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

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Introduction

How does Dickens create characters that are both memorable and striking? The novel "Great Expectations" was written in 1861 by the respected author: Charles Dickens. The story follows the life of a boy called Pip, and this essay I am going to analyse 3 characters from the novel: Pip, Magwitch and Ms Havisham. I am going to analyse the techniques Dickens has used to make the characters both striking and memorable. The novel is written in 1st Person retrospective. It is written as an older, educated Pip recounting his life as a young, working class and uneducated Pip. This helps make Pip memorable because we accompany him through the story. The narrative style helps us, the reader, to establish a more personal bond with Pip, and allows us to empathise with him. The advantages of writing in this style are that we can fully learn about Pip's experiences and emotions and we can see things from his viewpoint. However, the disadvantages of writing in this style are that we are not able to learn of the events occurring beyond Pip knowledge and we are unable to know of any of the other characters' experiences and emotions towards Pip or the events in the story. ...read more.

Middle

Magwitch is described as fearful and this helps the reader to form a negative image of him. Dickens makes Magwitch memorable because, as the book is written in first person, we share Pip's fear of Magwitch and this adds to the harsh opinion we have already formed. However, Dickens also musters sympathy towards Magwitch from the readers. From his description, Dickens tells us that his "teeth chattered" and that "he hugged his shuddering body". This informs the readers of Magwitch's for state and of his helplessness and even though he threatens Pip to steal food for him, the reader knows he does this only out for sheer desperation. This makes Magwitch memorable because the readers from strong opinions of fear, dislike and sympathy towards him. Magwitch's dialogue is also written to reveal more about his character. His phonetically written words and incorrect grammar, "you know what whittles is?" reveal that, unlike Pip, he has not had an education and this makes Magwitch more memorable because it makes Magwitch seem more believable. The setting of Ms Havisham's house is also vital to our impression of her. The house is described as being "dismal"; Pip notices that the house has "a great many bars to it" and that the front entrance has "two great chains across it". ...read more.

Conclusion

Havisham. Magwitch is a poor and wrongly convicted criminal who repeatedly tries to be free of prison. Ms Havisham however is rich and intentionally imprisons herself. The contrast of their virtues is also different: Magwitch is a generous, considerate and benevolent man whereas Ms. Havisham is a heartless, selfish woman who thinks only in her own interests. These contrasts make them both memorable characters because, usually we would expect to dislike and convict and like a wealthy woman however in this book, it is Magwitch who we think good of and it is Ms Havisham who we hate. Therefore I conclude that Dickens has created characters that are both striking and memorable by using many different techniques. He cleverly defies the natural stereotypes we would attach to the different characters making them memorable because they are unique. He uses the settings we encounter the characters in, to establish a negative or positive mood that will effect the impression we have of the character then he changes our impression. He uses the dialogue to make the characters more realistic, therefore making them more believable so we can relate to the characters more and Dickens also uses the descriptions of the characters and Pip's opinion of them to produce multiple emotions towards the different characters from the reader making them even more striking and memorable. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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