The first part of Dickens' novel, Great Expectations, is an account of the childhood of, Pip, the main character of the novel. In these beginning chapters Dickens paints an extremely vivid picture of childhood. The reader is able to enter Pip's mind and see the world through the eyes of a child. This is possible because Dickens understood the thoughts and feelings of children and applied this to Pip's every thought and action when he wrote the novel. Dickens had an obvious gift for creating child characters in his works. The word "pip" itself refers to a seed from a plant. Seeds need to be nurtured if they are to grow and flourish. In order to understand both Dickens' talent and his compulsion to write about children it important to realize that through the characters in his novels he took up the plight of all children. In Dickens' view of childhood, he felt that children have certain needs: guidance in a nurturing home, to be free from emotional and physical abuse, to have a good education, and to be allowed to use their imaginations. In order for children to succeed in life he felt these needs must be met. Through his portrayal of child characters in the novel, Great Expectations, Dickens' demonstrates how adults rarely, nor adequately provided for the particular needs that children have.
Dickens often wrote about children in his stories who were crippled, such as Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol. However, Dickens chose to create most of his main child characters with no physical maladies. As Collins points out, these characters were impeded emotionally in some way: "Most of his child heroes and heroines are born sound in wind and limb...
... middle of paper ...
... be unhappy. One may wonder why Dickens always seemed to make the world weigh so heavy on the little shoulders of so many of his characters. One reason is that Dickens appears to have created these suffering characters was that he wanted to protest the injustices toward children that he saw in Victorian society. He illustrated what these children needed and what they were missing. Just as a "seed" that is not nurtured cannot grow, children who are not loved and cared for can not grow up to live happy lives.
Bell, Vereen. "Parents and Children in Great Expectations." Victorian Newsletter 27 (1965): 21-24.
Collins, Philip. Dickens and Education. New York: St. Martin's P, 1964.
Rawlins, Jack P. "Great Expectations: Dickens and the Betrayal of the Child." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. 23 (1983): 667-683.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Characters in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Dickens has many ways of making his characters both striking and memorable, he uses the dialogue and blends it with the setting and social background as illustrated by ‘torn by briars; who limped’. Dickens is very descriptive; this also helps making the character real. Dickens creates a creepy mood when we are told about the graveyard in which we meet Magwitch as shown by ‘as if he were eluding the hands of dead people’. He uses the graveyard and the gibbet in the distance to help create this mood which adds to the edgy atmosphere.... [tags: Great Expectations Essays]
916 words (2.6 pages)
- How does Charles Dickens create characters that are both memorable and striking in the novel Great Expectations. In the novel ‘Great Expectations,’ Charles Dickens has managed to create several strong characters that are both memorable and striking and which definitely grab the reader’s attention. He uses a variety of techniques to make the characters seem so real. Take the character of Pip for example. His full name is Phillip Pirrip although he could never pronounce it properly and all he could manage was Pip, so that stuck with him.... [tags: Great Expectations Essays]
2125 words (6.1 pages)
- The novel Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens is a compelling book which many people consider to be one of Charles Dickens’ greatest works. Great Expectations is a novel that has many elements that help the growth and development of Phillip Pirrip, better known as Pip. But none of these elements can be more evident than the kinds of love and their different roles in Pips life. In order to answer how love has influenced Pip’s life we must first define what love is. According to Miss Havisham love is, The different types of love and their roles in Pips life is represented differently by the different characters.... [tags: Great Expectations Essays]
3113 words (8.9 pages)
- Dickens' Creation of Sympathy for His Characters in Great Expectations Charles Dickens was born on February 7th 1812, the son of John and Elizabeth Dickens. John Dickens was a clerk in the naval pay office. He had a poor head for finances and in 1824 found himself imprisoned for debt. His wife and children (with the exception of Charles) were, as was normal, imprisoned with him. Charles was put to work at Warren's Blacking Factory, where conditions were terrible. When his father was released he was twelve and already scarred psychologically by the experience of the blacking factory.... [tags: Great Expectations Essays]
2063 words (5.9 pages)
- How Dickens Creates Sympathy for the Characters in Great Expectations Published initially as a weekly contribution in a local newspaper, Dickens’ Great Expectations developed to be a great success. Great Expectations was a story for all classes, both rich and poor appreciated his efforts. Great Expectations is the tale of Phillip Pirrip who has no family except an older sister, he feels insecure in the world around him. Having no parents to give him a sense of identity, he wanders in the wilderness that is the graveyard to search for answers.... [tags: Great Expectations Charles Dickens Essays]
1207 words (3.4 pages)
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is the story of Pip, a young orphan who lives with his sister Mrs. Joe and his brother-in-law, Joe. Pip's life changes completely when he meets Miss. Havishman and the girl who lives with her, named Estella. After visiting them, Pip's greatest ambition is transforming himself in a gentleman to gain Estella's love although she acts coldly and contemptuously towards him. Throughout the story violence surrounds the characters and their lives. Violence takes many forms and is understood differently by different cultures.... [tags: Great Expectations Essays]
550 words (1.6 pages)
- Great Expectations By Charles Dickens Chapter one and chapter fifty-six in Great Expectations are in contrast with each other, they focus on the beginning and the end of Pip's relationship with Magwitch. I am going to investigate the change in the relationship between Magwitch and Pip, and the possible reasons behind them. Great Expectations focuses on Pip and we view the narrative through his eyes. In chapter one Pip, would have been about seven years of age and Magwitch would have been in his late thirties.... [tags: Great Expectations Essays]
990 words (2.8 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Great Expectations Essays]
797 words (2.3 pages)
- Great Expectations Josh Billings once said "to bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while". There are few things as important in the development of youth as the influence of the adults that surround them. The example of influential adults will almost always dictate, in some way, the behaviour of children. Young people look for role models and examples in the adults they meet. In Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations (1860), vivid adult characters such as the eccentric Miss Havisham, the enigmatic lawyer Jaggers, the simple but kind blacksmith Joe and the mysterious convict Magwitch have fundamental influences over the development of the story's p... [tags: Great Expectations Essays]
1706 words (4.9 pages)
- Great expectations coursework My essay is going to be about the 1876 edition novel ‘Great Expectations.’ The author of this novel is Charles Dickens. When the novel opens we meet Pip as a rather young child. Pip is the narrator as well as the main character. This is known as the first person. Pip as an adult talks about Pip as a child. He talks about his life as a child and how it was a struggle without his parents being around to help him. This makes it interesting to read. Dickens creates sympathy for Pip by talking about his dead parents.... [tags: Great Expectations Essays]
829 words (2.4 pages)