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Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations is a very enjoyable book for the reader for many reasons. Overall, Great Expectations is a novel that effectively depicts the emotions and feelings of the characters in the story and has a plot that maintains the reader’s interest. These elements, along with others help to make the novel appealing for the reader.
When young boy by the name of Philip Pirrup (referred to a Pip by all that know him) encounters an escaped convict in a churchyard, he is extorted to get food and a file for the man. Once Pip retrieves these items for the man, he learns that the man is in fact, an escaped convict. Pip, although being only seven at the time, was part of the group that apprehended the convict.
For a few years following this event, Pip frequently visited extremely wealthy old women named Miss Havisham. In the process, he falls in love with the woman’s adopted daughter named Estella. She, however, despises him for being common and not a gentleman and she frequently puts him down and, on one occasion, causes him to cry. After about a year of providing company, she tells him not to visit her any more and pays him for his services.
Soon after, Pip is told that his prior plans to be a blacksmith (he was apprenticed to his brother-in-law) were not to be and that he had come into Great Expectations. His benefactor was to remain a secret until the person revealed himself or herself, but Pip was certain that it was Miss Havisham. Pip was very happy not only because his new wealth but also because he was certain that he was to marry Estella whom he still loved. Pip moved to London where he befriended his new tutor’s son and his guardian’s co-worker.
Pip was quite shocked, however, when he found his benefactor to be not Miss Havisham, but rather the same man who Pip helped to apprehend when he was a convict. Also his sister, who had raised him since his parents died when he was very young, had died due to an attack she had suffered months before. This devastated him in that he would no longer be wed to Estella. When he professed his love to her, he learned that she was to be married to a person whom he despised.
Pip later discovered that his benefactor, named Magwitch was the real father of Estella.
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Dickens incorporated many effective writing techniques in his style of writing which makes the novel enjoyable to the reader. The techniques employed by Dickens help to add reality to the book and help the reader understand the characters’ feelings.
Dickens used several techniques in the story that made it more real to the reader. One such technique that Dickens used was that of dialect. He used this by not only writing the dialogue in the way that it would be said in terms of the sentence structure used in the character’s speech, but he also spelled out single words by the way in which the character would pronounce them. This allowed the reader to almost know exactly how it would sound had the character been talking right in front of them.
Dickens used the technique of dialect when the “commoners” spoke. A few instances of this include when Joe spoke and said particular as “partickler.” This juxtaposition of the commoners’ speech and that of the wealthy persons’ articulated speech allows the reader to understand the education difference between people of both classes.
Dickens also repeats and stresses certain things that are said and felt by the characters. He does this when Pip, the narrator, continues to inform the reader of the difference he feels between himself and Estella and the feeling he has of never being in reach of having her. He also stresses Pip’s misery and disgust when Pip learns whom his benefactor truly is. Dickens states that the reason for Pip’s unhappiness was due largely to the fact that he was never intended for Estella and would not have her. Because of this, the reader is able to understand the extent that Pip’s love for Estella has on his life and his feelings towards everything else in his life.
Dickens’ use of analogies also adds to the realness of the story and to the reader’s understanding of it. With such analogies as Wemmick’s mouth to be a post office, the reader has a better sense of what exactly Wemmick looks like, and thus it adds to the reader’s sense of the look of the location, person, or object that is used in the analogy. Also, since Dickens continued to use that word to refer to the particular object used in the analogy, the reader is constantly reminded by its appearance and so instantly remembers how it was first described. This allows the reader to know exactly what the object or place looks like without Dickens having to describe it in detail again. *
Charles Dickens novel is enjoyable for the reader because of the techniques that he used to make it more real to the reader. This was achieved by making the feelings and emotions of the characters better understood by the reader and also the circumstances that induced the feelings.
The book is made enjoyable due largely to the realness of it, which allows the reader to fully understand the characters’ emotions and feelings. When Dickens used a dialect for the common people to speak in, it contrasted the differences in the education of the classes. This distinguished between Pip and Estella and how different they were and what Pip hoped to become so that he could be with Estella. When the difference that Pip feels between them is stressed, the reader also understands better how much he cares for Estella and how much it troubles him when he thinks that he can never be with her.
When Dickens is able to make the reader fully understand and relate to the feelings of his characters, it get the reader’s interest and gets the reader mentally involved with the story line and its characters. When this happens, the reader enjoys the story more since he can relate to the feelings of the characters, and thus he can relate to the characters’ situations more. This is a large reason for this novel’s appeal to many readers and makes it a very good literary work.