What Techniques Do Authors Use To Present the Female Characters? using extracts from Great Expectations

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Murat Ilhan 10C


This essay will analyse the techniques used in an extract from Dickens 'Great Expectations' to describe the main female characters.

In the extract 'Broken hearted vengeance' from 'Great Expectations', Dickens uses descriptive language to describe Miss Havisham, the main character in the extract from 'Great Expectations' words such as "cold and cruel" resembles Miss Havisham, because she is cold-hearted woman that hates all men and thinks they're all canaille. She is in this condition because her fiancé never arrived to the altar on their wedding day. Another metaphorical descriptive phrase that Dickens uses to describe Miss Havisham is "wax candles". This is because her life is at the end like a melting candle considering her fiancé left her. Another word from the extract that Dickens includes to explain Miss Havsham is "faded", this is saying that Miss Havisham is metaphorically dead I say this because she has lost the will to live.

However, William Trevor uses a specific narrative structure as a technique to introduce his female characters. The specific narrative structure is by giving the female name, then by how they have been linked with the wedding. After linking them with the wedding William Trevor describes their physical appearance, then the colour that they are wearing which symbolises each female character. For example, Mrs Atty “the mother of the bride…bespectacled…wore a flowered dress-small yellow and blue blooms”. Also, Mrs Cornish “the mother of the bridegroom…was in pink, with a pink hat”. As well, Mrs Tracey “a sister of Mrs Atty’s…was the stoutest of the three women… she was dressed in black”. Trevor gives this limited information about his characters because they are a community not individuals.

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Charles Dickens and William Trevor write very different styles. Firstly, Dickens writes in a metaphorical way. This can be seen when he writes,” Nothing but beggar my neighbour, miss" This is a metaphorical quote because "beggar my Neighbour" is a card game, the winner being the one who gains all the cards in the pack. This suggests that Pip doesn’t have any money and Miss Havisham is in control of the game. Charles Dickens also writes in a colourful manner. An example of this is when he writes, "she was dressed in rich material-satins, and lace, Dickens is silks-all of white". ...

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