Thursday, August 22, 2019

Discuss Dickens portrayal Essay Example for Free

Discuss Dickens portrayal Essay Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations in 1860. He wrote it about attitudes in Victorian England, towards children especially. Children were highly disciplined, and the main character in Great Expectations, Pip, was a typical example of a child of this time. Society in England at this time was built into two main classes- upper and lower. The middle class society, that is most common today, was just beginning to break through. Pip and his family, consisting of his sister, Mrs Joe Gargery, and her husband, Mr Joe Gargery, were a typical lower class family. They had a very normal lifestyle, with little or no education, a small house, with very little money, and a simple life. Great Expectations was set in Southern England, in the marsh country, within, as the river wound, twenty miles from the sea. From this sentence, you can begin to build up a picture of Pips surroundings. Dickens uses harsh adjectives, such as bleak, dismal, dark and savage to describe Pips world. By doing this, we get a real picture of how Pip lives. In a way, Dickens uses the environment around Pip, and compares it to Pips life. This brings me onto my next point. Pip must have had a very lonely childhood. His mother, father, and five brothers all died, and his sister, Mrs Joe, has unwillingly bought him up. She makes it blatantly obvious she doesnt want him throughout his life, by making certain comments. I may truly say Ive never had this apron of mine off me, since born you were. Its bas enough to be a blacksmiths wife (and him being a Gargery) without being your mother. Pips only friend is Biddy, and he also has a strong bond with Mr. Joe. Both him and Mr Joe are fellow sufferers of Mrs. Joes strict ways, and this brings them closer together. They can confide in each other, and Joe is like Pips mentor. Ever the best of friends, ant us, Pip? Despite Mrs. Joes image of being harsh, a very, very independent, it is obvious she could not live without Mr. Joe, because, as with all households at this time, he is the breadwinner and as she does not work, she could not survive without him. Pip is a very innocent, nai ve young boy. He does not understand things that happen in his life, he simply accepts them. Why Mrs Joe uses the tickler on him, he does not know. When the reader gets to the part about the convict and the hulks, he doesnt know why people are locked up, and cannot see the bad side of people. He fears Mrs.Joe, but he knows without her he would be dead, and she makes a point of telling him this. If it warnt for me youd have been to the churchyard long ago, and stayed there. When Pip meets the convict, he is understandably terrified. He immediately intimidates Pip, but although Pip is scared, he still treats him with respect, and calls him sir. The convict threatens Pip, but still Pip is polite. If you would kindly please to let me keep upright, sir, perhaps I shouldnt be sick, and perhaps I could attend more. This gives the reader the impression that Pip is very polite, and respectful to everyone, and he hides his feelings. For example, on Christmas day, when Mr Wopsle and uncle Pumblechook are saying how ungrateful he is, he does not retaliate and simply bites his tongue, because he does not want to be disrespectful to his elders. I think that this is the way Dickens wanted to portray Pip, so we would believe what Pip is saying, and see him as being innocent, and not really capable of lying to us. Pip and the convict can be seen as fairly similar, in a strange way. Once the convict learns of Pips background he begins to feel sorry for him, and I think that Pip feels sorry for the convict, because of his situation. It is also obvious that the convict trusts Pip, because he sends him for food, even when he knows Pip could easily tell on him, and he could get recaptured and sent back to the prison ship. Pip doesnt tell on him, however, and returns with food. When the convict is finally recaptured, he makes up a story about breaking into the forge, and stealing the food, and he does not say Pip stole the food for him. Although the meetings between the two were short, they developed an understanding, and trusted each other. The way Dickens portrays the convict and Pips friendship gives us an idea as to how trusting Pip is, and his kind nature and personality. Something clicked in his throat, , as if he had works in him like a clock, and was going to strike. Then he smeared his ragged rough sleeve over his eyes. The something that I had noticed before, clicked in the mans throat again, and he turned his back. I think this click Pip refers is the convict having a lump in his throat, and showing emotion, and the click is him swallowing this lump. This shows that although the convict could be dangerous, he has emotions, and Pip can tap into this emotion. As the novel develops, Miss Haversham and Estella are introduced. Mrs. Joe is very pleased when Pip is given the chance to go to Miss Havershams house and play. She believes it will give him the chance to become a gentleman and make something of his life. If this boy ant grateful this night, he never will be! Pip goes off to Miss Havershams, and although the house in which she lives in decrepit, and in a very bad state, he is very impressed because it is so large, and unlike what he is used to. He is continually polite, even when Estella is rude to him. He calls the knaves, Jacks, this boy! Said Estella with disdain, before our first game was out. And what coarse hands he has! And what thick boots! She patronises him, and it dents Pips confidence, and he begins to feel he is not good enough for anything. This makes him insecure, and he wants to go home. Dickens makes the reader see his insecurity by saying Her contempt was so strong, that it became infectious, and I caught it. This makes the reader see that before the meeting, Pip is fairly content with himself, and his life, be it a lonely one, but after Estellas comments he realises he is not as good as her, and he probably will never make anything of his life. When he realises this, you can gradually see his ambitions growing, and whereas before he was perfectly happy to become Joes apprentice, he knows he wont be happy, and wants to become someone who is respected. To sum all of this up, Pip is disciplined, and fearful of certain things. He can be intimated easily, but is still respectful. He has ambitions, and plans to make something of his life, but he is also insecure about his background, and whether he has the strength of character to pull himself out of the lower class society. He is very innocent, and gets bewildered easily. Dickens shows all of this by making Pip seem a lonely young boy, with no real family or friends, and he uses imagery to portray this. We watch Pip grow up, and learn about life, and try to make sense of things that are happening around him. Dickens makes the reader feel sorry for Pip, and lets us see we can trust Pip, because he himself trusts everyone and does not doubt anyone. We can read this book and see life through a nai ve young boys eyes, and feel we are being told the absolute truth. This is the power of Dickens writing- we believe the protagonist, and feel it would wrong not to believe him.

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