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How does Dickens create sympathy for his characters in Great Expectations?

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Introduction

How does Dickens create sympathy for his characters in Great Expectations? Focus on Pip and one or two other characters you have studied. Great Expectations was written in the era of Queen Victoria which was a time of progression and prosperity. However this was not true of everyone, there was a huge gap in society between the rich and the poor for example there was only education for the rich. The justice system was very harsh but that was also in favour of the rich. In this book Dickens reflects on society at the time and shows the unjust class divide. I am going to focus on how Charles creates sympathy for the characters of Pip, Miss Havisham and Magwitch using the first and second extracts. Dickens uses the setting the place and time in which the story takes place, dialogue the words spoken by the characters that inform the reader of their personality, motivation and attitudes, and voice the choice made by the author to write either as in the first or third person to help him create sympathy towards the characters. ...read more.

Middle

The extract concludes with Dickens back into the third person and saying "But, now I was dreadfully frightened again and ran home without stopping". This shows us that Pip is still very scared about the ordeal that he has just gone through and by this it makes us more sympathetic towards him. Secondly I am going to look at the character of Miss Havisham and how Charles creates sympathy towards her in extract 2. The setting of this extract is a large room that is well lighted with wax candles. It was a dressing room. Dickens the describes Miss Havisham as a very strange lady dressed in rich materials all of white, a long white veil and bridal flowers which suggests that she was supposed to be getting married. Pip had noticed all the clocks in the room had stopped at the same time of twenty minutes to nine. The way Dickens describes Miss Havisham and the setting makes us want to know more about her mysterious past. He also creates a sympathetic fell about her because we understand it that she has not been married and it looks like everything in her life has stopped from a long time ago. ...read more.

Conclusion

We feel only more slight sympathy towards Magwitch because he makes us want to know why he is in such a rush and talking in a cautious way. The voice Dickens uses for Magwitch is in the first person and because of this it helps us understand Magwitch's point of view. We can understand that by in the first person that he is in a hurry and being very cautious about how he is going about. This would not be able to be expressed as much if Dickens was using a different voice. Dickens is very successful on the way he creates sympathy towards each of his characters using the setting, the dialogue and the voice of each of his characters. Pip creates great sympathy towards the lead character of Pip but also creates some sympathy towards Magwitch and Miss Havisham. He does not show great sympathy towards Magwitch at the moment but as the story goes on Dickens continues to use his methods of creating sympathy and as you learn more and more about Magwitch you feel more sympathy towards him. He shows sympathy towards Miss Havisham at the moment but as the story goes on Dickens uses different methods to make you feel less sympathetic towards her. ...read more.

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