Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Analysis
Great Expectations is a novel written by Charles Dickens - Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Analysis introduction. From this novel I am going to compare chapter one with chapter thirty-nine. I am going to include how the characters of pip and the convict change drastically from chapter one to chapter thirty-nine and also the setting from both chapters. I am also going to include the historical context to see how it changes throughout both chapters.
The setting in chapter one
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The setting in chapter one is like a ghost story. “Ours was the marsh country” (P1). The word marsh suggests that there is a lot of fog and mist. This makes it spooky. It also shows that pip may be frightened as he has come here for the first time; he may be perplexed with all the fog and the mist and have a smear in his mind and not know what is happening to him or around him.
As a sharp writer Charles Dickens has used a narrative hook to draw the reader’s attention. “…memorable raw afternoon towards evening” The word memorable tells the reader that something big is going to happen as well as it being a time to remember. The word raw suggests that it is extremely cold and as it is going towards evening and starting to get dark this could mean something magical or ghostly might happen.
“Bleak place”, the word bleak makes the place sound very dull and lifeless. Maybe if you went there it would make you feel unhappy and negative.
This place also sounds as though nobody really likes to go there or care for it. “Overgrown with nettles was the churchyard”. This may make the reader feel as though nobody goes their often. It also may start to make the reader ask questions such as why doesn’t anybody go there? Are they afraid? Do scary things happen?
The word nettles may tell you that pip might get stung. It could also mean that it’s not a very safe place for a young, innocent child to be at especially alone.
The churchyard is described as a very unpleasant place to be at. “Dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dykes and mounds and gates”. The word dark may make the reader picture a dark place in there head of the churchyard being a terrifying place for poor little pip.
Charles Dickens has also used a personification. “…the wind was rushing”. The word rushing tells the reader that it is extremely windy and may make little pip a bit uncomfortable.
The setting in chapter thirty-nine
“We had left Barnard’s Inn more than a year, and lived in the temple. Our chambers were in Garden court, down by the river. By Charles Dickens saying that they lived down by the river this makes it similar to chapter one when pip lived down by river even though this is now many years later.
To make it even more interesting Charles dickens adds in repetition to emphasise the terrible weather. “It was wretched weather; stormy and wet, stormy and wet; and mud, mud, mud, deep in all the streets. This makes it a lot more interesting.
“…as if in the east there was an Eternity of cloud and wind”. The word Eternity tells you that it’s never ending and that it doesn’t seem to want to stop.
Charles dickens again uses personification like he did in chapter one. “So furious had been the gusts”. The word furious tells you that the gusts were angry. “…those high buildings in town had the lead stripped of their roofs”. The word stripped suggests that the weather is very violent.
“Trees had been torn up”. The word torn suggests that the weather is very vicious.
“…and gloomy accounts had come in from the coast of shipwreck and death”. The word gloomy suggests that it is very depressing and ominous.
“Violent blasts of rain had accompanied these rages of wind, and the day jus closed as I sat down to read had been worst of all”. By using the word rages Charles dickens again uses personification.
In this chapter Charles Dickens uses a simile. “Like discharges of cannon”. This simile is comparing the wind to the cannon.
“(Opening them ever so little was out of the question in the teeth of such wind and rain)”. In this chapter the weather is classed as the monster in spite of the convict as in chapter one.
Pips Character in chapter one
In this chapter Pip is described to be a very small, young and innocent child. “My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Phillip, my infant tongue could make both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.” This shows pips innocence as he doesn’t even know how to say his own name yet. It makes him sound cute.
“As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them.” This would make the reader feel sorry for Pip as he has outlived his parents and he never actually got to see them. The reader now warms towards him. “Five little brothers of mine” This tells you that he also had five little brothers that are not with him anymore. This would also tell the reader that he is all alone and lonely but very strong and brave as he survived.
But even though Pip is very brave he is still small and feels frightened. “…and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry was Pip” This would make the reader feel sympathy towards him.
Pi, as well as being innocent is very polite. “Oh! Don’t cut my throat, sir,” I pleaded in terror. “Pray don’t do it, sir.” The way Pip uses the word “sir” it tells you that Pip has still been taught manners even though he is an orphan. The word “terror” tells the reader that Pip is extremely terrified.
Through out this chapter it makes you feel sympathy for Pip by the way he is described about how he is feeling and what he is doing. “…I was seated on a high tombstone, trembling, while he ate the bread ravenously.” The word “trembling” would make the reader feel sympathy for Pip.
