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

How does Dickens appeal to the sensitivities of a Victorian readership in the chapters of Great Expectations?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Dickens appeal to the sensitivities of a Victorian readership in the chapters of Great Expectations? Dickens's Great Expectations was written in the Victorian era. During these times there was a lot of poverty, but many poor people grew to be rich and upper class through hard work and determination. These people however, had to work really hard to get to this position, and they also had extremely difficult lives, especially the children. Most children had to work as hard and as long as their parents did. The common view of these children was that they were to be seen and not heard, therefore this lead them to have hard and gruelling childhoods, as they received no respect from their elders. Dickens experienced this same hardship as a young boy, and his childhood relates to the early days in Pip's life. Dickens immediately creates sympathy for Pip, (the main character), by putting him amongst the graves of his parents: ",my first fancies regarding what they were like, were unreasonably derived from their tombstones." This creates sympathy for Pip as he was an orphan. Not only was he an orphan, but he did not have any recollection of the faces of his parents. He uses, (in a very na�ve way), their tombstones to create a mental image of them for himself. ...read more.

Middle

Dickens's character Mr Joe Garjory, a simple country blacksmith would also appeal to the Victorian reader: "Joe was a fair man, with curls of flaxen on each side of his smooth face, and with eyes of such a very undecided blue." This short description of Joe Garjory would be appealing as he sounds very simple and rural, a stereotypical country blacksmith. The reader would be used to seeing the extremes of the very rich and the very poor, as are the characters in the novel. The rich dwelled in huge elegant houses, had many servants and consumed the most extravagant food, thus looking generally content. Whereas, the poor had to work very long hours for little pay, ate barely enough to keep their malnourished bodies standing. They lived in small cramped homes usually alongside noisy polluting factories. These people would have been considered to be unhappy by the reader, but in rural England people were poor yet happy and content in their simple existence, as Joe is in the book. To the bourgeois middle class reader this would seem extremely alien. As previously stated, crime fascinated the Victorians. In most books and stories criminals were often shown as inhumane monsters, with nothing but hatred and greed, (Jack the Ripper and the character Bill Sykes from Dickens' novel, Oliver Twist, are good examples). ...read more.

Conclusion

Though Mrs Joe Garjory was as sharp as nails, and as tough as the hammer that hits them, she is a hard working cleaner: "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." This highlights again, the fact that Victorians believed that hard work lead to godliness. Her incredible hardworking nature portrayed her as almost holy. This would gain her respect from the Victorian reader. Even though she is a bully towards her husband and brother, she works to her absolute best. This would have lead to a great deal of respect from the reader and maybe they may have felt sympathetic towards her during confrontations between herself and her family. Dickens has used all these aspects to entice and intrigue the readers of his story. However, he was also a good political and controversial writer. Mr Disraeli, (British Prime Minister, at the end of the 19th Century), even read some of his work in the House of Commons. Dickens died in 1870. He left behind great morals and stories that the Victorians could learn a great deal from. One moral extracted from his work could be that you cannot spend your whole life regretting what has happened and what hasn't, as in Miss Haversham's case. She locked herself away in her house because someone had broken her heart. She remained a recluse until the day she died. At the end of the book, Estella,(mourning her mothers death), locks herself in the house also. Pip becomes her rescuer and thus history does not repeat itself! Page 1 of 4 ...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. Great Expectations, How does dickens view of victorian england show through pip

    In all throughout the first 19 chapters Dickens shows his dislike of treatment of children by showing Mrs. Joe beating and degrading Pip. This represents the treatment of children in Victorian England as a whole. Dickens shows his unhappiness that the lower classes were uneducated by showing Joe unable to read basic sentences and unable to spell his own surname.

  2. Compare, Contrast and Analyse Chapters 1 and 39 of Great Expectations.

    having set the lamp on the table, asked him as civilly as I could, to explain himself." The speech in this quote highlights Pip's elevation through the social hierarchal system, as when Pip asks the unidentified man "Do you wish to come in?"

  1. Great Expectations Role of Magwitch

    what they see on the screen is real and the actors chosen to portray the characters, are so in character with the characters from the book the film becomes a vision from Dicken's imagination. In Victorian times, criminals were sent to prison on intolerable hulks to wait being transported to a different country, in particular the country of Australia.

  2. How does Charles Dickens present Victorian Childhoods as frightening and intimidating in the opening ...

    able to interpret the meaning of what is happening, as well as see it through a child's eyes. The first person narrative makes the readers relate to Pip more, making us feel very sympathetic towards him. The fear he faces from the convict leaves the reader feeling protective towards central character Pip.

  1. How does Dickens use setting to reflect character and the issues facing Victorian society ...

    We are introduced to the protagonist looking back at his life; this is interpreted in the way that Pip speaks in the past tense "I called my self Pip". This shows us that he prefer to call him self by the name Pip not I, this may infer that he is ashamed of his past.

  2. The Victorian ideal of womanhood is The Angel in the house. How does Dickens(TM) ...

    Added to this, when his wife Catherine Hogarth found out about this affair she filed for a divorce and received it in 1858, and although Dickens was madly in love with Miss Ternan at the time, he shared a different kind of love with his wife, and was deeply heartbroken by the turn of events.

  1. How does Dickens capture the reader's interest in the first eight chapters of "Great ...

    Dickens deliberately makes the reader feel sympathetic for Pip because as he does this it maintains the reader's interest and that in a book is probably the most important object. Dickens has put in things which make the reader feel concerned for Pip and the reader will want to know

  2. Great Expectations

    'softer emotions' is surprising, as he has presented his intense, and angry side, the narrative suggests that his presence is not human like, more like a machine. Alliteration helps to pinpoint this "And he smeared his ragged rough sleeve over his eyes".

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