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How effectively does Dickens convey what childhood is like for Pip in the first five chapters of

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Introduction

How effectively does Dickens convey what childhood is like for Pip in the first five chapters? In the first five chapters of Charles' Dickens "Great Expectations", we follow the life of a young boy, Phillip Pirrip - Pip for short, in early nineteenth century England. A time when England was in industrial revolution and when the rapid growth of cities brought social divisions between class - rich and poor. The British government fearing a revolution, maintained a harsh regime. In "Great Expectations", Dickens writes about this and conveys attitudes towards children, most especially Pip and the severity and turbulence of his childhood. Dickens is able to convey Pip's youth and the nature of his childhood through the language, use of description and other language devices. Dickens conveys Pips imagination and youthful thoughts through the language and content of the book. Dickens uses all these techniques to develop Pips portrayal as a young boy, building up an account and conveying the type of childhood he leads. Exaggeration and irony are key factors in the portrayal of Pip as a youth with vivid imagination and conveying his childhood. When we first begin to follow Pip we are immediately aware that he has a very tumultuous childhood. We learn that he has lost most of his family including his Mother, Father and five younger brothers. He seems very immature, with vivid imagination and does not realise the trauma and sadness of losing your family. ...read more.

Middle

upon Pip, a man that Pip will never be able to hide from, a man which will "tear out his heart and liver". Whilst Magwitch tells Pip this he tilts the child after every sentence so as to make Pip feel even more helpless. Pip also brings in humour to the story, for instance when Magwitch asks the whereabouts of Pips mother he is told "There, sir" indicating the vicinity of the graveyard, a more mature person in such a serious situation may have explained that she was dead but because of Pips young mind he tells the exact whereabouts of his mother. The convict begins to run at this point, fearing capture at Pips mother being so close and so an element of humour is created due to Pips youth. Pips ignorance is conveyed fully in this section and Pips childhood is conveyed as even more of a turbulent, unsettled and unlucky one. Another sign of Pip's immaturity and the way he exaggerates incidents is when he watches the convict dragging himself away Pip imagines Magwitch to be a pirate who once hung from a gibbet close to the graveyard, this shows a vivid, immature imagination and the way in which Pip thinks of dark things, possibly because of a dark, disturbed childhood. Pip also describes the damp outside his window as "if some goblin had been crying...using it for a pocket handkerchief" this also conveys a sense of Pips vivid imagination as though ...read more.

Conclusion

Chapters two and four both contain large amounts of dialogue to quickly and effectively convey Pips unhappy, harsh childhood in which he has become accustomed to punishment and harassment. In chapter two Mrs Gargery berates Pip and demonstrates exactly why Pip seems so timid and vulnerable. She shouts at Pip "where have you been you young monkey" and "why did I do it (why did she raise Pip by hand)?", to which Pip whimpers "I dont know," as he still believes Mrs Gargery to have brought him up by punishment. "I don't! I'd never do it again!" retorts Mrs Gargery, again demonstrating how harshly she treats the youthful, vulnerable Pip. Chapter four contains examples of dialogue, exaggeration and understatement. A sample of exaggeration and understatement is represented in chapter four when Dickens writes "I think my -Pips- sister must have had some general idea that I was a young offender whom an Accoucheur Policeman had taken up and delivered over to her, to be dealt with according to the outraged majesty of the law." This statement shows a slightly attention seeking, exaggerated and miserable side to Pip as he believes his sister to have been almost ordered to punish him as much as she does, all he wants is a loving, steady and peaceful childhood and his only explanation for Mrs Gargery's treatment of him is that she must punish him. Pips sister Mrs Gargery seems to be the source of most of Pips suffering as we learn throughout the first five chapters. Luke Smith 11.S ...read more.

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