Great Expectations Essay Topics

Topics: Behavior

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Essay on Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The well admired novelist Charles Dickens was born in 1812 to a clerk in the navy and wife Elizabeth. Charles was the oldest of eight children two of which died in childhood. The writer reflects his own upsetting family life onto the pages of his book.

However he does exaggerate himself and what he went through, but under the name of Pip, this really adds to the atmosphere of the book. More great tributes to Great Expectations are the brilliant page turning, cliff hangers. The reason there are so many of them is due to the way the book was published.

Dickens wanted his story to be b read and understood but he knew that his target audience would not be able to afford a book.

So he printed his book chapter by chapter In a broadly read newspaper. During chapter one the reader Is Introduced to the mall character, orphan boy Pip, and they get an insight Into his family history and his present life. After reading the first page alone you can tell that the story is being told by Pip, but he is telling his tale years after it has first began. This allows the writer to express the characters feelings more vividly.

Summary Of Great Expectations In 100 Words

The writing is mature but things which happen are sometimes childish as PIP was young when It happened.

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For example when PIP Is imagining what his parents looked like – ‘l drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly. ‘ This shows that the boy still had a Juvenile mind and also without realizing it Dickens has also told you that Pip has never met either of his parents which make the reader feel sorry and protective over the neglected character. Whilst PIP Is in the graveyard standing by his deceased relatives he Is met unexpectedly by a terrifying roll a man’s voice threatening to cut his throat.

Pip recalls the whole event thoroughly which leads me to believe that this must be an important feature in the main characters life. The reaction of the child to the fearful man is typical of a young boy. He acted frightened, and by the description Charles Dickens wrote, he had plenty of reasons for being in such a state e. G. : keep still you little devil’. Also Pip agreed to get the man what he asked for because he had been told what dreadful things would happen to him if he did not succeed. By this time in the story the writer as already hooked the reader.

This Is done by creating a story line which Involves a young vulnerable boy and a scary older convict. These two complete opposites meet and instantly make the person reading fear for the boy and therefore keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. For the duration of this particular section in the novel the scenery Is very spooky as Is the convict. It’s almost the perfect setting for an intimidating confrontation. It’s a cold, dark, damp graveyard in the middle of a Wilderness’, this is certainly not a nice place to be so it’s almost a given that nothing ice is going to happen whilst being there.

A lot of skill is shown in the way Dickens manages to describe the whole surroundings In one sentence. It Is as If he is looking around him and describing each thing as he sees It: ‘dyke’s and mounds and gates,’. Finally he ends the huge sentence with the short sharp word-Pip’. This quite simply 1 OFF reader feels sorry for him). Personally, I believe that the scene has been purposely set to mirror the characteristics or the characters. This works both with small, innocent Pip and the ‘evil’ prison escapee.

If Dickens had written the scene in a sunny field then the eaters feeling towards the characters would be very, very different and certainly not as spooky. Moreover, the horrible setting of the story raises the question Why are those two people there in the first place? On one hand, what kind of life must Pip have if he chooses to spend time alone in a dark wilderness? On the other hand what must the convict have done to have no-where to go but a wet marshland? The language is very advanced as it was written as if from an older Pip in later life who is more mature than the child he once was.

Therefore the descriptions are very detailed which can make the reader feel as if they themselves are witnessing the unfolding events. Certain sentences create a dark spooky atmosphere e. G. ‘bleak place overgrown with nettles’ and ‘distance savage lair’. During this chapter 8 Pip is sent to Miss Hafnium’s grand house to ‘play. This is as strange as it sounds but Miss Having is well known for being wealthy so Mrs. Joe Gagger, not being as well off as she would like, wastes no time in sending up young naive Pip.

Nobody really knows much about this old lady who requests Pips company and this is exactly what intrigues the reader so much. At this point in his life Pip is still young therefore under the circumstances (being left alone in a strange place) he is quiet and afraid, worrying about doing thing wrong and displeasing Miss Having. This I can tell from several different incidents such as the way he speaks-“I should think I could, miss,” said l, in a shy way. I think this shows how Pip is scared of saying something he shouldn’t in case he gets punished. He really doesn’t want to get into trouble whilst living with the fierce Mrs. Eagerly.

