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With close reference to chapters 1-4, how does Dickens create sympathy for Pip in Great Expectations?

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Introduction

With close reference to chapters 1-4, how does Dickens create sympathy for Pip in 'Great Expectations'? 'Great Expectations' is a buildungsroman which was written by Charles Dickens in Victorian times. Dickens creates sympathy for the protagonist, Pip in the opening chapters using an assortment of methods and themes throughout. The author introduces Pip in the first chapter as crying in a graveyard, within the second paragraph the reader's already learned that Pip is an orphan, which immediately creates sympathy for him. Pip says, "I never saw my father or mother", because this is an unusual situation for a child to be in, the reader immediately feel compassion for Pip because he seems so alone. In Victorian times, the life expectancy was far lower, around the age of 40, so the reader assumes that is how Pip lost his family. Pip later talks about "five little stone lozenges" where his brothers are also buried, this makes him seem even more alone and it is realistic for the time since the child mortality rate was so much lower. Dickens emphasises Pip's loneliness and his lack of family by repeating that he is an orphan throughout the novel, which creates sympathy for Pip from the beginning. Dickens describes Pips family as "dead and buried" on the opening page, these harsh words create sympathy for Pip because it enhances the ...read more.

Middle

Since Pip and his sister have lost the rest of their family, the reader would expect them to be close and love each other, but instead the reader feels no love towards Pip from his sister. This whole epitomises the theme of Parents and Children running through the book by the relationship of Pip and his sister, whom he calls 'Mrs Joe Gargery' instead of by her first name. This makes the reader feel sympathy for Pip because before although he was an orphan the reader was still happy that he had some family to love, but the reader then realises that in fact he doesn't receive much love from the only family that he has left. Dickens describes Pip's sister as having a harsh, unloving personality in Chapter two, not only does he do this by how she acts towards Pip, but he also does it by describing her appearance as rough and 'ugly', which make the reader feel compassion for Pip because you realise that although he has been through a lot, he can't go home and feel safe. The fact that Mrs Joe is not pretty on the outside reflects on her personality as not being pretty on the inside. There are many descriptions of Mrs Joe throughout chapter two, Dickens describes her as having "black hair and eyes", not only does this make ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows the themes of 'Parents and Children' by how Pip isn't allowed to defend himself because he is not allowed to speak, and that Mrs Joe goes along with it, the guests insulting Pip shows their relationship is spiteful and that Mrs Joe doesn't appreciate having to look after Pip. This makes the modern day reader feel sympathy for Pip because of him not being able to express his view or take part, however in the 19th century it would have been normal for children to not be allowed to speak unless spoken too, however the reader in the 19th century would still feel sympathy for Pip because of the harsh manner that the guests and Mrs Joe speak in. Due to Joe being the only person to try to help out Pip, it makes the reader feel anger and upset about Pip's behaviour towards him when he becomes a 'snob' later in the novel. Overall, in the first four chapters of 'Great Expectations' sympathy is created repeatedly and frequently for Pip which sets the tone for how you feel about him for the rest of the novel. Dickens uses methods such as describing the settings in detail and pathetic fallacy along with the themes of crime and punishment and parents and children to create a lot of sympathy for Pip. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jemima Wright 11F ...read more.

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