Analysis ”Great Expectations” by Dickens Essay Sample

Analysis ”Great Expectations” by Dickens Pages
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‘Great Expectations’ was one of Dickens’ best-known novels and was written in 1860. ‘Great Expectations’ is a Bildungsroman and follows the progression of Pip from child to adult; from humble blacksmith to gentleman; from innocence to experience; from rags to riches and on his journey, Pip meets a range of interesting characters, from the comical Wemmick, to the cruel Estella. This novel reflects parts of Victorian times, with class divide, child labour and improving one’s fortunes.

Dickens wrote to entertain the public and the public got a say in how the novel progressed due to the fact that Dickens wrote in monthly instalments in a magazine called ‘Household Words’. Dickens even had to re-write the final chapter so that the public was satisfied. Therefore Dickens needed to make his characters striking and memorable so that they were remembered later in the book.

This novel also reflects Dickens’ own life experiences. Dickens was poor as a child and throughout his life, he worked his way up and became rich and this is reflected in the story with Pip going from a poor, lower class boy to a rich, upper class gentleman.

In this essay I am going to explore how Dickens made his key characters striking and memorable by using different methods.

Section 1- Magwitch

Dickens wrote ‘Great Expectations’ in the first person perspective of Pip. By doing this Dickens used a method by which he can create memorable and striking characters because the way that Pip reacts to the characters and the way they treat Pip makes us remember them. At the beginning of the book in chapter 1, Pip meets Magwitch, an escaped convict who threatens Pip. Dickens had to make sure that Magwitch made an impression on the reader because Magwitch is important to Pip’s future

Pip describes Magwitch as “a fearful man” and he goes on to say he has “coarse, grey clothes” which gives the impression that Magwitch is frightening and dangerous. He has “a great iron on his leg” which shows us this character is a convict and that he may be dangerous. The fact that Magwitch is “soaked in water, smothered in mud, lamed by stones, cut by flints and stung by nettles” makes us have pity for Magwitch and makes us ask questions such as why is Magwitch here? This creates conflicting emotions within the reader.

Dickens also uses characters speech to make them striking and memorable for the reader. We actually hear Magwitch before we see him and his first words are “hold your noise!” This immediately shocks us as well as Pip and the use of the imperative verb gives Magwitch authority. This is then added to with a threat, “keep still you little devil or I’ll cut your throat” This order again shocks the reader and we don’t like the idea of a grown man threatening a young child. We fear for Pip’s safety and we ask questions such as: Why is this man threatening Pip? And what does he want with Pip?

The background that a character appears on also affects the way a reader reacts to the character and can help to build an impression. The more unusual or impressive the background, the more we remember it and the characters that appeared on it. Magwitch is presented against a dark, bleak background, with red and black lines in the sky suggesting helplessness and foreboding. The fact that this is a “memorable raw afternoon towards evening” immediately suggests that something important is going to happen and also fills us with a sense of unease. The description of the churchyard, “overgrown with nettles” makes us think of the setting in a horror story and this accentuates the horrible impression we have of Magwitch

When Pip meets Magwitch he is scared and stutters when he speaks because he is frightened and nervous. Pip is terrified of the convict and tries to please him by getting him food. Pip is horrified and is afraid that Magwitch will hurt him, “Oh! Don’t cut my throat sir, Pray don’t do it sir” Pip also had to keep himself from crying when Magwitch says, “What fat cheeks you ha’ got. Darn me if I couldn’t eat ’em and I han’t half a mind to’t” This shocks us and makes us feel worried for Pip. We feel sorry for Pip because he had been put in this situation and this makes us despise the convict and also means that we remember him when he comes back into the story.

Section 2- Miss Havisham

Miss Havisham, the jilted young bride is the second character Pip meets on his journey. He meets her on his first visit to ‘Satis House’ and she makes Pip realise his lower class status. She also introduces Pip to the cruel Estella, who he falls in love with. When Pip is given the means to become a gentleman he believes that Miss Havisham is his benefactor.

One way in which Miss Havisham is made striking and memorable is by her appearance, Pip describes her to be “dressed in rich materials- satins and lace and all of white” and that she had “bridal flowers in her hair”, then he continues to say, “but her hair was white.” Already Dickens had made Miss Havisham striking as it is not normal for an old lady to have bridal flowers in her hair. With this information the reader is shocked and is wondering what her personality is like.

Dickens has now made Miss Havisham striking and memorable by her appearance alone and has made us ask questions such as: Why is this lady dressed like this? And what is her personality like?

