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

How does Charles Dickens make the reader feel sympathy for Pip in chapters one and eight of the novel "Great Expectations"?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Charles Dickens make the reader feel sympathy for Pip in chapters one and eight of the novel "Great Expectations"? In the novel "Great Expectations," Charles Dickens makes the reader feel sympathy for Pip in several ways; the character of Pip, the setting and its effect on him and the treatment of and influence on him by others. Having an older Pip as narrator to the story means that the adult Pip can describe how he felt when he was younger, and make his description of himself more convincing. When Pip is first described to us, he is just a small boy visiting his parents' graves; this makes us feel sympathy for him, as he is an orphan, adopted by his older sister. His name also makes us think of him as small: an apple pip is very small, but can grow into a tree - this idea of something small growing into something large is the theme the plot follows. The way he imagines his parents also makes us feel sorry for him, as he did not even know what his parents looked like, and the fact that his brothers also died means that he must feel quite alone. ...read more.

Middle

A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered..." However, the sympathy aroused for this pitiful figure is dispelled, as he "glared and growled" and seized Pip by the chin. The convict treats Pip badly, by threatening to hurt him, commanding at him, turning him upside-down and robbing him of a piece of bread - Pip, still young and innocent, has to beg to try and stop the convict from hurting him. The language of the two characters makes you feel sympathy for Pip; the convict speaks in a rough tongue, while Pip remains polite despite being roughly treated. He seems to be of the opinion that he should still be polite to the convict, and so is clearly still a little inexperienced and very vulnerable, and has probably never seen a convict before. Pip appears gullible, as he believes every word that the convict says about how he will come and get Pip if he doesn't get the file and food. Pip feels uncomfortable during his visit to Miss Havisham's house, because he is disturbed by the strangeness of the setting. ...read more.

Conclusion

Miss Havisham also treats him badly; she taunts him by asking him what he thinks of Estella, and makes him play cards when he is reluctant to do so. She also acts distant, and talks cynically, which influences Pip in a negative way. She says "beggar him" to Estella, which would undercut what confidence Pip has, and is also ironic, as she wants Estella to "break his heart." We feel sympathy for him, because, as a child, he should not be exposed to the corrupting influence of Miss Havisham. The reader is made to feel sympathetic again at Pip's self-pity on his way out; he pulls at his hair, "cried" and "kicked the wall." You feel sorry for him, as he shouldn't feel this way about himself; he thinks he should be 'better', so that he can impress Estella. He describes himself as "wounded." In conclusion, I think Dickens is effective in the way he builds sympathy for Pip: Pip is mistreated by the convict, Miss Havisham and Estella, and this builds into a sense that Pip has been the victim in these early scenes. All of this is emphasised by the fact that Pip is just a young boy with no real idea about the world of either convicts the upper class. ...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. Analysis of chapters 1-8 in Great Expectation by Charles Dickens

    With Pip refusing to play, she asks him if he is "sullen and obstinate?" At this point Pip begins to feel that Miss Havisham is unhappy with him and he knows that he must obey her orders to prevent clashing with Mrs Joe's verbal abuse.

  2. Is it possible to feel sympathy for the Miss Havisham and Estella characters in ...

    brought up by her natural parents, so readers who have been brought up in a similar situation where they have been brought up in a children's home, or have lived with foster parents, etc would be able to feel a certain bond with Estella and would be able to sympathise with her situation.

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

    Pip is shown to be quite vulnerable as he talks like an educated gentleman, 'Pray don't do I, sir'. The protagonist isn't speaking in a Kent Dialect though he is from that area; this may interest the reader to know why this is.

  2. How does Charles Dickens make the reader feel sympathy for Pip in the opening ...

    He goes on to tell us about how he imagines his parents to look in appearance. His father being '...Square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair...' and his mother being '...freckled and sickly...' he describes to us what he thinks about his siblings and how they were born.

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

    is a matter for debate. Some may argue that in the 11th Viscount Triningham we see an aristocracy besieged, and a shadow of what it once was. The 11th Viscount looks like Ted, a working farmer, and Leo notes none of Triningham's natural grace.

  2. In this essay I will talk about whether one reader can feel sympathy for ...

    Pip also said," a long table with a table cloth spread on it as if a feast had been in preparation when the house clock and all the other clocks stopped together". This also shows that a wedding was about to be launched but every thing stopped because her fianc� denied her.

  1. With particular reference to chapters one to eight, how does Dickens engage the reader ...

    Dickens evokes sympathy for Pip from the very beginning of the story. He the mentions the 'authority' of his sister, he then describes the tombstones of his family in immense detail. At this point, the reader starts to believe that Pip's family have all, (in a sense), deserted him, and

  2. How does Charles Dickens make the characters in his novel, Great Expectations, memorable?

    Another memorable thing about Estella is her appearance. She is portrayed as an icy beauty, a person with little compassion but one who is very beautiful and as Miss Havisham puts it is 'admired by all who see her'. The character of Joe Gargery is a very important one, especially while Pip is growing up, his gentle nature

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