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

How does Dickens create characters that are both memorable and striking?

Extracts from this document...


How does Dickens create characters that are both memorable and striking? 'Great Expectations' was written by Charles Dickens in 1860-1. The book was first published in serial form in the 'All Year Round', a weekly journal that was edited by Dickens. The novel is set in Victorian England and reflects what life was like during this period of great social and economic change. In his novel, Dickens creates characters that are very real and prominent. In my essay I will analyse the characters of Magwitch, Estella and Joe. We are first introduced to Abel Magwitch, the "convict", in the first chapter of 'Great Expectations'. We meet the character in the "dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard" of the village the novel is set in, twenty miles from the coast in the rural marsh country of south east England. The setting is described as a "bleak place overgrown with nettles" and we get the impression that the landscape is quite dull and uninspiring. The marshes are bleak and largely uninhabited. The scene takes place in a graveyard, and this makes a rather creepy impression on the reader. Through his description of the setting, Dickens creates a dark, mysterious mood. The dark and desolate marshes could also symbolize danger and uncertainty. The atmosphere crated in this scene is quite tense and gloomy. ...read more.


We learn that Estella is quite bitter and twisted, as she has been brought up by her guardian to wreak Miss Havisham's revenge on the male race and "break their hearts". Estella is presented as intelligent, and we know that she comes from the upper class. She is well spoken but she uses her intelligence to put Pip down, '"He calls the knaves, Jacks, this boy!" said Estella with disdain, before our first game was out. "And what coarse hands he has! And what thick boots!"' Through this, we get the impression that Estella is quite snobby and haughty. She seems to think of herself as superior to poor Pip, because he is of a lower class than her and not as well educated. Though Estella represents the life of upper class children in the novel, she is actually the daughter of the convict, Magwitch. She springs from the lowest levels of society and serves as a bitter criticism against the class system. Estella has been brought up by rich Mrs Havisham as a bitter and cruel child. We feel sorry for Estella, as she does not realise that she is merely being used as an agent for Miss Havisham's revenge on the males. ...read more.


Joe is not ashamed because of his lack of education and low status, and this makes him a very humorous and loveable character. Dickens uses dialect and speech to generate comedy in the character of Joe. Joe is uneducated, and has a funny manner of speaking. His simple ways and delight of small things make him endearing, and we genuinely like the character of Joe. We sympathise for him, because of his unhappy marriage to Mrs Joe, but are later thrilled to hear of his new found happiness with Biddy. Joe is a truly likeable character, who brings humour to 'Great Expectations'. He is a simple man, but good and sweet natured, and we are convinced that him and Biddy will live happily together because of this. Joe is good to Pip even when the latter cruelly rejects him, which is typical of his kindness and loyalty to the boy he brought up. He is charitable and caring, and a truly good character. In conclusion, Dickens creates characters that are memorable and striking using varying techniques. He uses dialect well, and by reproducing regional speech gives his characters life. Dickens builds his characters well, they are complex yet easy to relate to. Through description of their mannerisms, Dickens makes his characters real. Charles Dickens creates memorable and striking characters by using dialects, brilliant description and making the characters have interesting backgrounds and personalities. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kasia Kalinowska ...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 create characters that are both memorable and striking?

    In chapter 8 Charles dickens introduces Miss Havisham. She is a polite old woman who is lonely and has become heartbroken. The tone of voice used and the accent of the voice gave us the impression she has alot of money and is another social class than Pip.

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

    The word dreadful brings a slightly scary element to the atmosphere, which makes it stand out. It must also be noted that as explained previously, like other words the word dreadful would have had a bigger impact on the Victorian reader.

  1. How does Charles Dickens create his characters?

    Dickens creates a negative impression of Gradgrind by describing him as 'square'. Dickens repeats this adjective a few times which symbolises boredom. His aim is to give the reader an image in their minds of Gradgrind as a very unexciting man.

  2. What does Pip have to learn in order to achieve some Measure of Contentment?

    This is additionally used by Dickens to reveal the importance of family and parents; knowing your origins when growing up can help a person achieve contentment, an insight likely to be derived from his own broken family background. Pip says: "As I never saw my father or mother, and never

  1. How does Dickens create characters that are both memorable and striking?

    The other meaning is that numerous people have expectations of Pip also, which sometimes vary. Some expect little of him such as Estella, yet others such as Abel Magwitch expect much of him. Pip goes from being a "coarse" young boy to a "gentleman of great expectations".

  2. How do circumstances cause characters to change?

    Pip, now in his early teens is a year into his work with Joe, asks whether he could have a day off to thank Miss Havisham. I think that is an excuse to see Estella. This is because he accidentally said "Miss Est-Havisham" and exclaimed "No Estella" when Sarah Pocket came to the gate instead.

  1. Examine the portrait painted by Dickens of romantic love and marriage in ‘Great Expectations’

    is used to emphasise "against". This word is very emphatic, Pip feels that so much is against him, this sentence is very graphic and is a very potent commentary on Pip's feeling. Pip suffers much anguish throughout the story because of this love interest since his persistence toward Estella never really gets rewarded until the last pages of the novel.

  2. How does Charles Dickens create interesting characters and through them raise, interesting themes?

    Dickens uses this to create the theme of irony, it is ironic because the only true gentleman through the novel is Joe, Pip talks to him like he is not a gentleman because he thinks he haves to have a lot of money and live in London to be a

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