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How Does Dickens Engage the Sympathy of the Reader in Pip's First Encounter with Mrs. Havisham?

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Introduction

How Does Dickens Engage the Sympathy of the Reader in Pip's First Encounter with Mrs. Havisham? Great Expectations is a novel written by Charles Dickens in 1861. The novel follows the life of young Pip through his childhood to his dreams of becoming a gentleman. At the beginning of the novel Pip is an orphan who lives with his sister Mrs Joe and her husband Joe. Great expectations deals with issues such as social class, love, expectations, and sympathy throughout the novel. Dickens creates sympathy from the beginning of the novel when Pip is approached by a wanted criminal whilst he was mourning his parents' deaths in the churchyard. Magwitch Threatens Pip for his life to bring him a rasp and some food. Pip steals them from Mr Joe to give to Magwitch and after giving them to Magwitch scared Pip runs home. Later Pip is invited to play at Mrs Havisham's house and is forced to go by Mrs Joe. In this response I will explore the techniques used by to encourage the sympathy of the reader. ...read more.

Middle

This builds up sympathy for Pip because he is in a big house with a creepy, strange old woman. Also the character of Estella has been brought up and manipulated by Mrs Havisham to hate men and to break their hearts evidence of this is where Mrs Havisham says, "Well you can break his heart". Here she refers to the card game broken hearts but she also means to break Pip's heart. This makes the reader feel sympathy towards Pip because Pip falls for Estella and Estella is going to break Pips heart. Another point to make is the difference in social class between Pip and Mrs Havisham & Estella. Pip comes from a poor background due to poverty and is classed as a lower class citizen whereas Mrs Havisham and Estella come from a wealthy background of great social class. This makes the reader feels sorry for the character of Pip because Estella constantly Insults him and makes him feel embarrassed about his background. ...read more.

Conclusion

The mood and atmosphere in the house would have been tense therefore Pip would have felt very uncomfortable. This is because Estella was constantly insulting Pip and making him feel embarrassed. For example, "He calls Jacks Naves this boy", here she is mocking him and making fun of him. This makes the reader feel sorry for Pip because the reader wouldn't want go through this situation themselves. The ending of the extract shows Pip reflect the things Estella has called him. For example, "As I cried and kicked the wall", makes the reader feel sorry for Pip because it shows the reader that what Estella has said has got to Pip. Overall I think Dickens has succeeded in making the reader feel sorry for the character of Pip because whilst reading the extract I felt sorry for Pip and if I was in the situation of Pip I wouldn't be able to cope with the life he is living. ...read more.

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