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How does Dickens create a sense of sympathy for Pip in Chapter 9 of Great Expectations

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Introduction

GCSE English Literature Assignment - How does Dickens create a sense of sympathy for Pip in Chapter 9 of Great Expectations The opening description of the scene is all built around making Satis house seem alien to Pip. It is immediately brought to the reader's attention that the house is very old and that everything appears dilapidated. The brewery is quickly noticed by Pip to be unused and he tells the reader 'No brewing was going on in it, and none seemed to have gone on for a long time.' This involves the reader in the story and makes it easier for them to see events from his perspective, the reader shares in Pip's feeling of foreboding. All the windows are barred or blocked, this gives the house the atmosphere of a prison, and this makes the surroundings far more menacing and intimidating for Pip. The situation that Pip is instantly thrown into creates a strong and quick sympathy for Pip from the reader. Dicken's builds on this as the scene progresses. ...read more.

Middle

She is described in detail first as an intimidating far higher classed lady. The description changes, making the reader aware that like her dress 'once white' 'now yellow and withered' she has become less of a person and more an ornament. Creating Miss Havisham's inhuman and emotionless coldness shuts off Pip from any welcome he may be expecting. I think Dickens tries to indicate to the reader that Pip is involved in the ideas and plans of the eccentric old lady. The reader can therefore understand more than Pip and this plays to the maternal/paternal instincts of the reader to protect the bewildered and threatened child. To effectively create sympathy for Pip the reader must involve himself or herself in Pip's situation. Dickens has Pip talk directly to the reader 'I think it will be conceded by my most disputatious reader, that she...' This pulls the reader into the story and creates empathy for the frightened Pip. The reader must imagine their reaction in Pip's situation and understand that Pip is scared and uncomfortable in the strange new surroundings. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dickens must keep the sympathy at its peak by constantly adding new descriptions and images that effect Pip's mood. He adds every action and reaction of Pip, and his thoughts at the time. 'She threw the cards down on the table when she won them all, as if she despised them for being won of me.' This provokes anger toward Estella for upsetting Pip. Pip cries when he goes out into the yard, when given the image of a crying child through Dickens descriptive writing the reader cannot help but feel disgust toward the two ladies and sympathy toward Pip. Even toward the end of the chapter Dickens does not stop describing Pip's surroundings, instead he constantly reminds the reader of the extent to which Pip is bewildered by his current predicament. Dickens powerful descriptions of emotion and very detailed imagery are the main ingredients in this chapter that bring out experiences in the readers past and their basic instinct to protect the defenceless. The sympathy created in this scene is important for later in the novel. It shows the large contrast between the young and vulnerable Pip and the older Pip who is embarrassed of Joe and abandons his family. ...read more.

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