• 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 PROVOKE STRONG REACTIONS IN THE READERS OF 'GREAT EXPECTATIONS'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

HOW DOES DICKENS CREATE CHARACTERS THAT PROVOKE STRONG REACTIONS IN THE READERS OF 'GREAT EXPECTATIONS'? Charles John Huffman Dickens was born in 1812 and lived a middle class life for most of his childhood. This was until 1824 when his father John, who was a naval clerk, had money troubles and was sent to Marshalsea debtor's prison. Twelve year old Charles had to leave school to work in a blacking factory in order to support his family. This was the most appalling time of his life and an incident no one would wish to ever encounter. After his childhood experience with poverty, Dickens became empathetic toward the lower classes, especially children. A lot of his books are about class, society and money, usually with characters getting out of poverty and climbing up the social scale. 'Great Expectations' is no different. It tells the story of Phillip Pirrip (or Pip), an orphan brought up by his sister and her husband. He grows from a poor young boy to a 'gentleman' when he moves to London. This metamorphosis is made possible by a rich benefactor, whose identity the reader doesn't find out until the end. The book contains numerous twists and turns that the reader never sees coming and the characters all seem to be connected in ways that one would never have imagined. The reader feels many 'strong reactions' during the course of the book. These are a wide variety of emotions including anger, fear, apprehension, surprise, mistrust, sympathy and hate. ...read more.

Middle

Dickens, in the second extract shows the reader the obvious difference between the rich and poor in Victorian times. Pip is left humiliated, embarrassed and understandably angry after meeting Miss Havisham and Estella. Torn between being insulted and his attraction to Estella, he feels ashamed of his upbringing, so much so that he 'wished Joe had been rather more genteelly brought up.' His new found respect and love for Joe is being spoiled by his embarrassment of being brought up in a lower class family. Magwitch is introduced to us as 'a fearful man' with his first words being: "Hold your noise...Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!" but this cowardly act of his shows the reader that Magwitch is not as tough as he comes across even though Pip still finds him terrifying. Magwitch is a very complicated character; one minute we hate him, the next we think he's pathetic, the next we feel incredible sympathy for him. These sort of strong reactions are typical throughout the book and our feelings for the characters are always changing. There are splashes of humour every now and then in the midst of all the doom and gloom of the book. When Magwitch asks Pip where his mother is and Pip points to an area nearby, Magwitch turns around and is about to make a run for it when he realises that Pip is pointing at a grave. "And is that your father alonger with your mother?" ...read more.

Conclusion

The reader wonders how come Miss Havisham is in her unmarried state and this makes us feel sorry for her. She lives in the dark, keeping all the light out as if she can't bear to face the world. Then the reader's attitude towards her changes when we realise that Miss Havisham just wants Pip for a plaything and we begin to feel less kind towards her. When she goes as far as telling Estella to "beggar him" and "break his heart" we definitely we definitely start to dislike her. The reader doesn't feel that Pip is safe with her. The differences between the happenings now and in 'Great Expectations' make the modern reader surprised and mystified, but still able to relate to Pip's story. 'Great Expectations' is can still be related to today because at some point, everyone goes through the struggles that Pip must battle. It shows that assets and wealth do not change who people are inside, and that finding one's self can be a long tedious process until finally everything becomes clear. Dickens wrote 'Great Expectations' as a way for him to introduce himself into his writing; many aspects of his life can be found in the book, making it very autobiographical. It was also a way of making his feelings known about the social issues in England in his time. He tells the reader not to judge people, as appearances are very deceptive. The 'moral' of the story seems to be that no matter how you change your outward appearance and how much you educate yourself, you can't change who you really are. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Charles Dickens Great Expectations Moral and Social Issues

    Dickens is also suggesting that people should recognise and appreciate what they have instead of searching for the impossible. Furthermore, it is also apparent that he tried to raise some important issues. The story was written with a moral purpose in order for the audience to reflect on number of points.

  2. Great Expectations: Father figures, mentors and patrons

    him by Miss Havisham Eventually, Pip finds out that his secret benefactor whom he had thought to be Miss Havisham is actually the grotesque, common Magwitch. This is when he first realises on a large scale that he should not take things for face value and should look beneath a person's appearance.

  1. Examine how Dickens shoes that appearances can be deceptive in Great Expectations

    Joe is a simple village blacksmith and would have been regarded as common in the nineteenth century. In spite of this, he is one of the most noble-hearted characters. Throughout the novel, he commits acts of immense kindness, symbolised most by his looking after of Pip for weeks on end

  2. Charles Dickens's writing techniques in Great Expectations.

    Since, Pip's parents and five brothers died, Mrs. Joe felt the need to raise Pip in a strict household. Because of these strict rules implied by his sister, Pip was always afraid when he was late or did something wrong since his sister would yell at him or punish him

  1. An exploration of the ways in which issues of class and status are presented ...

    Also Hartley portrays a caring, nervous and somewhat ineffective mother in Mrs. Colston, who perhaps fails to understand the boy she sees so little of. Tragically, if she had followed Leo's confused intension in his instructions than the tragedy may have been averted, or at least Leo might not have

  2. How Does Charles Dickens Create An Atmosphere Of Crime And Death In Great Expectations? ...

    This is shocking to think that someone would shut themselves out from the sun. It suggests that Miss Havisham is in a tomb and if she was exposed to any sunlight, her body would disintegrate to dust. 'I have often tho since, that she must have looked as if the

  1. How does Dickens manipulate the readers feeling to theese two characters in Great Expectations?

    "I'll tell you. My Father, Pip, he were given to drink, and when he were overtook with drink, he hammered away at my mother, most omerciful. It were a'most the only hammering he did, 'xceptin myself. And he hammered at me with a wigour only to be equaled by the wigour, with which he didn't hammer at his anwil."

  2. How does Charles Dickens create his characters?

    It is the application of a word or phrase to somebody or something that is not meant literally, but to make a comparison. The same way, this metaphor brings the wind out to life and impersonates it as a wild animal by using the noun 'lair'.

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