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How does Dickens create sympathy for his characters in Great Expectations? Focus on Pip and one or two other Characters you have studied.

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Lacy Beare 11.15 How does Dickens create sympathy for his characters in Great Expectations? Focus on Pip and one or two other Characters you have studied In the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations there are a variety of reasons why sympathy is felt for the characters. I have chosen three characters from the novel to explain why the reader feels empathy for them. Firstly I have chosen Pip, the central character. The book narrates Pip's life so the reader sympathises with him from a young boy to an adult. For my other two characters I have selected Estella, an adopted child of the strange Miss Havisham, who has been taught morals and anger which despises men, and Joe Gargery, brother in law to Pip. Joe is a very fair, good-natured, easy-going kind of man. Perhaps as a result of his childhood experience of poverty, many of Dickens's novels deal with the problems characters have making their way in the world from difficult starts. ...read more.


Having no parents, Pip was brought up by his sister Mrs Joe Gargery; she is very hard on Pip using the "tickler" to beat him with and never accepting Pip as her own, which is why there is a general lack of love and understanding towards him. One of the main events where the reader feels sympathy for Pip is when he is summoned to "play" with Estella at Miss Havisham's timeless Mansion; it really opens his eyes to his standings in society. Pip is constantly being discouraged and put down. He is repeatably being called 'boy', which is very impersonal and demeaning. This in effect creates sympathy for Pip as the reader may feel that no one, especially a young child, should be treated like that. Miss Havisham and Estella speak negatively towards and about Pip, which also creates sympathy for him. Because of this pip begins to feel vulnerable and worthless and as he leaves, he starts to cry. When we first meets Estella, the reader is unlikely to even like her let alone feel sympathy for her because of how ...read more.


"I knew it was Joe, by his clumsy manner of coming upstairs...the state of his boots being always too big for him, and by the time it took him to read the names on the other floors in the course of his accent". Joe didn't deserve to be treated this way and could of easily deserted Pip when he became ill and needed him, but Joe looked after him showing that he may only be a "common black smith" and was not a "gentleman" of the times, but was probably the hero of the novel. In conclusion, Dickens creates sympathy for his characters successfully to make the novel interesting and to keep the reader involved in the story. He does this by using several dramatical devices to bring his characters 'to life'. He has tried to help the reader understand the situations of the character in order to create sympathy for them. All the characters take a role in creating sympathy for each other by the way they tend to treat each other in the novel. Dickens uses a great amount of description and detail to convey this sympathy. ...read more.

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