Pip said that “The bride, like the dress, had withered” This gives the image that Miss Havisham is old and withered, who has grown old wearing this dress that has grown old with her.

Another way in which Dickens makes Miss Havisham striking and memorable is the setting in which he places her. Pip meets Miss Havisham in the ‘dressing room’, which is strange and unusual because it was not normal to have gusts in your dressing room. Pip continues to say that it was a “pretty large room, well lighted with wax candles”, this is also very strange as Pip went to visit ‘Satis House’ during the day and wax candles were very expensive in those times. Therefore people usually save the candles for the evenings and use as much natural light as possible during the day. This setting is quite striking for Pip and for the reader and gives the impression that Miss Havisham is strange and makes the reader ask questions such as: “Why is the room lighted with candles instead of natural light?”

Pip goes on to say that all of the “clocks had stopped at twenty to nine”. Dickens made Miss Havisham a mystery, she is so bizarre and strange that she was very memorable for the reader.

Again Dickens uses speech to make Miss Havisham striking and memorable, Miss Havisham asks a lot of questions of other people, but doesn’t expect any questions asked of herself. She asks very straight forward questions but is also snappy and is quite commanding, “Play, Play, Play!” for example, she like telling people what to do, “beggar him”, “you can break his heart.”

Miss Havisham also said some very strange things, “I know nothing of the days of the week, I know nothing of the weeks of the year” when Pip asked when he should re-visit. This is very strange because Miss Havisham’s an upper class citizen and should know the days of the week and months of the year. So all of these factors make Miss Havisham a striking and memorable character.

Section 3- Wemmick

Wemmick is the third character Pip meets, Wemmick is a middle class clerk who has been employed by Jaggers the lawyer. Pip first meets Wemmick when he arrives in London and Wemmick befriends Pip. Wemmick is one of few comic characters in the book and because Pip likes him, we like him too.

Pip describes Wemmick as a “dry man” and goes on to say he is “rather short in stature” he also says that Wemmick had “a square wooden face whose expression seemed to have been imperfectly chipped out with a dull-edged chisel.” This means that he has a dry sense of humour. He has no expression on his face but has the ability to make the reader laugh and because of this he is made striking and memorable. This also shows that Wemmick is middle-class. Pip also says, “he wore at least four mourning rings”, “a brooch” and also says “several rings and seals hung at his watch chain” This is very odd and presents Wemmick as an eccentric character.

Wemmicks speech also makes him striking and memorable. Wemmick tells Pip, “I am my own engineer, carpenter, plumber, and gardener” This means that Wemmick does everything, he is a ‘jack of all trades’ he does everything around the house and doesn’t need a specialist to help him which again presents him as eccentric and unusual. While telling Pip about his house, Wemmick says, “I have got hold of it, a bit at a time. It’s a freehold” this is very unusual because most people didn’t own their own house in those day, they only rented them. Wemmick also says, “The office is one thing, and private life is another,” meaning that Wemmick believes that the two sides of his life should be kept separate which is again very strange.

Wemmicks setting is perhaps the strangest in the book and is one of the main ways in which Wemmick is made striking and memorable. Pip says, “It appeared to be a collection of back lanes, ditches, and little gardens, and to present the aspect of a rather dull retirement” and goes on to say, “Wemmick’s house was a little wooden cottage in the midst of plots of garden and the top of it was cut out and painted like a battery mounted with guns.” This is a very peculiar house and because of its strangeness, it makes us wonder why Wemmick has chosen to build his house like this and have it in this area.

Pip goes onto say that it was the smallest house he had ever seen. We know that it must be very small because Pip was brought up in a lower class environment and so would have had a small house. This house is very bizarre and we know this because Pip says that there is “a drawbridge” and “a flagstaff”, and the house has “sham gothic windows” and he said it was a “gothic house” that seemed like a “fortress”, it had a gun which was actually a small cannon and even had a little farm, it had an ornamental lake, a fountain and had twisted paths. This is extremely odd and this shows that Wemmick can supply for himself and so must have quite a lot of money. Pip finds this character strange and comical, and because of that, we also believe he is strange and comical. Pip also seems to like Wemmick and therefore, the reader likes him too. His setting also makes the reader ask questions of the text such as: “Why does this man have such a peculiar house?”

Another way in which Wemmick is presented as eccentric and unusual is through the way he acts. His house has a moat with a four-foot gap and a two-foot depth and Wemmick has made a drawbridge to cross it and Pip says he hoists it up with pride. By doing this Wemmick is cutting off the outside world both physically and symbolically. Wemmick communicates to his father, (referred to as the poor old aged) by nodding, and this again shows how unusual Wemmick is.