In addition Pip also repeats ‘Miss’ after everything e says to Estella even though she isn’t much older than him but it shows his deference to her. Throughout this first encounter with the lonely Miss Having I don’t think Pip knew quite what to think about it all. He is confused at why she looks the disturbing way she does – the bride within the bride within the bridal dress has withered like the flowers, and had no brightness left. ‘ Nonetheless he knows not to ask questions which conveys yet again how apprehensive. The descriptions of this grand old house and the people in it are so vivid; they paint a very clear image in the eaters mind.

I think the paragraph describing Pip’s view if Miss Having is one of the best descriptions in the whole novel. The writer uses lots of skill in the sentence structure whilst giving a description of the outside of the large house. For example ‘It was paved and clean, but grass was growing in every crevice. ‘ Dickens states a good point followed abruptly by a bad point. This technique makes the reader believe that all the good parts that were one there have been destroyed by the unattractive things. Overall the house seams dilapidated and this is clear to whoever lays eyes upon it.

For a second time, it seems very likely that Charles Dickens wanted this scene to reflect the characters Miss Having and Estella. The cold, inventiveness of the house is very like Estella in the sense that she wants nothing to do with Pip and why he is there ‘Don’t be ridiculous, boy; I am not going in’. This statement suggests that away from her if she can manage it. I think that the strange alone of the house and particularly the dressing room matches perfectly with the old ladies character. In chapter eight there is tension between Pip and Miss Having and Estella.

The specially the room the boy is sent to are quite far away from any people Pip is acquainted with so this reinforces an idea of isolation. Also the language used to describe the scene where Pip meets the old lady for the first time creates a definite atmosphere of uneasiness and uncertainness. For instance language like- ‘This was very uncomfortable, and I was half afraid. However the only thing to be done being to knock at the door’. This extract from early on in the chapter, lets the reader know Just how much Pip would rather not be there. Dickens applies his skill of creating long in PPTP sentences during this scene to create atmosphere.

For example; long sentences create the effect of a long, never ending, and dreary list. Moreover, the author is very repetitive. In the paragraph where Pip is taking in all that he sees for the first time the word ‘she’ occurs lots; ‘She had a long white veil’ ‘She had not quite finished dressing’ ‘She was dressed in rich materials’ This makes the reader aware of how significant ‘she’ is and it creates an awkward environment, as if Pip is staring at the frail woman. In my opinion the meeting between Pip and the convict and the one between Pip and

Miss Having for the first time, are very similar in the way the writer conveys the characters. For example the way in which Dickens makes each of the individuals unique but slightly alike. The scene where the young boy comes across the convict is frightening but all the same out of terror Pip wants to please his threatening convict in fear of what he will do to him; ‘Or I’ll heart and liver out. ‘ Even when the man is violent Pip still comes out with ‘ Go-good night, sir,’ Similarly, when Pip encounters Miss Having, to begin with he looks for a long time around the big room drinking it al in, but then the uneasy conversation begins.

Like being asked to fetch whittles Pip is yet again asked to do something strange- ‘l want to see some play. ‘ However Pip gets on with it in order not to disappoint, he says’ If you complain of me I shall get into trouble with my sister, so. ‘ When Pip is offered Great expectations he assumes it is Miss Having who is his benefactor because while he spent time at her house he was often scrutinized for being a ‘common labouringly boy. Consequently he thinks she wants him to turn into the opposite. As soon as he realizes who his benefactor really is he is shocked and how matters eave turned around.

I suppose that the famous author wanted to make a point that whatever your background you can always make something of yourself. Additionally I think Charles Dickens novels are a social commentary on some of the hardships at life at the time, such as upper class snobbery, but the main element of the story is the twist in the tail that Pip has lived under the huge misapprehension that the wealthy Miss Having is his benefactor when all along it was the convict Machine.

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Great Expectations Essay Topics
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