How Does Charles Dickens Create Sympathy For Pip, Magwitch And Miss Havisham In Great Expectation?

1397 words - 6 pages

Great Expectations

Great Expectations

By reading and analyzing the two extracts of "Great Expectations", this essay will be used to explore the devices that dickens uses to create sympathy for the three key characters in the novel: Pip, Magwitch and Miss Havisham. The first extract that will be focused on is when Pip is in the Churchyard, at the beginning of the novel at which he meets Magwitch for the first time. The second extract is when Pip first meets Miss Havisham at the Satis House. In this essay, the techniques that Dickens uses will create sympathy for the three key characters from the readers. Techniques like character interaction, language and setting is shown in both of the extracts.

Charles Dickens was born into a middle class or a working class family. He experience poverty when his father had gone into debt and was sent to a blacking factory. Charles Dickens a twelve year old boy who had to start working to support his family. This experience cast a shadow over this young sensitive boy and that became a defining moment in his life. The dark experience could be the source of the creative energy with the themes of alienation and betrayal. Dickens spent his evenings walking around London viewing first hand the poverty that had lurked in the shadows of the wealthy. The reader could clearly see the relation between Dickens' biographical influence in such characters such as Pip, who has experience the loss of his parents and siblings.

One way that Dickens make us feel sorry and sympathy for Pip is the setting. We first encounter Pip in a cold graveyard. This is no place for a young child to be alone. The `dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard' was the graveyard where Pip realizes that his family has died as a result of the high infant mortality rate. This shows that Pip's sister would not follow him to visit the family and that they live in a dark and bleak place. Sympathy is created when he visits the graves alone. This also shows that Pip has never had a memory of his parents or his siblings "As I never saw my father or my mother…" As a modern reader I find it hard to imagine as we have photographs and videos. This therefore increases the sympathy we feel for Pip. Pip also does not know how his parents look like. This shows that his relationship with his sister is not that close. "…regarding what they were like, were unreasonably derived from their tombstone" Pip's living relative, his sister, does not tell him about his parents and his siblings and this results him to imagine how they look like based on the writing on the tombstones. Sympathy is created as Pip is forced to imagine how his own family looks like.

Another way that Dickens makes us feel sympathy and sorry for Pip is by the character interaction. Magwitch first enters the novel when he threatens Pip. Even though this does not creates sympathy for Magwitch but it creates sympathy for Pip as...

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