Pip talks about a “bizarre ceremony” where Wemmick and his father fire the gun on the roof of his house. Pip says, “aged heats the poker and Wemmick times it to perfection. Wemmick stood with his watch in his hand until the moment had come for him to take the red hot poker from the aged and repair to the battery.” This is extremely unusual and very bizarre and this makes Wemmick striking and memorable.

Conclusion:

Dickens uses different techniques to make characters striking and memorable; he manages to make a variety of characters from a range of social backgrounds striking and memorable through use of physical description, setting and speech. The way that the characters interact with Pip is also important.

Dickens makes Magwitch striking and memorable because of the way he is introduced through speech and the way he makes Pip and us feel.

Miss Havisham is made particularly memorable to the reader, as she is so bizarre- receiving Pip initially in her dressing room and living her life in a time warp.

Wemmick is perhaps the character most people can relate to- he is middle class and lives two separate lives. His individualism, his appearance and choice of home make him striking and memorable.

The character who makes the biggest impression on me is Mr Wemmick because I think that his house and his actions are very bizarre and I believe he is a funny character and I think he is the character I can relate to.

‘Great Expectations’ was one of Dickens’ best-known novels and was written in 1860. ‘Great Expectations’ is a Bildungsroman and follows the progression of Pip from child to adult; from humble blacksmith to gentleman; from innocence to experience; from rags to riches and on his journey, Pip meets a range of interesting characters, from the comical Wemmick, to the cruel Estella. This novel reflects parts of Victorian times, with class divide, child labour and improving one’s fortunes.

Dickens wrote to entertain the public and the public got a say in how the novel progressed due to the fact that Dickens wrote in monthly instalments in a magazine called ‘Household Words’. Dickens even had to re-write the final chapter so that the public was satisfied. Therefore Dickens needed to make his characters striking and memorable so that they were remembered later in the book.

This novel also reflects Dickens’ own life experiences. Dickens was poor as a child and throughout his life, he worked his way up and became rich and this is reflected in the story with Pip going from a poor, lower class boy to a rich, upper class gentleman.

In this essay I am going to explore how Dickens made his key characters striking and memorable by using different methods.

Section 1- Magwitch

Dickens wrote ‘Great Expectations’ in the first person perspective of Pip. By doing this Dickens used a method by which he can create memorable and striking characters because the way that Pip reacts to the characters and the way they treat Pip makes us remember them. At the beginning of the book in chapter 1, Pip meets Magwitch, an escaped convict who threatens Pip. Dickens had to make sure that Magwitch made an impression on the reader because Magwitch is important to Pip’s future

Pip describes Magwitch as “a fearful man” and he goes on to say he has “coarse, grey clothes” which gives the impression that Magwitch is frightening and dangerous. He has “a great iron on his leg” which shows us this character is a convict and that he may be dangerous. The fact that Magwitch is “soaked in water, smothered in mud, lamed by stones, cut by flints and stung by nettles” makes us have pity for Magwitch and makes us ask questions such as why is Magwitch here? This creates conflicting emotions within the reader.

Dickens also uses characters speech to make them striking and memorable for the reader. We actually hear Magwitch before we see him and his first words are “hold your noise!” This immediately shocks us as well as Pip and the use of the imperative verb gives Magwitch authority. This is then added to with a threat, “keep still you little devil or I’ll cut your throat” This order again shocks the reader and we don’t like the idea of a grown man threatening a young child. We fear for Pip’s safety and we ask questions such as: Why is this man threatening Pip? And what does he want with Pip?

The background that a character appears on also affects the way a reader reacts to the character and can help to build an impression. The more unusual or impressive the background, the more we remember it and the characters that appeared on it. Magwitch is presented against a dark, bleak background, with red and black lines in the sky suggesting helplessness and foreboding. The fact that this is a “memorable raw afternoon towards evening” immediately suggests that something important is going to happen and also fills us with a sense of unease. The description of the churchyard, “overgrown with nettles” makes us think of the setting in a horror story and this accentuates the horrible impression we have of Magwitch

When Pip meets Magwitch he is scared and stutters when he speaks because he is frightened and nervous. Pip is terrified of the convict and tries to please him by getting him food. Pip is horrified and is afraid that Magwitch will hurt him, “Oh! Don’t cut my throat sir, Pray don’t do it sir” Pip also had to keep himself from crying when Magwitch says, “What fat cheeks you ha’ got. Darn me if I couldn’t eat ’em and I han’t half a mind to’t” This shocks us and makes us feel worried for Pip. We feel sorry for Pip because he had been put in this situation and this makes us despise the convict and also means that we remember him when he comes back into the story.

