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

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Introduction

How does Dickens create sympathy for Pip in the opening chapters of 'great Expectations'? The novel 'Great Expectation' is based around the life of Pip who has little family and terrible quality of life. In the novel 'Great Expectations' Dickens uses a wide variety of techniques to create sympathy for Pip such as the setting. The landscape is dull, boring, horrible and grey. As the novel was written in the 19th century historical context is very important and Dickens uses this to his advantage as he shows people's views of society and the large problem between casts back then. Dickens uses a technique where the narrator, Pip, is telling the story by looking back on his past. This creates an element of humour on the story. Dickens engages us on Pips life at certain time of year which is Christmas Eve, which is supposed to be a time of happiness and fun; however Pips Christmas Eve is very different as it is nasty, cold, trapping Christmas Eve. The setting helps to create sympathy for Pip because it is very different from how we live today. The setting is one way in which Dickens generates sympathy for Pip as he shows that Pip lives in a scary, poor, dull area. "...Dark flat wilderness...intersected with dykes and gates with scattered cattle..." These descriptions show that the Pip's surroundings are dry, dull and paint a black and white picture in our mind. The setting cast a shadow over the rest of the story and helps to convey sympathy for Pip. Pip does not have anything remotely fun to do in the village as the surroundings are all dirty and rubbish. The surrounding's are all emotionless, lifeless and dead. The settings give us an insight to what the rest of the story is going to be like. The settings are all sharp, pointy and unwelcoming. The home that Pip lives in is unsteady just like his family life, it is old and plain and small and may not survive hard weather and is not a safe place for small child to live. ...read more.

Middle

Dickens characterisation of Pips family was clearly done to add more consideration for Pip. Especially the character of his sister Mrs Joe Gargery, who is described as "prevailing redness of skin... tall and bony" This descriptions give us the impression that she looked like a long, hard, stick like figure who was ugly, unkind and a person to be feared of. The description of her clothes "a square impregnable big in front that was stuck full of pins and needles" shows that she isn't huggable and makes you think of it as a sort of armour that she uses to protect herself and not let anyone get close to her. This may be due to a number of reasons such as she lost most of her family early on in life and has to learn to deal with and to bring up a child that isn't hers as well as that she feels she is being bought down by the fact that she is " the wife of a blacksmith". This generates sympathy for Pip because his last blood related relative is a nasty, unkind lady who he can't compare himself to because she is a lot older than he is and can't defend himself against the "Tickler" which is a "wax-ended piece of cane" that he gets beaten up with and by the description "worn smooth by collision with my tickled frame" he gets beaten up often. The guilt that his sister creates in him asking too many questions or being a burden to bring up are all things that create sympathy for Pip. The other characterisation that displays sympathy for Pip is the convict who he meets in the churchyard. Just the place he meets him is dark place that is shadowed in grief and anguish. The convict is described as "a fearful man, all in coarse grey, with an great iron on his leg. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was also a sense that nobody really cares what happens to Pip. There was also evidence showed that convicts are looked down on and are treated badly, but what surprised the convict most was Pips kindness towards the convict. The chapters are left on cliff-hangers because Dickens used to have the chapters put in local papers for people to read about. The books are about normal people who are normally poor or at a disadvantage and also the books are very controversial which is why the books where very different and had a great effect to society. The opening is the main pivotal chapters of Pips life because Pip decides that he must now improve himself and overcome his bad fortunes. He does later on meet up with the convict so should be grateful to what he did when he was a kid because if he hadn't he would not have become a gentlemen. But the narrative voice only focuses on the bad things that Pip does as a child because he feels that when he did those things for the convict he destined himself to become a snob. This is one thing that Dickens does to convey sympathy for Pip because he is so innocent and small that he makes careless mistakes. In conclusion Dickens creates sympathy for Pip a in a number of ways such as the settings and surroundings that are conveyed in the first two chapters. He also creates sympathy for Pip through Pip family and early childhood and the childish fantasy's that Pip creates in his mind. Dickens characterisation was I think the best of all the ways to create sympathy for Pip because he made one of the only blood related family relatives a unkind, nasty, evil person. The way he introduces the convict that later on impacts Pips life greatly conveys sympathy because he threatens pip and says nasty things to pip. The part about it being Christmas eve was a sad and tormenting thing because the connotations of Christmas eve is happiness which it was not for him. ...read more.

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