Pip is described as weak and underweight for his age. “I believe they were fat, though I was at that time undersized for my years, and not strong.” This may tell the reader that he doesn’t not get fed as much as he should and his from a poor family. He is not a healthy child.
“…to keep myself from crying.” This shows that Pips wants to look strong and doesn’t want to show how frightened he is. He wants to keep his tears in. This would make the reader feel very sorry for him.
Pip is now living with his sister. “My sister, sir-Mrs Joe Gargery wife of Joe Gargery, the blacksmith, sir” He also has nobody else other than her.
The convict wants to make Pip feel small and helpless. “…so as to give me a greater sense of helplessness and danger.” This would tell you that Pip has no control over what is happening. The convict is in charge.
Pip feels dreadful. “I was dreadfully frightened, and so giddy that I clung to him with both hands, and said, “If you would kindly please let me keep upright, sir, perhaps I shouldn’t be sick, and perhaps I could attend more”. Pip is trying to compromise with him. “I said that I would get him the file, and I would get him what broken bits of food I could, and I would come to him at the battery, early in the morning.” This shows that Pip was so scared that at that point he would give anything to get home as fast as he could. He even promised the convict food.
Pip finally gets away. “But, now I was frightened again, and ran home without stopping.” Pip wanted to get home as quickly as possible.
Pips Character in chapter thirty nine…
Pip is now a lot older than in chapter one. “I was three and twenty years of age”. He is now twenty three years old and in chapter one he was just a young child. He now keeps him self occupied by reading which he very much enjoys. “I had a taste for reading, and regularly did so many hours a day.” He may read a lot as he may not have anything else to do as he now lives alone and may feel extremely lonely. “I was alone, and had a dull sense of being alone.” This is the same as chapter one when he was all alone in the churchyard.
He is also missing his friend. “I sadly missed the cheerful face and ready response of my friend” This tells you that he doesn’t see his friend much anymore. But this is different to chapter one as he did not have no friend at all.
Pip has also grown up with a lot of imagination. “I thought, raising my eyes to them as they rocked, that I might have fancied myself in a storm beaten light house.” This may tell the reader that he is very creative and reads a lot of imaginative boos and gets his imagination from their. “What nervous folly made me start, and awfully connect it with the footstep of my dead sister, matters not.” This shows that even though Pip is now a lot older mature he still feels frightened likewise to chapter one when he was extremely afraid. In chapter one Pip met the convict, but many years on he doesn’t remember his face. “I had seen a face that was strange to me, looking up with and incomprehensible air of being touched and pleased by the sight of me.” This convict in this chapter is pleased by the sight of Pip but it was the opposite in chapter one when the convict wasn’t very pleased to see him.
Even thought Pip is now a grown man he still is very polite. “Pray, what is your business?” I asked him.” This is also the same as chapter one when he was polite when speaking. But in chapter one the convict was the one with the power, but not anymore Pip is now the one with the power. “I had asked him the question inhospitably enough.” This has been a bit of a role reversal. Pip may be feeling as though the convict is under his roof so he should be the one under control and now that he is also a gentleman and the convict is a scrum bag.
“What do you mean?” said I, half suspecting to be mad”. This sounds as though it has been said in a nasty tone of voice and also tells the reader that he has no affection. Maybe, if this was chapter one Pip may have shown affection but now he is totally different.
“Why do you, a stranger coming in to my rooms at this time of night, ask that affection?” said I.” This makes Pip sound rude and arrogant as he has spoken in a very negative manner. He sounds like a totally different character now as in chapter one he was kind, caring and very innocent. “I relinquished the intention he has detected, for I knew him! Even yet, I could not recall a single feature, but I knew him!” Pip finally recognises the convict.
The last time Pip met the convict in the churchyard he knew that the convict had the power. But now Pip knows he’s in charge. “Where we stood face to face on such different levels.” Pip now knows he is the one with the power and not the convict.
Now that Pip has got the power and money he seems to be acting like a snob. “I reluctantly gave him my hand.” Pip doesn’t want to give his hand, he thinks he is too high standard now to be shaking hands with the convict as Pip is now a gentlemen where as the convict is not.