Section 2- Miss Havisham

Miss Havisham, the jilted young bride is the second character Pip meets on his journey. He meets her on his first visit to ‘Satis House’ and she makes Pip realise his lower class status. She also introduces Pip to the cruel Estella, who he falls in love with. When Pip is given the means to become a gentleman he believes that Miss Havisham is his benefactor.

One way in which Miss Havisham is made striking and memorable is by her appearance, Pip describes her to be “dressed in rich materials- satins and lace and all of white” and that she had “bridal flowers in her hair”, then he continues to say, “but her hair was white.” Already Dickens had made Miss Havisham striking as it is not normal for an old lady to have bridal flowers in her hair. With this information the reader is shocked and is wondering what her personality is like.

Dickens has now made Miss Havisham striking and memorable by her appearance alone and has made us ask questions such as: Why is this lady dressed like this? And what is her personality like?

Pip said that “The bride, like the dress, had withered” This gives the image that Miss Havisham is old and withered, who has grown old wearing this dress that has grown old with her.

Another way in which Dickens makes Miss Havisham striking and memorable is the setting in which he places her. Pip meets Miss Havisham in the ‘dressing room’, which is strange and unusual because it was not normal to have gusts in your dressing room. Pip continues to say that it was a “pretty large room, well lighted with wax candles”, this is also very strange as Pip went to visit ‘Satis House’ during the day and wax candles were very expensive in those times. Therefore people usually save the candles for the evenings and use as much natural light as possible during the day. This setting is quite striking for Pip and for the reader and gives the impression that Miss Havisham is strange and makes the reader ask questions such as: “Why is the room lighted with candles instead of natural light?”

Pip goes on to say that all of the “clocks had stopped at twenty to nine”. Dickens made Miss Havisham a mystery, she is so bizarre and strange that she was very memorable for the reader.

Again Dickens uses speech to make Miss Havisham striking and memorable, Miss Havisham asks a lot of questions of other people, but doesn’t expect any questions asked of herself. She asks very straight forward questions but is also snappy and is quite commanding, “Play, Play, Play!” for example, she like telling people what to do, “beggar him”, “you can break his heart.”

Miss Havisham also said some very strange things, “I know nothing of the days of the week, I know nothing of the weeks of the year” when Pip asked when he should re-visit. This is very strange because Miss Havisham’s an upper class citizen and should know the days of the week and months of the year. So all of these factors make Miss Havisham a striking and memorable character.

Section 3- Wemmick

Wemmick is the third character Pip meets, Wemmick is a middle class clerk who has been employed by Jaggers the lawyer. Pip first meets Wemmick when he arrives in London and Wemmick befriends Pip. Wemmick is one of few comic characters in the book and because Pip likes him, we like him too.

Pip describes Wemmick as a “dry man” and goes on to say he is “rather short in stature” he also says that Wemmick had “a square wooden face whose expression seemed to have been imperfectly chipped out with a dull-edged chisel.” This means that he has a dry sense of humour. He has no expression on his face but has the ability to make the reader laugh and because of this he is made striking and memorable. This also shows that Wemmick is middle-class. Pip also says, “he wore at least four mourning rings”, “a brooch” and also says “several rings and seals hung at his watch chain” This is very odd and presents Wemmick as an eccentric character.

Wemmicks speech also makes him striking and memorable. Wemmick tells Pip, “I am my own engineer, carpenter, plumber, and gardener” This means that Wemmick does everything, he is a ‘jack of all trades’ he does everything around the house and doesn’t need a specialist to help him which again presents him as eccentric and unusual. While telling Pip about his house, Wemmick says, “I have got hold of it, a bit at a time. It’s a freehold” this is very unusual because most people didn’t own their own house in those day, they only rented them. Wemmick also says, “The office is one thing, and private life is another,” meaning that Wemmick believes that the two sides of his life should be kept separate which is again very strange.

