Thursday, August 29, 2019

Great Expectations Essay

Charles Dickens is best known as a writer of novels, many of which are read today and regularly used in stage productions, on television and in the cinema. He was also a journalist, he used his stories to get across what he felt were important messages.  Although he tried to get his message across he wanted his work to be entertaining. In so doing, he created some of the most well remembered characters of English literature, such as Mr Pickwick, Oliver Twist and Ebenezer Scrooge. Dickens wrote about Victorian life and particularly Victorian life in London. Dickens campaigned for things he believed in like the welfare and education of children. He addressed the public in public speakings and through his writings.  Ã¢â‚¬Å"Great Expectations†Ã‚  Chapter one  At the start of â€Å"Great Expectations† Charles Dickens introduces us to a boy called â€Å"Pip†. This name is explained in the novels very first sentence and stated that this is the name he is commonly called by in the second.  Ã¢â‚¬Å"My father’s family name being Pirrip and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip. Pip goes onto explain that he never saw his mother or father and so the audience straight away feels very sorry for this young boy. â€Å"As I never saw my father or my mother,†Ã‚  The setting in the first chapter is a graveyard with Pip looking at his father and mother’s tombstones. Pip must be quite imaginative as he uses the shape of the letters on his father’s tombstone to create a mental picture of what he and his mother was like. â€Å"The shape of the letters on my father’s, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, ‘ Also Georgina Wife of the Above ‘, I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly.† We go on to learn that he also had five brothers that must of all died at an early age.  Ã¢â‚¬Å"To five little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a half long, which were arranged in a neat row beside their grave, and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine-who gave up trying to get a living exceedingly early in that universal struggle†¦Ã¢â‚¬ Ã‚  Throughout this novel the narrator is a young Pip and this is to make the reader feel empathy for the character for the whole of the novel. It also means there is a childish view on things and a lack of understanding. For example in the graveyard he can’t really understand why his father, mother and five brothers were dead and he was still alive. Although the reader feels sad because of this Pip is not that sad as he can’t understand the situation fully. When the focus switches to the scenery and Pip starts to describe the churchyard and its view. Pip begins to cry and almost out of nowhere â€Å"Hold your noise!† Cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from among the graves at he side of the church porch. â€Å"Keep still, you little devil, or I’ll cut your throat!†Ã‚  This is the introduction of Magwitch an escaped convict from a nearby jail. In Charles Dickens days capital punishment was enforced in the United Kingdom and conditions in jails were very poor an so Magwitch would have been n a terrible condition. First impressions of Magwitch are that he is an evil man for the obvious reason of him being a convict. He has no sympathy for others. â€Å"A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg.† The iron is the giveaway that he is an escaped convict. The iron is like a clamp that will have maybe been connected to a ball and chain.  Ã¢â‚¬Å"A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, with an old rag tied round his head.† This shows the terrible condition that he is in.  Ã¢â‚¬Å"A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and those teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin.† These things are what make me think he has escaped.  Magwitch is also quite a violent man, Pip is only a young boy and he feels it necessary to grab him by the throat and threaten him. He bullies a young child into getting things for him.  Ã¢â‚¬Å"After darkly looking at his leg and at me several times, he came closer to my tombstone, took me both arms, tilted me back as far as he could hold me; so that his eyes looked most powerfully into mine, and mine looked most helplessly up into his.†Ã‚  Ã¢â‚¬Å"You know what a file is?†Ã‚  Ã¢â‚¬Å"And you know what wittles is?†

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