Born in February 1812, Charles Dickens became the second of eight children. Using his own childhood experiences, Dickens went on to write a wide range of novels know world-wide. In 1860, Dickens novel ‘Great Expectations’ was published. The novel explores the way society was viewed in 1821. Dickens novel follows the narrator, Pip, as he goes to London in his quest to become a gentleman. He carefully chose words, situations and characters to manipulate the way the reader felt about and read the story.
I will be analysing his techniques and how he used them to manipulate the reader’s feelings towards the characters throughout this essay. In the novel, Pip comes across many people and has his opinion on them. Due to the fact we are seeing the story through Pip’s eyes; because the novel is in first person, we often will have the same opinion on them as he does. However, we can choose whether Pip is a reliable source or not. Mr. Joe Gargery is married to Pips sister and is really the only male figure in his life. Miss Havisham is brought up in Chapter eight.
An immensely rich woman living on her own. She is a woman who calls on Pip to come and play in her house. Early on we are introduced to Joe. Described as an easy-going, very nice man, we have the same impression of him as pip does because we meet him through Pip. “He was a mild, good-natured, sweet tempered, easy going sort of fellow. ” This list of positive adjectives creates a compassionate view towards him. The words ‘Mild’ and ‘Good’ and ‘Sweet’ portray Joe as innocent and pure, like a child. Joe explains to Pip that when he was a child, his father beat his mother and him.
After running away they would return giving him another chance, yet he would resort to violence again. “I’ll tell you. My Father, Pip, he were given to drink, and when he were overtook with drink, he hammered away at my mother, most omerciful. It were a’most the only hammering he did, ‘xceptin myself. And he hammered at me with a wigour only to be equaled by the wigour, with which he didn’t hammer at his anwil. ” Dickens use of repeating the word ‘Hammer’ or ‘Hammering’ enforces on us the idea that Joe was beaten regularly.
However, even though Joe knows his father beat him, he still provided a reason for it, saying it was due to the drink. Perhaps because of Joes past and his reluctance to be like his father, this has lead to Joe being weak with women and letting them walk over him. This makes us feel merciful towards Joe and hope he gets a better life. Due to Joe’s past, he didn’t get any schooling as a child. His father would go after him and his mother when they had left. Joe would be in school and his father would take him and his mother home and beat them.
Joe then wouldn’t be enrolled again in school. “Consequence, my mother and me, we ran away from my father, several times; and then my mother, she’d go out to work, and she’d say ‘Joe,’ she’d say, ‘now, please God, you shall have some schooling- child’ and she’d put me to school. But my father were that good in hart that he couldn’t abear to be without us. So, he’d come with a most tremenjous crowd and make such a row at the doors of the houses where we was, that they used to give us up to him. And then he took us home and hammered us.
Which you see, Pip,” said Joe, pausing in his meditative raking of the fire, and looking at me, “were a draw-back on my learning. This extract from page 46 reinforces the fact that Joe wanted to learn, but yet again, his father took it from him. Joe’s father died and not long after so did his mother. Joe sits and tells Pip of what were his intentions to have a poem engraved on his father’s tombstone, yet after his mother died all the money was for his mother. ” ‘… It were my intentions to have had it cut over him; but poetry costs money, but it how you will, small or large, and it were not done.
Not to mention bearers, all the money that could be spared were wanted for my mother. She were in poor elth, and quite broke. She weren’t long following, poor soul, and her share of peace came round at last. ‘ Joe’s blue eyes turned a little watery… ” Thinking back about his mother brings Joe to tears. This evokes on us the impression that Joe is lonely yet compassionate, and that as he has a wife he is clinging on to what he has left so he isn’t lonely. Introduced in chapter eight is Miss Havisham. Pip is standing outside Miss Havisham’s house when we first get a glimpse of what her character is like.
A lot of Dickens novels written in the 19th century had one thing in common. The characters personality was shown in their house. Miss Havisham’s house for instance is described on page 55. ” … We came to Miss Havisham’s house, which was of old brick, and dismal, and has a great many iron bars to it. Some of the windows had been walled up; of those that remained, all the lower were rustily barred. From reading this paragraph, Dickens has already described Miss Havisham to a great extent. ‘Old brick’ This is used to show that Miss Havisham has passed her youth and is getting on in her life.
‘Many iron bars to it’ This is used to show that Miss Havisham is a recluse. She doesn’t ever leave and the usage of iron bars makes the house seem like a prison keeping her in there. “There was a court-yard in front, and that was barred; so, we had to wait… until someone should come to open it. ” This adds to the eeriness of the house as well, but also reflects Miss Havisham’s character. Old. Deserted. Alone. Entering the house, Pip follows Estella, who collected him, to Miss Havisham’s room. Her room is quite big and grand, “And found myself in a pretty large room, well lighted with wax candles…
In it was a draped table with a gilded looking-glass, and that I made out a first sight to be a fine lady’s dressing-table. ” This description makes us feel that Miss Havisham is a fine woman, who is upper class. In Great Expectations, Dickens depicts an eccentric character in Miss Havisham. The unmarried Miss Havisham seems to conform to and deny the sociel standards of unmarried women in the Victorian Times. Spinsters and old maids had particular attitudes in these times. Miss Havisham, along with several other female characters in the novel, shows the fact that unmarried women were growing in their number.