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In what ways does Dickens create effective images of people and/or places? Explore in particular a short section, which includes particularly vivid descriptions.

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Great Expectations In what ways does Dickens create effective images of people and/or places? Explore in particular a short section, which includes particularly vivid descriptions. The opening chapter plunges the reader straight into a crisis of identity as Philip Pirrip, the retrospective first person narrator seeks to find out who he is and his place in an extremely inhospitable world and tells the reader how he came to call himself Pip. The beginning of Great Expectations demonstrates something of the extraordinary range and power of Dickens' language. Pip's comical misreading of his parents' tombstone introduces the reader to some important themes in the novel: namely the idea of self authorship, the whole debate about identity in the novel, the search for lost parentage and the misunderstanding of evidence generally. As readers we can make different inferences from the evidence, but we do not know the truth until he does. This lends dramatic immediacy to the action. In Charles Dickens's hands first person narration is an extremely flexible medium for story telling. ...read more.


The churchyard at Cooling near the Medway estuary is a likely source for the 'five little stone lozenges' that mark the graves of pip's siblings. The windswept desolate place of mud, mist and water is like the world before creation when God divided the water from the dry land. The way the place is put to us as readers is amazing as in two or three lines we had a full image in our heads of the marshes and the churchyard in which Pip is situated and this image is extremely vivid and doesn't leave much to the imagination. The weekly installations of paragraphs must encourage the reader to want to buy the next instalment of the novel and read on as if it didn't the novel would make no money and fail. This makes it full of action even in the first few paragraphs, as the first part would be vital in the novels success. Dickens uses lots of description mainly as the book is paid for the amount of words in it but also because he can use lots of description, as he was an amazingly skilled author. ...read more.


The convict is scared, as he doesn't want Pip to shout out and speaks quickly and directly. He threatens Pip in a bullying sort of way as he is trying to hide his fear but our suspicions are clarified when he flees at the knowledge of Pip's mum's presence only to learn that she is six feet underneath him. Although he never actually hurts Pip we know that the convict is a violent, vicious man in the way he acts and speaks. In his search for his origins, Pip seems to have created 'a second father' in the convict who although scaring him leaping up from among the graves, turning him upside down metaphorically as well as literally, and placing him on his parents' tombstone he later rewards Pip for his kindness and we know Pip seems accustom to him. The opening of Great Expectations is a great example of the range and power of Charles Dickens' wide use of vocabulary and grammar and his amazing use of descriptive build up of people and place that give us particularly vivid images of these things and how even in a very tiny portion of the novel how this can be very effective. Sean Kenny 10J ...read more.

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