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GCSE: Great Expectations
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Great Expecations, the first chapter introduces several key themes that are developed during the rest of the novel, such as the divide between rich and poor and people who are considered gentlemen and the lower classes,
is laying low. When suddenly the criminal appears and starts threatening Pip "Stay still you little devil or I'll cut your throat" Dickens uses quit strong language in this sentence to grab the readers attention and the immediately place Magwitch in a powerful position. This makes the reader feel no sympathy for the convict, however at the end when the convict is running of Pip imagines that "the hands of the people in the graves were reaching up trying to pull him into the ground" this helps you imagine the look of Magwitch as a very malnourished, dirty, weak person,
- Word count: 1297
How does Dickens describe Pips first meeting with Miss Havisham and Estella? What does this tell the reader about the class system of Victorian England?
The book is about a young boy whose life is changed by a mysterious run of events. He meets an escaped convict where he had several frightening and strange encounters, a life in the care of Mrs. Joe to which he quickly learns lessons with the tickler and an adulthood of strange circumstances. Pip (Phillip Pirrip, if you want to go by his real names) is an orphan who is brought up by his sister Mrs. Joe, married to a caring blacksmith called Joe Gargery. Mrs. Joe is a very short tempered woman who Pip describes has "such a prevailing redness of skin" that he, Pip that is, "sometimes wondered if she washed herself with a nutmeg grater rather than some soap".
- Word count: 1729
The timid Pip is visiting his parents' grave in the churchyard when Magwitch jumps out. By using the churchyard setting, Dickens cleverly taps into his readers' atavistic fears of death and ghosts. Instantaneously we feel the danger of the surroundings to Pip; the marshes, down by the river. Marshes can be wet, and slippy. The river could overflow and flood the area, or have hazardous, raging currents. A very good adjective in a phrase used to describe the scene is 'a memorably raw afternoon'. This makes you really realise how horrible it is where Pip stands.
- Word count: 1533
The rest of the opening is very similar to the first seven chapters. Pip takes onboard what he discovered at Miss Havisham's and strives to be 'uncommon' after Estella mocks him about his background and appearance, "He calls knaves Jacks, this boy''. He often revisits Miss Havisham's house until he prepares to leave home for London towards the end of the opening. Dickens is very detailed about all his characters, this makes the reader feel as though they know them and helps them to understand Pip's life.
- Word count: 1305
Magwitch came dressed like a vagabond. Wearing "no hat" (meaning he isn't of high status), in "coarse grey with a great iron on his leg", slowly revealing the fact that he could well be a criminal. At this stage, Magwitch speaks in dialect showing that he is different, on a lower class, clearing his reality of being a convict. He wore "broken shoes" with an "old rag tired around his head". "A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and sting by nettles, and torn by briars; who
- Word count: 2785
This shows that he is vulnerable and immediately makes the reader feel sympathy for him. The emotive way Pip describes his family evokes sympathy for him, especially because they are all dead. He explains the images he has in his mind of them were "derived from their tombstones" as he does not have the luxury of remembering them or their appearances. His conclusions as to what they look like are "childish" and this conveys his vulnerability and shows he is na�ve.
- Word count: 2385
Essay: How does Dickens' use of the setting suit the characters Magwitch and Miss Havisham? Focus particularly on chapters 1, 8 and 11 in your response.
They both are connected towards the settings, in the way they are presented to the audience. Magwitch is introduced in chapter one when he meets Pip in an old churchyard (in which most of Pip's family is buried, including his mother and father). From Pip's description of him, the reader gains a first impression of Magwitch as being a fearsome and formidable character. His murderous threats terrify Pip and the dark, scary setting makes the convict seem callous and cruel. The marshland is describe as having "..scattered cattle feeding on it..". The scattered cattle make the marshes seem wild, free and natural; this is much like Magwitch.
- Word count: 995
Pip goes to Miss Habisham to play as she had requested him to do so. He goes there for many years until he moves to London to become a gentleman as it was his life long dream so he could marry Estella. Towards the end of the novel he does get married to Estella. Chapter 1 of this novel is set in a graveyard. This is where Pip meets the Convict and the convict demands pip brings a file and some whittles. The way that dickens 1st refers to the graveyard is by saying "The bleak place, overgrown with nettles".
- Word count: 809
This implies that Jaggers thinks less of Pip; as inferior to him. This is incredibly rude of Jaggers, who also suggests that he is like an object, by referring to him by a bad "set" of fellows.
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Therefore there was 'no glimpse of daylight was to be seen it' which makes us think that she may be a bit strange. We see that Miss Havisham is disorganised because we are told that there are 'half packed trunks scattered about.' We also see a shoe on the table which is a sign for bad luck, which we later find out Miss Havisham had bad luck many years ago when she was abandoned at the alter by her to be husband.
- Word count: 1744
Why, in your opinion, did Dickens choose to tell the story of Great Expectations from Pip's point of view?
Great Expectations is in some ways similar to one of Dickens' other novels, David Copperfield. One main similarity is that they are both told in the first person from the viewpoint of an older narrator looking back. Pip and David are both punished by caning, which is executed by parental substitutes: Mrs Joe and Mr Murdstone. Another parallel is that they are both made to feel inferior by adults and are compared to animals, Mr Pumblechook likens Pip to a pig, and David is likened to a viper.
- Word count: 1403
Magwitch catches Pip and hangs him in thin air whilst asking him his name and where he lives. Pip is terrified yet he replies with him name and tells Magwitch that he lives with the blacksmith. Magwitch shakes Pip a couple of times to empty out his pockets and he searches for any food he may be carrying. He then threatens Pip and makes him promise to bring him food tomorrow. He makes him swear he shall not tell anyone his location or a man Magwitch claims as his accomplice will find Pip and tear out his heart and his liver.
