• 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 sympathy for Pip in the first part of Great Expectations?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Dickens create sympathy for Pip in the first part of Great Expectations? Charles Dickens, author of Great Expectations, was born on the 7th February 1812. The novel is set in the early part of 19th century England and begins in a semi-rural setting. The text immediately focuses on the principal character and narrator, Phillip Pirrip, a name later abbreviated to "Pip". It is clear to see that Charles Dickens wanted Pip to be a sympathetic character in Great Expectations, which I believe is due to his own social beliefs and upbringing as a child. As with Pip, Dickens was brought up facing poverty and depression, which surrounded him in his everyday early life. This upbringing gave him a clear understanding of the conditions in which the lower class society were like in this period, a knowledge which he often uses to induce sympathy for the characters in his novels. This sympathy is keenly reflected in Great Expectations, and particularly emphasised in Chapter One, where Pip goes alone to visit the gravestones of his dead parents and siblings. The graveyard is situated on the misty marshes near the cottage where Pip lives with his sister Mrs Gargery and her husband, Joe. ...read more.

Middle

During this encounter with Magwitch, Pip is too terrified to speak hardly at all and limits his responses to a scared "Yes, sir". Here we get a further example of how Dickens puts Pip in a sympathetic light to the reader, he is helpless to the frightful situation he finds himself in and is very worried about "That young man" coming to find him. We also need to remember that Pip cannot even see his parents graves (the purpose of the visit) due to the ordeal with Magwitch, he is in quite a pathetic situation and again the reader feels enhanced sympathy towards him. Throughout the following chapters, our sympathy for Pip increases further still as we learn more about his upbringing. Although it was not uncommon in the early nineteenth century for children to be unfairly treated and beaten, Pip's story does seem unusually harsh. He was continually whipped by his sister, Mrs Joe, often for no reason at all, or for 'not appreciating' what she did for him. Mrs Joe had a whip which she'd nicknamed 'tickler', ironic as it obviously is intended to do quite the opposite of tickling. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shortly after the game of cards, Pip asks to go home, on his journey he wanders through the old, abandoned brewery and thinks that he sees Miss Havisham lifelessly dangling from a rope. We can see here how vulnerable and desperate he's feeling, all he wants is to be as far away as possible from Satis House. Throughout their meetings, Estella has been extremely rude to Pip and when he sees her in the gardens on his way home, he can't help but begin to cry at her appearance. Estella simply mocks him ruthlessly, saying, "Why, don't you cry?, you've been crying 'til you're half blind you are near crying again now." Pip leaves the house in a rage of hurt and anger, kicking the walls and brooding over how Estella "Laughed contemptuously, pushed [him] me out and locked the gates..." This final part of this chapter really invites us to understand Pip and to empathise with his situation. It is perhaps possible to compare Pip with Dickens' own upbringing, especially with the theme of abandonment, Pip being orphaned and Dickens' father being arrested when Dickens was very young. The unhappiness that Pip feels of his own upbringing and education could also be compared to that of Dickens, who was denied any usual education by his parents and was forced to do it himself. ...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. Discuss Dickens' presentation of Pip's character in the first part of "Great Expectations".

    This displays how Pip is weak and na�ve and easily overpowered by those of a higher class. Charles Dickens disapproves of the way children of his era were being treated. He used Pip in "Great Expectation" to show how some children were mentally and physical abused.

  2. How does Dickens create sympathy for the character of Magwitch in the novel 'Great ...

    Compeyson also has a better background than Magwitch 'he had been to a public boarding school and had learning.' Magwitch on the other hand was forced to steal to keep himself alive and this had lead to many previous convictions.

  1. Great Expectations"- How does Dickens create sympathy ...

    I think that the reader reacts differently to Wemmick's control of The Aged to that of Miss Havisham's engineering of Estella's actions. Wemmick has the same intentions as that of Miss Havisham but the readers reactions contrast. Both Estella and The Aged are quite vulnerable characters.

  2. How does Dickens create sympathy for his characters in the first 11 chapters of ...

    This love he holds for Estella motivates him to become more than a "common labouring boy". He begins to tenaciously learn as much as he can from Biddy in school in an effort to impress Estella. He feels that one as "common" as himself isn't worthy of someone as high class as her.

  1. Great Expectations. Discuss how the theme of class is explored through the first part ...

    the prisoner like this because he experienced that all prisoners weren't bad. Also the character of Miss Havisham had similarities with Queen Victoria who was Queen when Dickens wrote book as they were both upper class and Queen Victoria never recovered from her husband's death whilst similarly Miss Havisham never recovered after she was jilted by her fianc�.

  2. Great Expectations - Discuss how the theme of class is developed through Pips visit ...

    a good thing as it inspires Pip to greatness later on but is atrocious, giving that status is not all there is to life. Pip only fully realises his lower classed lifestyle when he encounters the prominent Estella. Estella is the elegant, youthful, proud girl raised by Ms Havisham.

  1. Free essay

    Great Expectations. Discuss how the theme of class is developed through Pips visit to ...

    Havisham is thinking; this depicts how Miss. Havisham has brought her up - to be confident, mean and rude to men. By saying, "Ah", she is shown to believe that is better than Pumblechook. However, saying, "but you see, she don't", shows that she is not really upper class because

  2. How does Dickens create sympathy for Pip in the opening chapters of great Expectations(TM)

    Pip is looking back at his childhood in the novel. This helps to create a s sense of humour because Pip is able to use a nostalgic way of looking at his childhood. However this does not stop him from using a matter of fact tone, he does use a

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