• 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? Using setting, description and dialogue, Dickens has created some of the most famous characters in literature. These characters include Magwitch, Miss Havisham and Wemmick from 'Great Expectations'. A 'bleak place overgrown with nettles' is where we first meet the escaped convict, Magwitch. The setting is a cold dark place where Magwitch is introduced to Pip amongst the graves. On the edge of the river there is a gibbet where a pirate had once been held. It certainly sets a cold dark scene, rather morbid. As Pip watches Magwitch limping away he compares him "as if he were the pirate come to life" and in relation to Magwitch, this is significant because, like the pirate, Magwitch is a criminal. Dickens gives a detailed description of Magwitch, which begins with him being spoken of as a 'fearful man, all in coarse grey'. His dialect is very different and there is much contrast between Pip speaking as the child and Magwitch's slang. It is clear that in his escape, Magwitch has come across many problems. He's described as 'a man whose legs were numbed and stiffed' and there is a lot of mention of torture as in being lamed by stones and cut by flints. ...read more.


Through the description of what Miss Havisham is wearing it becomes clear the she is dressed as a bride and the puzzle pieces together. The description of Miss Havisham herself mirrors her surroundings. At first it seems that she is a wonderfully rich lady surrounded by these rich and beautiful things, but the truth of it is that everything about her is dead and decaying. What had once been white 'had lost it's lustre, and was faded and yellow', as was Miss Havisham's clothing. This conveys quite an eerie mood, and seems that this woman is quite mad. It becomes apparent that she has been jilted on her wedding day. This knowledge has the effect of evoking sympathy. In those days marriage was more important to women. In Victorian England, for the upper class, marriage was a social duty. But although we feel sorry for Miss Havisham, there is more sympathy for Pip, who is humiliated by her eccentric behaviour. It is sad that she is suffering so much with a broken heart but it seems she is quite intent on revenge against the opposite sex, especially when she tells Estella she can break Pip's heart. ...read more.


"I have got hold of it, a bit at a time. It's freehold, by George!" Wemmick's excitable manner of speaking serves to emphasise the impression we have of a kind but highly-strung man who is eager to please. A lot of his sentences end with exclamation marks, as he is very enthusiastic about everything. His is of a lower-class to Pip and you can tell from the friendly manner he speaks rather than the formal way everyone in the upper class does. Wemmick is very good-natured. He lives with his old father and you can tell he loves him very much. From the man working at a prison to a man looking after his father at home, he is very different in comparison. Wemmick is not a central character in the novel, but memorable because he is one of the few truly friendly and good-natured people that you come across in the book. He's definitely a character for everybody to like and perhaps remember as their favourite, plus he and his father bring some good humour to the novel. Overall, in terms of creating memorable characters, Dickens is probably the best writer ever. He gives his characters such personality that you could never forget them. ...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?

    Dickens conveys the way Magwitch talks by using colloquial language and also for this character in particular leaving letters off between and at the end of words. For example he says "Who d'ye live with-supposin' you're kindly let to live, which I han't made up my mind about?"

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

    He senses injustice or unfairness of these views, yet is denied opportunity to discuss it, as is Joe, who sees that defending Pip leads to his own bad treatment. When Magwitch forces Pip to steal from the Forge, Pip believes he is guilty of a serious crime, "This was very

  1. How do circumstances cause characters to change?

    Money has simply got to Pip's head. He runs into debt. The only time Pip received any amount of money at the village was when "the stranger" gave him to two pound notes. Straight away, it was taken from him and Mrs Joe kept it for his food and up bringing.

  2. How does Dickens create vivid and memorable characters in the novel Great Expectations? Refer ...

    This shows him to be softer, possibly more of a victim. The phrase "hugged his shuddering body" helps convey him to be a victim as it makes the reader feel sorry for him as he seems as vulnerable as Pip is.

  1. Look at three chapters from "Great Expectations", discuss how Dickenscreates characters that are both ...

    Also when Pip goes to play at Miss Havishams with Estella (she is adopted by Miss Havisham) we find out that at the end of the visit Pip cries and is angry and furious of himself because Estella had been making fun of him, making Pip think that she was

  2. How Does Dickens Create Characters That Are Both Memorable And Striking? Discuss With Reference ...

    He also used parallels to build his characters and interlink then to create a capturing story. I think that using parallels is important as it can make the story more interesting, and it interlinks concluding with a capturing and dramatic ending.

  1. "Miss Havisham is a memorable and frightening character. Do you think this is what ...

    Pip and Joe have a close relationship, to which Pip also loves and sees Joe as more of a brother. "I always treated him as a large species of child and no more than my equal" This shows that Pip sees him as more of a large child than an adult.

  2. How Charles Dickens Creates Characters That Are Both Memorable and Striking.

    who is able to use personal details and clearly describes surroundings. Pip is the person on whom the whole novel revolves; the novel starts and ends with Pip. The dictionary's definition of a pip is ' a small hard seed of an apple, pear or orange'.

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