- Word count: 1317
o how disappointments change his character for the better. o how Pip is happier when he settles down to a decent living through hard work - this is one of the main messages of the novel. Virtue and good character One idea Dickens explores is: what makes a 'gentleman'? * Remember that Dickens' father lost his social position through bankruptcy, and that Dickens once worked in a boot-blacking factory. * Most of Dickens' readers would have wanted to better themselves, and the author holds up a number of models of upper class life for Pip (and therefore the reader)
- Word count: 1311
The novel opens in the marsh country of England, wet and dispiriting, where young Pip, the protagonist, stands alone in a churchyard before seven gravestones, under which are buried his mother, father and five younger brothers. While Pip is standing in the graveyard a convict comes out from behind gravestones and questions him for food. The convict is a ragged looking man with an iron shackle on his leg which creates tension because it could be interpreted that he is a convict.
- Word count: 1088
At that time divisions between the rich and the poor were wider than ever. People were moving from the countryside to London in the belief that it would bring better jobs and living conditions giving them a happier life. This was not however, the reality, as the amount of people living in London combined with the pollution from the factories led to London being a very dark and crowded place which was not at all pleasant to live in. Social mobility was rare and people tended to stay within the class they were born to.
- Word count: 4335
In the churchyard, the landscape from a distance can be seen as a line which has been smudged to give it its industrial looking colour. Furthermore, the line "distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea" describes the impending danger. This is because there are always the natural elements and species that can sense danger before humans can. However, in this case the wind rushing suggests that there is danger that is on its way. The word "savage" is a word associated with violence and brutality which suggests that something terrible is on the "horizon".
- Word count: 3321
How does Dickens create effective descriptions of people and places in Chapter 1 and Chapter 8 of Great Expectations(TM)?
As Dickens goes to further describe Pip's personality, he states 'as I never saw my father or mother.' This shows us that he is an orphan, which makes the reader quickly feel pity towards the protagonist as he doesn't have the opportunity to have love, support or a close family life. As readers, we are then astonished to know that this was written when the character Pip was an adult, which meant that he was looking back on his childhood. 'Childish conclusion' is used to show that Pip is very innocent and doesn't know how to make simple adult decisions, this affects the reader as the reader wants to get close and protect Pip; it creates a strong emotional bond between Pip and the reader.
- Word count: 2768
But as the conversation between Pip and Magwitch draws on, we start to feel a sense of pity for him as he is shown as: Cold, Hungry, Threatening, and Wet. "You get me wittles boy" and "He hugged his shuddering body". Dickens makes us feel sympathetic and pity towards Magwitch as he only demands necessary items. "You get me wittles" and "You get me a file." He doesn't actually physically harm Pip and perhaps he tells Pip not to tell anyone for Pip's own safety.
- Word count: 1200
Which tells the reader that it is a quite lonely place with few people living there. Pip's house is set in the marshes and is quite small, and is quite far away from the church. "The marshes were just a long black horizontal line then, as I stopped to look after him; and the river was just another horizontal line," this tells the reader how flat the land is that Pip sees when he is looking across the marshes from the churchyard.
- Word count: 1363
Even through pip is threatened by him he is still intrigued and asks Mrs. Joe and Joe about the 'hulk' where Magwitch said his was from, even Though every times he asks he gets told off he continues to ask and finds out it is a prison ship and that Magwitch must be a convict. When the police arrive at pips door on Christmas Day pip is scared it is about stealing the pork pie for the convict, but they are just there to get some handcuffs fixed by his brother-in-law Joe Gargery.
- Word count: 885
He then turns Pip upside down to empty his pockets. Pip tells the convict that his mother is nearby, the convict panics. Pip actually means that his mother is buried nearby. We feel sympathy towards Pip as this is all happening around his mother, father, and brothers graves. The convict is wearing irons around his leg. He later finds out that Pip lives with a blacksmith and he demands Pip to steal a file and wittles for him. Pip gets informed that he mustn't tell anyone about the convict and if he does the convict will cut his liver out.
- Word count: 1881
Explore dickens use of language, setting, characterisation and narration in great expectations(TM) with particular reference to chapters 1 and 39.
They only have pips description of him as a rough, dangerous, evil man, which makes the reader emotionally unattached to him and creates a cold, hateful atmosphere towards him. This is also intensified by the readers' sympathy for poor little pip. Chapter 39 begins with the same bleak atmosphere, and the storm could be perceived as a warning of something to come. 'I was alone and had a dull sense of being alone'. Although throughout the story the readers opinion of Pip has changed significantly, during the being of this chapter there is a returned feeling of sympathy to Pip as he returns to his childish state of loneliness.
- Word count: 1313
The description of the convict is very powerful because of adjectives like "soaked in water"; "smothered in mud";" lamed by stones"; "cut by flint"; "torn by briars". Their action Pip has towards the convict, "I pleaded in terror", makes the convict more memorable and striking. To make Pip do what he wants the convict pretends to be a cannibal by doing simple but effective gestures such as licking his lips and holding Pip tightly. After gaining control over Pip the convict asked him to bring some items from the forge.
- Word count: 1441
4), this shows that there is a tense, unwelcoming atmosphere and is a fast paced conversation. The convict could be trying to frighten Pip, giving out forceful orders, 'tell us your name' and 'give it mouth', to stop Pip from reporting him. In chapter 39, Pip's attitude changes from gracious/polite to 'snobby' and obsessed with social class. This is a total contrast from in chapter one. 'The abhorrence in which I held for the man' referring to Pips hatred of Magwitch, shows a drastic change from the young Pip who had a certain respect for him (hence referring to him as sir), even though as Pip refers to him as sir, it is really only to save himself.
- Word count: 1803