Wemmicks setting is perhaps the strangest in the book and is one of the main ways in which Wemmick is made striking and memorable. Pip says, “It appeared to be a collection of back lanes, ditches, and little gardens, and to present the aspect of a rather dull retirement” and goes on to say, “Wemmick’s house was a little wooden cottage in the midst of plots of garden and the top of it was cut out and painted like a battery mounted with guns.” This is a very peculiar house and because of its strangeness, it makes us wonder why Wemmick has chosen to build his house like this and have it in this area. Pip goes onto say that it was the smallest house he had ever seen. We know that it must be very small because Pip was brought up in a lower class environment and so would have had a small house. This house is very bizarre and we know this because Pip says that there is “a drawbridge” and “a flagstaff”, and the house has “sham gothic windows” and he said it was a “gothic house” that seemed like a “fortress”, it had a gun which was actually a small cannon and even had a little farm, it had an ornamental lake, a fountain and had twisted paths. This is extremely odd and this shows that Wemmick can supply for himself and so must have quite a lot of money. Pip finds this character strange and comical, and because of that, we also believe he is strange and comical. Pip also seems to like Wemmick and therefore, the reader likes him too. His setting also makes the reader ask questions of the text such as: “Why does this man have such a peculiar house?”

Another way in which Wemmick is presented as eccentric and unusual is through the way he acts. His house has a moat with a four-foot gap and a two-foot depth and Wemmick has made a drawbridge to cross it and Pip says he hoists it up with pride. By doing this Wemmick is cutting off the outside world both physically and symbolically. Wemmick communicates to his father, (referred to as the poor old aged) by nodding, and this again shows how unusual Wemmick is.

Pip talks about a “bizarre ceremony” where Wemmick and his father fire the gun on the roof of his house. Pip says, “aged heats the poker and Wemmick times it to perfection. Wemmick stood with his watch in his hand until the moment had come for him to take the red hot poker from the aged and repair to the battery.” This is extremely unusual and very bizarre and this makes Wemmick striking and memorable.

Conclusion:

Dickens uses different techniques to make characters striking and memorable; he manages to make a variety of characters from a range of social backgrounds striking and memorable through use of physical description, setting and speech. The way that the characters interact with Pip is also important.

Dickens makes Magwitch striking and memorable because of the way he is introduced through speech and the way he makes Pip and us feel.

Miss Havisham is made particularly memorable to the reader, as she is so bizarre- receiving Pip initially in her dressing room and living her life in a time warp.

Wemmick is perhaps the character most people can relate to- he is middle class and lives two separate lives. His individualism, his appearance and choice of home make him striking and memorable.

The character who makes the biggest impression on me is Mr Wemmick because I think that his house and his actions are very bizarre and I believe he is a funny character and I think he is the character I can relate to.

‘Great Expectations’ was one of Dickens’ best-known novels and was written in 1860. ‘Great Expectations’ is a Bildungsroman and follows the progression of Pip from child to adult; from humble blacksmith to gentleman; from innocence to experience; from rags to riches and on his journey, Pip meets a range of interesting characters, from the comical Wemmick, to the cruel Estella. This novel reflects parts of Victorian times, with class divide, child labour and improving one’s fortunes.

Dickens wrote to entertain the public and the public got a say in how the novel progressed due to the fact that Dickens wrote in monthly instalments in a magazine called ‘Household Words’. Dickens even had to re-write the final chapter so that the public was satisfied. Therefore Dickens needed to make his characters striking and memorable so that they were remembered later in the book.

This novel also reflects Dickens’ own life experiences. Dickens was poor as a child and throughout his life, he worked his way up and became rich and this is reflected in the story with Pip going from a poor, lower class boy to a rich, upper class gentleman.

In this essay I am going to explore how Dickens made his key characters striking and memorable by using different methods.

Section 1- Magwitch

Dickens wrote ‘Great Expectations’ in the first person perspective of Pip. By doing this Dickens used a method by which he can create memorable and striking characters because the way that Pip reacts to the characters and the way they treat Pip makes us remember them. At the beginning of the book in chapter 1, Pip meets Magwitch, an escaped convict who threatens Pip. Dickens had to make sure that Magwitch made an impression on the reader because Magwitch is important to Pip’s future

Pip describes Magwitch as “a fearful man” and he goes on to say he has “coarse, grey clothes” which gives the impression that Magwitch is frightening and dangerous. He has “a great iron on his leg” which shows us this character is a convict and that he may be dangerous. The fact that Magwitch is “soaked in water, smothered in mud, lamed by stones, cut by flints and stung by nettles” makes us have pity for Magwitch and makes us ask questions such as why is Magwitch here? This creates conflicting emotions within the reader.

