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Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Essay

2361 words - 9 pages

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Charles Dickens' novel Great expectations is set in the Victorian
period and is highly related to the state of poverty that Dickens
encountered on his rise to fame. It concerns the young boy Philip
Pirrip (known as 'Pip') and his development through life after an
early meeting with the escaped convict Abel Magwitch, who he treats
kindly despite his fear. His unpleasant sister and her humorous and
friendly blacksmith husband, Joe, bring him up. Crucial to his
development as an individual is his introduction to Miss Havisham, a
now aging woman who has given up on life after being left at the
altar. Cruelly, Havisham has brought up her daughter Estella to
revenge her own pain and so as Pip falls in love with her she is made
to torture him in romance. Aspiring to be a gentleman despite his
humble beginnings, Pip seems to achieve the impossible by receiving a
fund of wealth from an unknown source and being sent to London with
the lawyer Jaggers. In London he meets a number of different and
intriguing characters and although he is employed, he eventually loses
everything and Estella marries another. His backer turns out to have
been Magwitch and his future existence is based upon leaving the great
expectations and returning to Joe and his honest layout. Eventually he
is reunited with Estella. One of Dickens' main ideas is to try and
incorporate different themes into the story. Such themes as social
status are included in the story which was more relevant to people in
the Victorian period however he also used a number of themes such as
crime and family values which are also relevant to the modern day
world. A big attraction for Dickens was the theme of social status and
wealth and this came about with the "awful" childhood as he described.
His father was often in debt and at the age of twelve Charles was
forced into replacing school with a tough and underpaid job at a shoe
blackening factory to help support his family due to the imprisonment
of his father in a debtors prison. This inspired much of his fiction
and Great expectations is one of the more strongly influenced of his
novels. Another one of Dickens' writing techniques is to use memorable
character with intriguing names such as "Miss Skiffins", "Startop",
"Drummle" and "Herbert Pocket". In my belief he adapts this style to
his writing to make it more illustrious and turn it into a novel
that's characters sustain their name in the future. One of the most
notable aspects of Dickens' style is also, his use of sophisticated
and elaborate vocabulary such as 'Accoucheur' and 'monumental'. His
complex vocabulary also...

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