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In his novel, Great Expectations, Dickens creates characters that are both memorable and striking by using many techniques, including the writer's toolbox. The characters I found to be the most memorable and striking are Pip, Miss Havisham and Magwitch.

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Introduction

Sarah Davenport O4 31st October 2005 How does Dickens his characters memorable and striking? In his novel, Great Expectations, Dickens creates characters that are both memorable and striking by using many techniques, including the writer's toolbox. The characters I found to be the most memorable and striking are Pip, Miss Havisham and Magwitch. Dickens portrays them by using some of the following techniques; setting, characterisation, dialogue, narrative, mood, etc. Pip is the first character that I have chosen. All the way through the novel, Pip comes across as a young, weak, orphan boy. We find out a lot about his past, including information about his family. The text states: "...and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine." The text also states: "The shape of the letters on my father's grave" and "Also Georgina, Wife of the above." All of this evidence lets us know that Pip's parents and siblings are dead, and makes the reader feel sympathy for Pip. The novel is written in first person. This creates a personal opinion of what Pip thinks throughout the story. For example, when the text states: "I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly." This particular piece of evidence backs up my statement about Pip's opinions/thoughts being brought into the novel. ...read more.

Middle

So, the reader has mixed, confused feelings about Pip because although Pip obeys Wemmick, he is not afraid of him. There is evidence, for example, when Pip asks: "Is it your own, Mr Wemmick?" Therefore, the reader knows that Pip is confident to talk to Wemmick, but also that Pip is quiet and at certain times, weak. Pip is both memorable and striking also because of his actions during the novel and the dialogue used. Dickens has used certain events from the novel to bring out Pip's strengths and weaknesses. Miss Havisham is another memorable and striking character created by Dickens. The sentence types she uses in her dialogue within the novel create Miss Havisham's character. She uses questions, for example: "Do you know what I touch here?" She also uses exclamation ("Broken!"), statements ("I am tired"), and finally commands when she tells Pip: "Come nearer." All of the different sentence types and dialogue used by Miss Havisham creates her character as an old woman with a difficult past life. Also, the tone of voice used by her is strange. She seems very harsh/stern towards Pip, which makes the reader think of her as a grumpy, old woman. Dickens also makes Miss Havisham's character striking by conveying the way she speaks, using words such as "muttered." ...read more.

Conclusion

Magwitch is definitely made memorable by his appearance. There is a short paragraph, which is totally focused on Magwitch's appearance, which makes him very striking. The reader knows that Magwitch is strong, yet hungry because the text states: "...for he was so sudden and strange" and "he ate the bread ravenously. Magwitch comes across as quite a rough, unfriendly, threatening character because of the way he speaks. For example, when he says: "Now then, lookee here!" This shows that Magwitch has a very common way of speaking. The way the words are written are exactly how they are spoken, for example the word: "partickler" means "particular". Magwitch is a threatening character as well. In the text, he says: "Or I'll have your heart and liver out!" This is aimed at Pip and is very threatening. We can also tell that Magwitch dislikes having the iron on his leg because the evidence from the text says: "...after darkly looking at his leg." However, there is also a weaker side to Magwitch and this is another feature that makes him so memorable and striking. The text says: "...clasping himself, as if to hold himself together." This creates a sympathetic side for Magwitch. A way that Dickens makes all three characters memorable and striking is by using a large amount of descriptive writing and punctuation. He describes characters using whole paragraphs to build up a large amount of description. ...read more.

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