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The Significance Of Chapter 1 In Great Expectations By Charles Dickens

3826 words - 15 pages

The Significance of Chapter 1 in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations is a riveting book set in Victorian London and
published in 1861. The novel is set in historical context and
illustrates ideas of implication such as how the really interesting
people could often be found in the lower classes, in the time of
social division and where the shift from agriculture to industrial
processes was contemporaneous. Nevertheless the plot contains
significant relevance to modern day life in the subtle message that we
can be happy as we are; we don't need always to aim higher at riches.
This great novel is so successful as it applies to historical and
contemporary issues alike in themes such as: isolation, guilt, greed,
sorrow, forgiveness and social reform. These themes are all elaborated
on in the text which is comprised of complex language structures that
is mostly formal whilst remaining personal with the reader as well;
sentences are structured diversely with short sharp quotes in
juxtaposition to lengthy descriptive and often either first person of
passive language (which is characteristic of Dickens and the time)

"Great Expectations" is one of Charles Dickens more mature and
profound items of literature and is classed by many as "the last of
his great works". Great Expectations is typically characteristic of
his later books which satirize social division and are more radical
that its predecessors and the comedy more savage in that the way the
plot is melodramatic in portraying wealth as boring and the cause of
other's suffering. Also theses points are shown in the construction of
exaggerated attitudes for characters which stereotype groups.

"Great Expectations" clearly incorporates his personal beliefs and
childhood experiences of being born partially neglected in a large
family which he later became isolated from when he lost his parents to
jail, when they were condemned for debt. He himself was enslaved in a
blacking house at age 12. It is because of his experiences that he is
not apprehensive in literal application of his moral and philosophical
views on how the lives of the poor could be made more tolerable.
Dickens has written many other articles stating his disapproval of
mistreatment of people, the danger to their lives and even animal
rights, this often comes across in his novels.

Charles Dickens was a typical Victorian novelist concerned with issues
of character, plot and the Victorian social world. He along with other
novelists such as Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, George Eliot and
Thomas Hardy revolutionised literature. Although Dickens is often
perceived as the most vigorous writer with a style of writing that has
irrepressible vengefulness (which can be seen for example by his
descriptive language of a young boy humiliating Pip "smirked

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