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How does chapter 8 prepare the reader for the novel to follow?prose coursework: great expectations by charles dickens

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HOW DOES CHAPTER 8 PREPARE THE READER FOR THE NOVEL TO FOLLOW? PROSE COURSEWORK: GREAT EXPECTATIONS BY CHARLES DICKENS ANIRUDH KATOCH, KING EDWARD VI HIGH SCHOOL Charles Dickens, the revolutionary 19th century novelist, wrote a bildungsroman of Phillip Pirrip (Pip) and the reality of his own "Great Expectations" in his pursuit to become a gentleman. In Chapter 8, the reader is introduced to Miss Havisham and Estella and this is where Pip first becomes dissatisfied with the life at the forge. There were many writers in Dickens' day whose works are no longer read; this is possibly because Dickens did something idiosyncratically different from his contemporaries. The plot of Great Expectations is quite complex, yet it is the way that Dickens handles the various elements of the plot that makes the novel appealing. For instance, the dexterity of one branch of the plot built up to the point where a major event is about to take place and then the scene modifies to another plot. This control of tension - making the audience wait - is a major component of the author's craft and can be experienced in this chapter. The chapter itself is positioned after Pip encounters the convict. This chapter contrasts with the other and acts as an expositional stage of the book. This links with the authorial style of Dickens and how he builds up certain areas of the novel to prepare for other stages of the book. As Chapter 8 sets up the characters and links them together, Dickens is preparing for the end of the novel. This chapter is significant as it introduces the reader to fundamental characters and themes, which fabricates the intricate web of Pip's development. A new storyline, focused on Miss Havisham and Estella, is now developed. It establishes relationships between Pip, Miss Havisham and Estella and it prepares the plot for confusion later in the novel. ...read more.


A modern audience would know this and could affect their perception on this character. Estella has been educated as an accomplished and sophisticated young lady. She warns Pip time and again that she has "no heart" (Ch. 29 p. 195) and can never have anyone. She tells Pip that he is the only one to be so warned and that she makes fools of all the other men. She seems to become tired of this way of life and almost self-destructive in her determination to marry such a brutal and ill-mannered man as Bentley Drummle. Even Miss Havisham tries to dissuade her. At the end of the novel, she is a widow and has little property left. Her hard experiences seem to have softened her, and she implies that she regrets having rejected Pip's love for her. She has learnt her lessons through suffering and it "has been stronger than all other teaching...I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape" (Ch. 59 p. 399). She is contrite and humble as she confesses that she realises what she threw away when she rejected Pip's love. She feels that the best she can hope for is that they can be friends. She is too humble to expect more. Miss Havisham is a bitter old woman. She wants to take revenge on all men for the wrong that was done to her by one man. She sits in the clothes she should have worn for her wedding and surrounded by decaying things in a darkened room. She has adopted a young girl, Estella, whom she plans to use to exact her revenge. The reader first encounters this in the rotting Satis House. She has deliberately let the house fall into bad repair because of the disappointment of her wedding day. She feeds her revenge by never allowing herself to forget what had happened to her, for example: by wearing the wedding dress; allowing the wedding feast to rot around her; ...read more.


By introducing Miss Havisham and Estella, the reader is immersing into Dickens' social satire on Victorian values. Without these antagonists, Dickens cannot make his point about the importance of love and loyalty over wealth and social positioning; especially when Estella was born with convicts as parents and Miss Havisham inheriting her wealth through the Industrial Revolution. The social and historical background of this chapter is conveyed strongly. The reader fully acknowledges the importance of commerce and wealth relating to power and Victorian social hierarchies. This is through the introduction of Miss Havisham and Estella. By this, the reader can see the divide that existed within the society: Estella, (lowest level of society adopted by the upper-middle class), Pip (the lower classes), Pumblechoock (the middle-class) and Miss Havisham (the bourgeois class - heightening the importance of capitalism and industrialisation). It is important to note that Dickens' moral point would not have been so strong if he included nobility or the gentry; that is why there are none in the novel. Miss Havisham is just that - Miss, not a Lady or a Dame or a Marchioness. Titles aside, Miss Havisham is presented as an aristocratic character and perceived by other characters "as if [she] were a queen" (Ch. 29 p.193). Dickens did this only to substitute the absence of a noble character and to strengthen his moral theme. Nonetheless, the question remains: is Great Expectations still relevant today? Undoubtedly, yes. What Dickens portrays in Great Expectations and Chapter 8 is that the moral theme of the book-Pip's awareness that wealth and class are less significant than affection, loyalty, and inner worth. As a society today, we are bombarded with celebrity, brands and a culture where anyone can be "famous for fifteen minutes" (Andy Warhol). This introduction of this class and its stupendous wealth appeals to many people of today. This novel, this chapter tries to make the reader understand that one's social status is in no way linked to one's real character. ?? ?? ?? ?? ANIRUDH KATOCH HOW DOES CHAPTER 8 PREPARE THE READER FOR THE NOVEL TO FOLLOW? - 1 - ...read more.

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