“I laid a hand upon his breast and put him away. “Stay” said I. “Keep off! If you are grateful to me for what I did when I was a child.” This tells you that Pip has changed a lot since he became a gentlemen and more wealth. He is not very nice at all to the convict as he shoves him right out the way. When Pip uses the word “stay” this would tell the reader that the convict is being told to stay away. Pip also remembers what he did for him when he was a child.
“You was a-saying,” he observed, when he had confronted one another in silence, “That surely I must understand. What, surely must I understand?” This tells you that Pip thinks he is better than the convict. This also proves what a snob Pip has turned in to.
But then Pip suddenly has a change over. “But I was softened by the softened aspect of the man”. This is something the old Pip would have done. He then even apologises. “I am sorry”. He feels bad about the way he spoke and then regrets it.
Basically in this chapter Pip is a different person. His personality had totally changed.
The convict’s character in chapter one…
Able Magwich is described as a frightening monster. He is a bully to Pip. “Hold your noise!” cried a terrible voice.” His voice is as terrible as he is. The convict is described very negatively and unpleasantly.
“A fearful man, all in coarse gray, with a great iron on his leg. This would tell the reader that Able Magwich is a prisoner that has escaped with a big ball of iron on his leg. This would also suggest that he is extremely strong as he has escaped with such a heavy ball attached to his leg.
“A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled, and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin”. The words “glared and growled” show you that he act like a monster as well as he looks like one. The words “teeth chattered” suggest how he acts like an animal.
The convict is very strong. “…turned me up side down” As well as him being very strong he was also very quick. “Sudden and strong” It then again tells you how wild he is. “…he ate the bread ravenously” He even eats like an animal.
“He started made a short run, and stopped and looked over his shoulder.” This would make it obvious to the reader that he is on the run and that he is nervous. He also sounds as though he is frightened and vulnerable.
“…his eyes look most powerfully down in to mine” This suggests that the convict is in control, he is the one with all the power. He is also very violent. “Or I’ll have your heart and liver out.” He threatens poor little Pip.
Even though he is very frightening he has a funny side to him. “I wish a was a frog. Or a eel!” He has a humorous side to him.
The convicts character in chapter thirty nine…
“Yes,” said a voice from the darkness beneath”. This tells you it is very dark and it may be something evil. This could give the reader a clue that it is the convict.
The convict is back but Pip hasn’t recognised him just yet.
“I made out that he was substantially dressed, but roughly; like a voyager by the sea. That he had long iron-grey hair. That his age was about sixty. That he was a muscular man, strong on his legs, and that he was browned and hardened by exposure to weather. As he ascended the last stair or two, and light of my lamp included us both, I saw, with a stupid kind of amazement, that he was holding out both hands to me.” This is totally different from the first chapter; he now is actually showing some affection to Pip. “I will explain my business, by your leave.” This means by Pips permission. He has now got manners unlike in chapter one when he was rude and arrogant. He also uses the word “master” when talking to Pip. Pip is now the one with the power. He was acting very different, like a whole new character. “He looked about him with the strangest air-an air of wandering pleasure, as if he had some part in the things he admired.” He also shows a lot of affection to Pip.
“…once more holding out both his hands to me”. This is different to the first chapter as then he was very mean to Pip and did not like him at all.
“I’ll speak in half a minute. Give me half a minute, please” This would tell the reader that he is desperate to talk to Pip. He also says “please” this shows that he has now learnt his manners. You also start to warm towards the convict in this chapter. “He grasped them heartily, raised them to his lips, kissed them, and still helped them.” The convict is showing affection again. It also makes you feel sorry for him because of the way Pip talks to him and treats him. But he still talks to Pip as though he is his long lost son. “…noble, my boy” He is proud of Pip.
“…his eyes were full of tears.” This could me he is either upset or so full of joy and proud of Pip that he has become a gentlemen and he is so happy to see him. This would make to reader warm towards the convict.
The historical context in chapter one…
Historical context is mentioned throughout chapter one. “For their days were long before the days of photograph”. This would give the reader a clue that it was set in the late 1800s as they were no photographs then. There was also “universal struggle” This means life was a struggle for poor people. It also tells us that it was set in Victorian times by the way they speak. “Sir” people would not normally say this. “Pint out the place” Nobody would speak like this now. Also in them days people were hung for their crimes “…gibber” Nobody would get hung now.
The historical context in chapter thirty-nine…
Mainly the historical context in this chapter is used in speech such as when Pip says “there is nothing the matter?” In the modern society we would no speak like that. He also says at one time. “Pray, what is your business?”