Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

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Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

In the first chapter of the novel Great Expectations, Dickens prepares

the ground for the way the story will develop. I will show how he does

this through his piece of coursework.

Charles Dickens was well known for characterisation, this is where you

create a character that is easily remembered. Dickens had to do this

as he was a serial novelist (this is where you write a novel in

stages) so his characters had to be instantly recognised after weeks

or even months. Dickens learnt much from the popular theatre of the

day of how to create recognisably characters. In Great Expectations,

Dickens, has made many characters easily recognisable be there verbal

mannerisms, like Joes's 'what larks', 'ever the best of friends' and

Drummels sneering 'oh lord'!s. Dickens also used personality traits in

making his characters recognisable, such as Jaggers biting his thumb

and compulsive hand washing.

There are two characters in chapter one who is relevant. The

characters are Pip and Magwitch both of these characters prepare the

ground for the way the story will develop.

Pip starts of the novel as an adult talking about himself as a child.

To simplify things I am going to only speak about the child Pip unless

otherwise stated. You first see pip in a graveyard on some marches,

this gives the feel of isolation to Pip because he is on an isolated

bleak marsh apparently on his own, and when the escaped prisoner

attacks Pip you get the feeling he is helpless, this is even more

enforced when you see who is looking after him, his sister shows no

empathy for him and raises him 'by hand'. Pip does not seem like a

happy character, but he does represent a blank canvas for future story

lines, because there are very few things you can tell from Pip in the

first chapter apart from his isolation, the fact that he is rather

gullible in believing there is a 'terrible man' who is going to 'creep

his way to him and tear him open' and also that he respects his elders

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