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How does dickens create sympathy for pip in chapters 1 and 8?

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Introduction

How does dickens create sympathy for pip in chapters 1 and 8? The settings of Great Expectations have an important bearing on the storyline; the settings also echo the characters in personality and circumstance. The theme of the book seems to run parallel with the settings in some respects, such as the plain but wholesome life-style of Rochester and the beckoning but ultimately shallow habitat of London. Throughout the book comparisons and relationships between story and setting are made, many subtle and not evident unless reflected upon. In chapters 1 and 8, Dickens generates a lot of sympathy for pip. His writing techniques are very effective and creative as he manages to relate certain locations with depressing and cold images like prisons creating that 'fear' factor for Pip. The setting from the start of the book is very important, from the bleak and stereotypical graveyard that give the story a starting tense and exiting mood, and the humble blacksmiths that acts as a platform for Pip's expectations and the opposite setting to much of the grander scenery in London. The graveyard at the start of the book is typical example of how the setting contributes so well to the story and the atmosphere; this is just one of the more obvious examples. The first chapter we see pip in the graveyard while being told background information which will create sympathy straight away. Pirip who is nicknamed Pip for the childlike factor, is an orphan who lives with his sister, Mrs Joe Gargery who is the only family he has left, the effect of the nickname is to give the readers an insight into how big this situation is, as it clearly informs the reader that Pip is only a child in such a dangerous setting and situation, this is done purely for tension. He explains his unusual change of name in the sentence; "my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. ...read more.

Middle

head, may think himself comfortable and safe, but that young man will softly creep his way to him and tear him open". This last threat terrifies Pip and the repetition of the word 'may' creates a sense of menace, making the reader feel sorry for Pip. They finally depart and Pip watches Magwitch leave, and describes him as "eluding the hands of dead people, stretching up cautiously out of their graves, to get a twist upon his ankle and pull him in". This is an image that is very scary and as Pip is only a child it really affects him, but it gives the reader a sense of how Pip is feeling, and how Magwitch looks as he runs away. Pip then runs off in terror, 'But now I was frightened again, and ran home without stopping' The starting of the story is situated in a graveyard which quickly informs the reader of a lot of information about Pips history that under different circumstances would have taken a lot longer to explain; things like Pips parents and family were quickly and briefly explained to the readers via the gravestones and Magwitches asking "Where's your mother?" and Pip's response being "There sir" as he points to his Mother, Father and five sibling's gravestones. We then see pip having breakfast, in this particular section of chapter 8; we feel great sympathy for Pip. He is a hungry orphan who hasn't got much for him in life and he is being fed crumbs with little butter or luxury, meanwhile Mr Pumblechook is eating a quality breakfast in front of Pip, almost poking fun. Pip describes Pumblechook as 'wretched company'; probably the reason for this is that Pip is being frequently picked on his educational knowledge knowing full well Pip hasn't been to school as only wealthy people could afford to go, Pip is trying to feed his hunger while being constantly questioned. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another example would be the idea that Miss Havisham blocks out the light, but in doing so she blocks out the whole world apart from Estella, whom she can manipulate into whatever she likes. There are cases of irony in the story. For example Pip believes that money will bring him happiness, but really he fails to see that it has corrupted Miss Havisham. He still carries on and eventually realises that money isn't everything. Another case of irony would be the fact that at first Estella looks down on Pip, due to the differences of class, Pip being a common labouring boy and Estella belonging to the world of upper class people. Ironically though Estella is let down by an upper class man who she is engaged to, as he finds out both her parents were criminals. Melodrama is also used in the story, especially by Miss Havisham, who's character is to be presented as over the top and full on. She uses phrases like "I have a sick fancy" and "I want to see some play". These phrases emphasise her flamboyant and eccentric character. She also uses repetition in her phrases, like "play, play, play!" and "There, there!". This repetition adds to the 'craziness' of the character and makes the story more interesting. Dickens tries to make Miss Havisham out to be a 'larger than life' character, and the use of exaggeration helps to make us feel sorry for her even though she is not a realistic or believable character. In conclusion it is obvious that much of the storyline and characterisation is augmented by the setting in which Dickens has placed an event or person. The relationship between setting and storyline has taken a very important part in Dickens's Great Expectations; much more than the superficial role that the setting takes in the vast majority of novels and stories. Perhaps Dickens added much of the relationship between setting and story without realising, or that he inadvertently moulded the characters to the desired settings he had created and knew so well throughout his colourful life. ...read more.

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