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Setting and Language in Great Expectations Essay


Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on the 7th February 1812 and died 9th June 1870. Dickens was a successful writer throughout the eighteenth century, and his stories continue to enthral people of all ages. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century children were dangerously unfinished people who needed too be hurried into adulthood as quickly as possible. Great Expectations reflects how different life was in the eighteenth century. Dickens creates sympathy for many characters throughout the book by the language he uses, the way he writes, and also by his descriptions, doing all these things it makes the reader empathise with the characters.

In the opening of great expectations, it opens with a graveyard. Dickens describes the graveyard as bleak which is no pleasant place for somebody to be. Dickens cleverly catches the readers attention and sympathy in the first few pages, introduces several things are very relevant throughout the story, creates a mood of mystery in a lonely setting, and gets the plot moving. In the first chapter Dickens has already created a feel of sympathy for Pip through his description of the graveyard quote and how he informs the reader of the fact that Pip is an orphan. Pip is alone is the graveyard, both physically and also family wise too and the idea that Dickens brings across about Pip and his attitude too his parents death also makes us feel sorry for Pip because Pip is very matter of fact about the deaths. As I never saw my mother or father makes us feel sorry for a lonely, innocent boy.

Dickens Language plays a big part in the sympathy we feel for Pip. He uses very emotive words. When Pip meets the convict in the book, the sympathy we feel gets heavier due too the way Pip is treated. Dickens describes Pips language very cleverly, doing this he gives the reader some understanding of what Pip could be going through. Pleaded in terror Pip begs the convict not too slit his throat, this alone is a shocking thing too plead for your own life but when your young and pleading in terror it really strengthens the fear Pip feels. The threats that the convict says too Pip is awful too have too read that someone was going through. And your heart and liver shall be tore out Pip is continued too be treat badly, the convict treats Pip as if he is a rag doll who means nothing at all. He tilted me over is repeated throughout the threatening. This is showing the convict using physical strength and showing the power he has over Pip. It is also clear that the threats and intimidation is getting too Pip because of the stuttering. Goo-Good night sir this stuttering shows his fear and also it shows the authority that the convict has had over him by Pip calling him sir

After all of this, when Pip returns home in the following chapters, he is continued too be treated badly, and intimidated by his boney sister, the idea that Pips sister is boney really gives the reader an idea of how small Pip is. After going through the whole ordeal with the convict he gets thrown around at home too, as if nothing he does is right. This makes the reader feel very sympathetic because nobody would like too be put in that position however too Pip it is just a normal thing to be going on because its just normal for him, which again, makes the reader empathise.

In chapters three and four, it is Christmas and Dickens continues to promote the sympathy. Pip ends up with the end of the table at Christmas dinner, which just shows how they look down upon him. Along with this Pip is continually picked on from others around the table, however, every time he is picked on Joe Pips sisters husband puts another ladle of gravy on his plate, and in the end he ends up with a whole plate of gravy. This is Joes attempt of making things a little better for Pip because Joe doesnt say anything himself. This makes us feel sympathy for Pip because getting more gravy treats him, and that shouldnt be a treat, that should be a normal thing to get as well as this; Pip gets the worst of the Christmas food. Near the ending of the Christmas meal when one of the guests at the table drinks the tar water rather than the gin, Pip runs out of the room when there is a knock on the door from police. The police were not there to take Pip but the fact that Pip thinks so shows that he knows he had done wrong and also emphasises how young he is.

When Pip meets Mrs Havisham later in the book, the cruelty continues for Pip. In the beginning of the book, the reader is sympathetic to pip because he is poor, his parents are dead, he is mistreated, and must live under the rules of the strict Mrs Joe and when Pip meets Estella the sympathy continues. Pip thinks a lot of Estella we know this because Pip describes Estella as the most beautiful girl alive, proud pretty insulting but never a bad word about her. We feel sympathy for Pip because he likes Estella but Mrs Havisham tells Estella she can break his heart. As Pip realises his feelings for Estella, Estella realises that Pip feels for her and so she uses it against him. She asks if he thinks she is pretty and in one chapter, she questions Pip about herself and she slaps him. She then teases Pip asking why doesnt he cry again? Pip replies Because Ill never cry for you again however he knows this is not true and so does the reader because he then says was, I suppose, a false declaration as ever was made, for I was inwardly crying for her then, and I know what I know or the pain she caused me afterwards We really feel sympathy for Pip now because of all of the other things that have happened but then him being taunted by somebody he loves, yet him not being able to do anything about it.

In conclusion, Dickens creates a lot of sympathy for characters throughout great expectations he does this by the descriptive language he uses; the emotive words; how he words his sentences and the clever plotline. Dickens creates sympathy mostly for Pip throughout. Although in the book he does create sympathy for others such as Joe however readers tend to empathise with Pip .

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