Monday, July 22, 2019

Great Expectations Essay Example for Free

Great Expectations Essay Dickens was known as one of the best authors and many of his books have stood the test of time. Great Expectations was first published in 1861 and to this present day remains to thrill and engage modern day readers. Clearly dickens must use a wide range of techniques to gain and sustain his readers interest.  A very good technique that dickens used in Great Expectations is Dickens larger than life characters that have been exaggerated to make the story come alive and more believable. A good example is Miss Havisham, as she is regularly described by Pip as some ghastly waxwork from the fair and having dark eyes. She is also described as a skeleton, and someone who had shrunk to skin and bone and having clothes that were faded and lost their brightness. This makes the reader perceive her as a very evil and dead person. This has a significant effect because this is the first time the reader meets Miss Havisham, and therefore builds up a first impression. This technique can also emphasise on one characteristic of a person. Another characteristic that dickens emphasises on is the change in character that Joe goes through when Pp becomes a gentleman. Dickens uses respectful dialogue for Joe, using words such as sir towards Pip. This is because at the time of the novel, if you came upon wealth, regardless of your morals and the way you acted t others, you would be considered to be a gentleman. So even though Pip appears ungrateful to Joe, Joe still shows dear respect to him, thus creating more distance between them. These well-portrayed characters are what brings the story to life, and therefore help keep the readers interest. Other than the characters being larger than life, many characters personalities clash, and are extremely opposite. For instance, when Pip is describing Mrs Joe and Joe, he describes Joe as mild, good-natured, sweet-tempered, easy going, foolish, dear fellow. However, he describes the way that Mrs Joe presents herself, as having a coarse apron, an impregnable bib that was stuck full of pins and needles and having a trenchant way of cutting. These two characters are very different as the nasty. Nightmarish, way that Mrs Joe dresses, with her dangerous needles and her impregnable apron, is contradictory to Joes easy manner and his kind gentle touch. It is strange that these two could forge a relationship, as there is a role-reversal issue because Mrs Joe is a brute, with her trenchant way of cutting and a rather manly attitude. Whereas Joe shows a kind and affectionate attitude towards Pip. It would also seem that Mrs Joe has an angry personality towards Pip and Joe as she bought them up by hand. I believe that this technique is very good because it creates variety, contrast and very exciting situations to keep the interest of the reader. In Great expectations there is a wide use of similes and metaphors, which can also be used to describe characters sometimes. For example when Pip describes the way in which Mrs Joe Gargery cuts bread he says she had a trenchant way of cutting the bread, and hewed it in half. This can be reflected upon as her character being strong, brutal, and savage. This can be backed up by the example that Pip and Joe were raised by hand. This is also a more physical approach to her character. These similes and metaphors are also a more exciting way of describing a character. This is also keeps the reader much more engaged and less likely to resign from the gripping novel. Throughout the novel on several occasions there are ironic twists in the story line. A very ironic moment is when Pip finds out that who his real benefactor is. Magwitch turns up at Pips door and later ecstatically claims this is the gentleman I made! This moment is a real moral blow to Pip and is very crushing to find out Miss Havisham was not his real benefactor. This is an ironic twist because the very person that helped Pip become a gentleman was in fact a convict. Another ironic moment is that Estella, although she is rich and upper class, was adopted from a lower class background, so just like Pip, she is now rich, but her heritage lies lower down. Pip was visiting Jaggers house and he noticed that the way the housekeeper presented herself and the way she knitted with her fingers together convinced him that this woman was Estellas mother. This is ironic because Estella, although she acts very proud of being upper class and is exceedingly harsh to Pip, has a heritage that lies in the lower class, as Miss Havisham adopted her from the housekeeper. Its these exciting twists in the story line, that are unpredictable, that make Great Expectations such a gripping novel, that along with all the other techniques, fully gains and sustains the readers interest.

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