Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations written by Charles Dickens. I have been analysing the way in which Dickens uses language techniques to create. I have recently been reading the famous novel “Great Expectations” written by Charles Dickens. I have been analysing the way in which Dickens uses language techniques to create themes, characters and a setting for his story. The novel itself was written in Victorian times and a lot of the themes that occur in the book were also very prominent in the Victorian era. Firstly I want to mention the similarities between the main character and narrator Pip and the actual writer Charles Dickens. They both had a very comparable childhood with family problems and suffering very early on in their lives. The most striking similarity though is that both Pip and Dickens were at the bottom of the social ladder and the theme of social status is probably the most important one in this novel. This theme pieces together the whole plot of the book with a lower class Pip always eager to better himself and reach the top of that ladder. I also believe that due to Dickens being initially subjected to a life of poverty he had a negative view of money and status; almost all the characters with wealth and status in the novel end up destroyed. Secondly I am going to discuss the effectiveness of the serialised format of the novel. Charles Dickens actually wrote the novel in separate chapters before eventually merging them to make the book. This therefore is why each chapter is like an episode of a drama with a cliff-hanger tempting the enthralled reader into reading on. Throughout my coursework I am also going to analyse the use of themes within the novel. I believe that the most prominent theme throughout the book is the idea of social class. Social status has a massive impact on the book and was a very important part of Dickens’ life as well. Instantly as the first chapter unfolds we see many different examples of social status with the criminal, Joe and also Mrs. Joe all being manual workers. Later in the novel we also see several characters from a higher social class such as Estella and Miss Havisham. Throughout the novel though, we see Pip, a young labourer constantly trying to climb the social ladder, not only due to his ambition but also to impress the beautiful but much higher classed Estella, who had previously looked down on Pip referring to him as the “boy”. I also intend to look at the way Dickens used language to introduce the themes of death, childhood, loneliness and crime in chapter 1.
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