• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does dickens used characters in volume one to present the themes of great expectations?

Extracts from this document...


Great Expectations coursework How does dickens used characters in volume one to present the themes of great expectations? 'Great expectations' is a novel about a young boy called Pip. He has bought up in a working class society but he longs to be upper class. The story follows how he makes his way to a higher class but somehow forgets who is along the way. Some of the themes in the novel are class-system, revenge, family and education. Class is a main theme and the whole storyline focuses on this, and how concerned Victorian society was about it. You could tell just by looking at a person whether they were lower, middle or upper-class. You could change class but you would have to have the right clothes, money, job and accent to fit into the way of living. However dickens himself did not think that wealth necessarily made you a better person. Pip is the main character in 'Great Expectations,' he is involved in all the themes of the novel. The class system is a focal point in young Pip's life. As a child he began to feel ashamed of who he was. ...read more.


I shouldn't like to see her again' These two quotations show us how he had his heart set on her, then relating it to later on in the novel we can see he has not had a change of heart. The further the novel continues the more Pip becomes a less-likable character. His attitude towards everything around him changes and the only thing he cares about is himself. Dickens has a very similar attitude on society, quite similar to Pip. Dickens also started off lower class and built his way to the top. He saw how wealth supposedly made life easier and poverty made it miserable. I think dickens bases the character of Pip on himself. Closely related in the way of the storyline are Miss Havisham and Estella. Miss Havisham is an old woman full of misery and heart-break. She lives in a mansion called satis house with Estella. Miss Havisham invites Pip to come and 'Play' at the house. It is all part of a plan and she says she has 'sick fancies.' This shows something strange is going on in her mind. Their house is more like a Prison and Miss Havisham is a prisoner in her own home as she never leaves the house. ...read more.


Magwitch is initially presented as an animal and the lowest class. Dickens vividly describes him writing words such as 'shivered, glared and growled.' This makes the man seem more like a creature than a human. Looking at his clothing and accent he was marked out as poor. This is very stereo-typical as the irony of the novel is that he is the one that earns and gives Pip his fortune. Pip is a benefactor of Magwitch's wealth; this money allows Pip to become a gentleman. Magwitch has always wanted to get revenge on the society he lives in for punishing him and sending him to prison. He wants to prove this by showing that anyone can be upper-class if they are given the right money and education. Pip is his example to show this. In the mind of Magwitch he is achieving his revenge although Pip never really realizes this. From all of the main characters if the novel shown above and the way they all express the main themes. Dickens paints a picture of what Victorian society was like. I think it was very strict and it was also very hard to fit in. Dickens shows how money and education affected your life. Great expectations is a real eye-opener to the mind behind this corrupt society. By Emily Batty 10-6 ...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. How does Dickens present the character of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations?

    " 'What do you think of her?...anything else?...any thing else?' " This continuous, tormenting repetition of the same question makes me feel as if she is trying to convince him that there is something else, maybe that he has fallen in love with her.

  2. Great Expectations - Theme of class

    He says 'the passages were all dark,' putting an aged and stagnant feeling inside the premises. "No glimpse of daylight was to be seen in it." This quote is a reflection on Miss Havisham, herself, and her house. At this point, we don't know why she is confining herself to

  1. An exploration of the ways in which issues of class and status are presented ...

    that an enlightened society would recognise the value of individuals by who they are, not simply in terms of monetary worth. Moreover, Hartley chooses to tell "The Go-Between" largely from the perspective of a shy, nervous, emotionally charged, vulnerable, boy whose school seems to have denied him the expression of

  2. The themes that are introduced and emphasised in Chapter 8 of Charles Dickens Great ...

    Upon Pip and the reader's entering Miss Havisham's room in the derelict and defeated Satis House, the general feeling of gloom, despair, sorrow and shame, the gnawing sensation that the end result of everything is tragedy is brought out by beautifully written passages that help to paint evocative pictures in

  1. Charles Dickens Great Expectations explore the themes used by Dickens in chapter one

    "Pip, sir." "Once more," said the man, staring at me. "Give it mouth!" "Pip. Pip, sir." "Show us where you live," said the man. "Pint out the place!" I pointed to where our village lay, on the flat in-shore among the alder-trees and pollards, a mile or more from the church.

  2. Central motifs of the novel are established vividly in this volume. Imagery and allusions ...

    There are recurring hints to his unseen hand throughout the novel, and Pip is never able to forget him. These allusions to the convict often scare and shock Pip, which is evident in chapter ten when Pip is in the tavern with the strange man.

  1. Great Expectations Coursework

    We know this because he answers all of the convict's questions even though he is clearly terrified of him. I also think Pip is a kind-hearted boy who feels pity and compassion for the convict as well as being frightened of him.

  2. How does Dickens create interesting characters and raise challenging themes in the novel Great ...

    plain and "common labouring boy" but then "ripens" with his life experiences and through his desire to be a mature and sensible "gentleman." Pip is first introduced to the reader, through his description of his parents' death and the reader instantly begins to feel a sense of loneliness: "As I

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