether it is through Estella, or by leading Pip on and not telling him that she wasn't his benefactor. She is a very commanding woman, and whenever she says anything to Pip or Estella they both respond quickly without questioning her requests too much, no matter how bizarre they are. This could be out of politeness towards Miss Havisham, or fear of her. Over the course of the story the reader sees Pip growing up, and identifies with him, through many tough and dangerous times, both emotionally and physically. By the end of the story everybody Pip was close to has died except for Estella, and this leads the reader to believe that he will treat her like the queen he thought she was when he was younger. The reader finds it easy to sympathise with Pip, and there is great empathy for him because he is such a polite, amusing, quick-thinking character. By Matt Capanna ?? ?? ?? ?? Coursework assignment on 'Great Expectations' Page 1 of 6 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. How Is Miss Havisham Presented In Chapter Eight And Chapter Eleven?

    Another example of her faded wealth is shown when Dickens is describing her sparkling jewellery, "bright jewels sparkled on her neck and hands". This shows to the reader again that Miss Havisham was a wealthy lady for her to be able to afford to buy jewels.

  2. What does Pip learn and how does he learn it during the course of ...

    personality and it gives a quick impression of what they are like. Towards the end of novel Pip begins to learn about the most important things in his character: selflessness, humility and compassion.

  1. Analysis of chapters 1-8 in Great Expectation by Charles Dickens

    Estella mocks Pip yet Pip still likes Estella as he describes her as a "star". We are then introduced to Miss Havisham who calls Pip to come "nearer" in a peculiar manner. As Pip moves towards Miss Havisham and is "trying to avoid her eyes", he glances to the surroundings.

  2. 'The small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry ...

    Magwitch threatens pip because he is extremely desperate to be free he would endanger the life of a child to free himself. Magwitch does not wears a hat meaning he is not part of upper or middle class but he actually belongs to the working class meaning he is not

  1. Look In Detail At Chapter Eight Of Great Expectations And Consider The Significance Of ...

    Repeating words and phrases is a characteristic technique of Dickens, which I think is extremely effective because it really helps you visualize the situation. When describing Miss Havisham and her house Dickens has split the description into 2 paragraphs.

  2. How does Charles Dickens hook the reader into reading Great Expectations?

    Readers interest would be caught on how and why did Pip survived without parents to care for him. Pip repeats the phrase 'dead and buried'; it reminds him that he will never see his parents and they have passed away.

  1. Great Expectations Character analysis of Magwitch and Pip

    In chapter thirty nine Magwitch lists the jobs he has done to earn a living as well as being Pip's benefactor. He quotes, 'I've been a sheep-farmer, a stock breeder, other trades besides, away in the world.' Magwitch's appearance has also adapted from chapter one to thirty-nine.

  2. An exploration of the ways in which issues of class and status are presented ...

    Dickens on the other hand might well argue that everyone is entitled and should be master of their own lives. Social rise or such aspirations are not decadent; pompous denial of others existence and right to self-improvement is. Dickens utopia would be a society where everyone can best fulfil their

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work