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How Does Charles Dickens Creates Characters Which Are Memorable And Striking In Great Expectations?

1611 words - 6 pages

GREAT EXPECTATIONSINTRODUCTION:In this piece of essay I am going to answer the coursework question, which is "how does Charles Dickens creates characters which are memorable and striking in Great Expectations?"I am going to refer to some of the characters in the novel and explore their characterisations, mood and tone. In addition, I will use quotations to support my ideas about the characters.The characters that I am going to use to support my ideas are Pip, Miss Havisham, Magwitch and Mrs. Joe. In addition, I am going to link Mr. Joe with Mrs. Joe and Estella with Miss Havisham.Phillip Pirrip (who shortens his own name to "Pip" as a child) is the narrator as well as the protagonist of the story. Pip is an orphan being raised by his sister Mrs. Joe Gargery and her husband, Mr. Joe Gargery, a blacksmith.Pip is really two characters at once- the protagonist going through the trails of one life, and the grown narrator relating the story of his life.The reader is made to feel sympathy for the young boy. He seems to have a lonely life that is further complicated by the appearance of a convict who threatens him. Pip, in chapter one, can be described as a young, lonely, and trusting character. He always refers to the convict as "sir".Pip was badly treated by his sister who is older than he is by 20 years, "she had brought me up 'by hand'." This quote shows the how abusive is Mrs. Joe towards Pip and the reader's sympathy once again is directed at Pip who not only lost his parents but is being raised by a bitter woman.Dickens uses this duality to great effect in the first chapter, where we are personally introduced to Pip as if we were in a pleasant conversation with him: "I give Pirrip as my father's family name..." Immediately after this, however, we are thrown into the point of view of a terrified young child being mauled by an escaped convict.Dickens uses secrets as a way of heightening suspense throughout the novel. Someone is always hiding something from someone else. Sometimes these secrets are clear to the reader and make the reader a partner in crime with the characters, as we are with Pip last as he sneaks around his house, terrified of being caught, stealing food. Other times the reader is left out of the secret but we are given the impression that it is an important thing that we need to find out, as in the case of the two convicts. We know that there is some connection between the two that is important to the story but we are given very few clues to help us.Also in chapter seven Dickens presents a relationship between Joe and Pip, which is growing in love and respect. Joe is at the bottom of the social hierarchy and particularly, at the bottom of his household's hierarchy but Pip finds new respect for his position. "I had a new sensation of feeling conscious that I was looking up to Joe in my heart." The image is almost ideal: the young Pip and Joe sitting next to the fire, Pip admiring him and teaching him the alphabet.Many factors suggest...

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