Charles Dickens' Great Expectations
Great Expectations was one of numerous novels written by Charles
Dickens. The novel was written in 1860-61 in the Victorian era.
Charles Dickens establishes the identity of young pip at the start of
the novel. Pip is the protagonist in the novel. Pip of the working
class wants to improve himself and desires an education to be good
enough for a girl from the upper class called Estella. The novel
explores themes of class, education and the penal system in Victorian
times. Pip as an adult who has matured is looking back at his life and
he is narrating his story.
Chapter one contains a lot of information about Pip. We can learn his
role in the novel, his past, present and a bit of his future. We
learnt that Pip's real name is Philip Pirrip, but he is known as Pip.
As might already know pip is the protagonist of the novel. We first
see pip in the graveyard in the marshes looking at his parents and
five of his little brothers graves that died young. One of Dickens'
great strengths as a writer is his use of narrative to describe places
and convey atmosphere. In Great Expectations the main character, Pip,
and this first person narrate the novel narrative gives us Pip's
personal response to the strange and often sinister places in which he
finds himself. In Chapter One we are given a detailed description of
the bleak, dark churchyard in which so many of Pip's relatives are
buried. The churchyard itself is described as being a "bleak place
overgrown with nettles" and beyond it lays a "dark flat wilderness".
The river is described as a "low leaden line", while the sea is a
"distant savage lair". Such description builds up a sense of dread and
foreboding and the reader starts to expect something awful to happen.
Pip lives with his sister, Mrs Joe Gargery who married Mr Joe Gargery
who is a blacksmith. Pip's family are of the working class who didn't
have much money or education. Pip is to a certain extent very
apprehensive. We can see this when he meets the convict. When the
convict starts asking Pip his name, Pip replies "Pip. Pip sir!" there
is a repetition telling us he is scared and eager to do as the convict
asks. Pip is pretty imaginative because he was imagining what his
parents looked like, "the shape of the letters on my father's tomb
stone, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with
curly black hair " this shows us that Pip was quite imaginative as he
imagined how his parents looked by the carving on the tombstone. Pip
is quite respectful because when the convict was threatening to rip
out his heart and liver. Pip was being respectful out of fear, "Yes,
sir" this shows us he is still calling the convict sir seven if the
convict was threatening him. Pip's relationship with Mrs Joe is not a
maternal one. She clames to have...