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How does Charles Dickens create sympathy for his characters in 'Great Expectations?'

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Introduction

How does Charles Dickens create sympathy for his characters in 'Great Expectations?' Charles Dickens, an author in Victorian England, suffered a harrowing and hard life. He was born in 1812 and having to work at a boot-blacking factory from the age of 12, had a lasting effect on him. The hurt and pain he went through as a young boy, influenced the characters, settings and overall plots of many of his books. He showed resentment towards his father because Dickens was sent to work to pay of his fathers debts. His experiences in the factory are displayed, in one of his more famous novels. 'David Copperfield', as he described it to be 'the secret agony of my soul'. He worked in the blacking factory until 185, when he showed his hurt and disgust to his parents by saying, 'how I could have been so easily cast away at such an age'. In 1827, Dickens went to work for a firm of solicitors, but he quickly found he didn't like the law, possible because of his father's earlier problems with it, and he found himself being drawn into the literacy world. ...read more.

Middle

When Magwitch first speaks, it is a contrast to the first slightly extensive three paragraphs. Not only is this abrupt introduction of Magwitch a juxtaposition to Pip's but it makes the reader intrigues and curious about the new character. Therefore the reader is enthralled and wants to read on. Dickens also describes and sets the scene for the mood of the chapter well. The meeting of Magwitch is scary and sinister. This creates sympathy for Pip because we suddenly are worried for his well being. "The marshes were just a long, black, horizontal line then...and the river was just another horizontal line...and the sky was just a row of long, angry, red lines and dense black lines intermixed". This shows the reader that the setting for the meeting was not a friendly or a favourable environment. Then the reader feels for the two characters, outside, especially Magwitch. Even though Magwitch seemed threatening at first the reader realises that Magwitch's life is quite hard because he is on the run. ...read more.

Conclusion

"My own doing...Look pretty, don't it?" this also adds a hint of humour to this chapter because the reader thinks this is an interesting, extraordinary but slightly odd man. This appeals to the reader because most of the novel has been sorrowful but this gives the reader some light hearted humorous relief. "...there's another for you;' giving him a still more tremendous one; 'you like that, don't you?" this is supposed to be funny and make the reader laugh. In conclusion Dickens is a great novelist that can make the reader feel many contrasting emotions with ease. He does this by use of vocabulary and skill. I think that Dickens creates sympathy more effectively in 'Great Expectation' rather than humour. I feel this because Dickens has personal experience of hard times when he should've had sympathy, very much like Pip. Dickens creates sympathy in many of his other characters as well. This is obviously a main part of why he has over fifteen well known novels and is still hailed as a great author today. CHARLOTTE THOMAS LJE ...read more.

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