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In what ways does Dickens create effective images of people and/or places?

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In what ways does Dickens create effective images of people and/or places? In the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, various techniques were employed to enhance the story. This essay will concentrate on Chapters 1, 3 8 and 11. I believe that these chapters' best illustrated Dickens's use of setting, characterisation and atmosphere. In chapters 1 and 3, Dickens described the setting of the marshes and Magwitch. In chapters 8 and 11, Dickens describes Miss Havisham's place of residence (Satis/Manor House) and also provided a concise description of Miss Havisham herself. The first chapter that I will be discussing is chapter 1. In this chapter, Dickens effectively uses a range of techniques to create an eerie and mysterious scene, and further on in this chapter, he managed to create a dangerous atmosphere when Magwitch is introduced to the novel for the first time. For example, Dickens described the marshes as "overgrown with nettles." This evokes a feeling of mystery. It also suggests that the marshes were abandoned and unwanted, especially by Pip. Magwitch is introduced early into the novel by giving orders and controlling Pip. This is very symbolic because throughout the story, Magwitch is constantly, in some way, controlling Pip. For example, by providing Pip with money as his anonymous benefactor, he effectively leads Pip to London and has made Pip who he is today. ...read more.


Although she is not dead, Magwitch would have still felt the misery and pain of having lost a member of his family. It seems that every time Pip enters the mist and the marshes, something dangerous or life threatening always happens. The first time that Pip enters the marshes, Magwitch temporarily kidnaps Pip and threatens him with his life. Later on in the novel, he is kidnapped by Orlick and is nearly murdered in the marshes. Pip also goes through the marshes when he travels to London shortly after receiving his fortune from his anonymous benefactor. This alerts the reader that this apparently positive development in his life may have dangerous consequences for Pip. In chapter 3, when Pip re-enters the dangerous eerie marshes, the latest description we are given of Magwitch since chapter is of him "hugging and limping-waiting for me" "as if he had never left all night." This immediately evokes a very sympathetic image of Magwitch which is also contradictory to the original description of Magwitch offered by Charles Dickens. Saying that Magwitch as "waiting for me" is sympathetic towards Magwich as Charles Dickens makes it seem that Pip is Magwitch's only friend and that Magwitch is unwanted and unloved. "His eyes looked so awfully hungry, too, that when I handed him the file and he laid it down on the grass, it occurred to me he would have tried to eat it, he would not have seen my bundle." ...read more.


Miss Havisham is definitely in denial about the whole ordeal. She is still wearing her wedding dress and in some ways is still preparing for her fianc�e wedding. Miss Havisham has stopped all clocks and watches and does not wish to know the time. This is evident as when Pip is about to tell her, she says "There, there! I know nothing of days of the week; I know nothing of weeks of the year." There seems to be a contrast between her and the rest of the room although Miss Havisham would like to think they were one and the same, growing old together. The rest of the room was barely lit by candles. However, Dickens uses repetition of the word "white" although the rest of the room is dark. The wedding dress could be also compared to Miss Havisham, "old" "withered" and "out of use. In Dickens' time, Miss Havisham represents a person who has too much money and does not know what to do with it. Dickens is also trying to inform to the readers of this story that money will not and cannot by happiness. This proven later on in the novel when Pip verbally attacks Miss Havisham and is furious about what she did to Pip concerning this relationship with Estella. As you can see Dickens was a very skilled author who used various devices to create deliberate effects to enhance the quality of the story. He also uses his range of techniques generate imagery and other effective literary devices. ...read more.

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