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Expectations manipulate the reader Essay

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How does Dickens Presentation of Pips threatened childhood in chapters 1-8 of great Expectations manipulate the reader? ‘Great expectations’ is a book written by Charles Dickens, and was first published in 1861. Charles Dickens was a Victorian writer and also a social commentator during the time. The novel ‘Great Expectations’ commentates on lower class life in the Victorian era. The book is mainly based on social criticism. The novel is about a boy called Pip who has a cruel start to life, living with his mean sister and her husband.

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With many people indifferent to Pips life, Pip starts with low expectations wanting to go to prison. Afterwards his life changes when he is described as a common labouring boy, eager to change this he also changes his expectations in life and from wanting to go to prison, or becoming a blacksmith he wants to become a gentleman and have a high status. Throughout the novel we are manipulated into feeling sorry for Pip. The events in his life, the people he meets and the way he is treated from childhood till he is grown up.

Pip is an orphan at the beginning of the story, this and the factors such as that his parents are dead make us feel sorry for him. He also lives with his sister who is a harsh and beastly woman and treats him horridly. We are first introduced to Pip whilst he is a child. While in the graveyard he meets an escaped convict who treats him harshly. One of the ways that Dickens manipulates us during this is showing how unprotected and weak Pip is. ‘After each question he tilted me over a little more, so as to give me a greater sense of helplessness and danger’ (chapter 1) this quote shows how feeble Pip is.

We are later manipulated even more by the way his sister treats him. Contempt and hatred are just some of the ways that could be used to describe her attitude towards him. Hence he is a lonely, weak boy who has no parents. Mrs Joe ‘applied Tickler to its further investigation. She concluded by throwing me – I often served as a connubial missile’. She beats Pip and acts as if he is nothing but a mere slave to her and must do as he is told or she willHow does Dickens successfully link Magwitch’s appearance in Chapter one with his return in Chapter Thirty-nine in ‘Great Expectations’?

‘Great Expectations’ is set in the 1800’s, for gentlemen of that time, life was rich and full of beautiful houses and places. Because they didn’t have to work they spent their days chatting, going to dinners and just having fun. But for the working class, they had to always be thinking of ways to make money and always working to secure their next meal. This novel was serialised, which meant that the story was published part by part and so, many groups of people would gather together to read the story. They could then tell each other what they thought was going to happen in the next couple of chapters.

To make the audience want to read the next couple of chapters, Dickens had to end each chapter with a cliff hanger. The central protagonist in this novel is Pip. In the first chapter we learn that Pip’s parents are dead and so he lives with his sister and her husband. We also learn that he had 5 other brothers and sisters who have also died as their five mini gravestones or rocks are beside Pip’s parents grave. He frequently visits his parent’s grave even though he has no memory of ever seeing them. He paints a picture in his mind of his mum and dad. In this chapter we get to meet Abel Magwitch who will become a central figure in Pip’s life.

Dickens successfully uses pathetic fallacy in both Chapter One and Chapter Thirty-nine to create a negative tension. In Chapter One, he describes the weather with negative adjectives such as ‘sting’, ‘torn’, and ‘growled’. These all give negative connotations to the reader to create the bad tension in the weather. He also uses the onomatopoeia like ‘shivers’ and ‘shuddering’ to show how the weather is affecting people. He also uses the word ‘shuddering’ again in Chapter Thirty-nine providing an obvious link in the weather. Dickens uses the adjective ‘angry’ more then once to show that whatever is going to happen won’t be good.

In Chapter Thirty-nine, Dickens hints at negative events by using the simile, ‘like discharges of a cannon’ which also ties into Chapter One because it is signalling that an escaped convict could be entering the story again because a cannon would sound whenever a convict had escaped. Dickens describes the weather as ‘stormy and wet, stormy and wet’ which uses repetition to push across how bad the weather is. He also says, ‘mud, mud, mud’ which is a list of three, which is a very convincing technique to help set the scene for Magwitch’s return.

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