Dickens also uses characters speech to make them striking and memorable for the reader. We actually hear Magwitch before we see him and his first words are “hold your noise!” This immediately shocks us as well as Pip and the use of the imperative verb gives Magwitch authority. This is then added to with a threat, “keep still you little devil or I’ll cut your throat” This order again shocks the reader and we don’t like the idea of a grown man threatening a young child. We fear for Pip’s safety and we ask questions such as: Why is this man threatening Pip? And what does he want with Pip?

The background that a character appears on also affects the way a reader reacts to the character and can help to build an impression. The more unusual or impressive the background, the more we remember it and the characters that appeared on it. Magwitch is presented against a dark, bleak background, with red and black lines in the sky suggesting helplessness and foreboding. The fact that this is a “memorable raw afternoon towards evening” immediately suggests that something important is going to happen and also fills us with a sense of unease. The description of the churchyard, “overgrown with nettles” makes us think of the setting in a horror story and this accentuates the horrible impression we have of Magwitch

When Pip meets Magwitch he is scared and stutters when he speaks because he is frightened and nervous. Pip is terrified of the convict and tries to please him by getting him food. Pip is horrified and is afraid that Magwitch will hurt him, “Oh! Don’t cut my throat sir, Pray don’t do it sir” Pip also had to keep himself from crying when Magwitch says, “What fat cheeks you ha’ got. Darn me if I couldn’t eat ’em and I han’t half a mind to’t” This shocks us and makes us feel worried for Pip. We feel sorry for Pip because he had been put in this situation and this makes us despise the convict and also means that we remember him when he comes back into the story.

Section 2- Miss Havisham

Miss Havisham, the jilted young bride is the second character Pip meets on his journey. He meets her on his first visit to ‘Satis House’ and she makes Pip realise his lower class status. She also introduces Pip to the cruel Estella, who he falls in love with. When Pip is given the means to become a gentleman he believes that Miss Havisham is his benefactor.

One way in which Miss Havisham is made striking and memorable is by her appearance, Pip describes her to be “dressed in rich materials- satins and lace and all of white” and that she had “bridal flowers in her hair”, then he continues to say, “but her hair was white.” Already Dickens had made Miss Havisham striking as it is not normal for an old lady to have bridal flowers in her hair. With this information the reader is shocked and is wondering what her personality is like.

Dickens has now made Miss Havisham striking and memorable by her appearance alone and has made us ask questions such as: Why is this lady dressed like this? And what is her personality like?

Pip said that “The bride, like the dress, had withered” This gives the image that Miss Havisham is old and withered, who has grown old wearing this dress that has grown old with her.

Another way in which Dickens makes Miss Havisham striking and memorable is the setting in which he places her. Pip meets Miss Havisham in the ‘dressing room’, which is strange and unusual because it was not normal to have gusts in your dressing room. Pip continues to say that it was a “pretty large room, well lighted with wax candles”, this is also very strange as Pip went to visit ‘Satis House’ during the day and wax candles were very expensive in those times. Therefore people usually save the candles for the evenings and use as much natural light as possible during the day. This setting is quite striking for Pip and for the reader and gives the impression that Miss Havisham is strange and makes the reader ask questions such as: “Why is the room lighted with candles instead of natural light?”

Pip goes on to say that all of the “clocks had stopped at twenty to nine”. Dickens made Miss Havisham a mystery, she is so bizarre and strange that she was very memorable for the reader.

Again Dickens uses speech to make Miss Havisham striking and memorable, Miss Havisham asks a lot of questions of other people, but doesn’t expect any questions asked of herself. She asks very straight forward questions but is also snappy and is quite commanding, “Play, Play, Play!” for example, she like telling people what to do, “beggar him”, “you can break his heart.”

Miss Havisham also said some very strange things, “I know nothing of the days of the week, I know nothing of the weeks of the year” when Pip asked when he should re-visit. This is very strange because Miss Havisham’s an upper class citizen and should know the days of the week and months of the year. So all of these factors make Miss Havisham a striking and memorable character.

Section 3- Wemmick

Wemmick is the third character Pip meets, Wemmick is a middle class clerk who has been employed by Jaggers the lawyer. Pip first meets Wemmick when he arrives in London and Wemmick befriends Pip. Wemmick is one of few comic characters in the book and because Pip likes him, we like him too.

Pip describes Wemmick as a “dry man” and goes on to say he is “rather short in stature” he also says that Wemmick had “a square wooden face whose expression seemed to have been imperfectly chipped out with a dull-edged chisel.” This means that he has a dry sense of humour. He has no expression on his face but has the ability to make the reader laugh and because of this he is made striking and memorable. This also shows that Wemmick is middle-class. Pip also says, “he wore at least four mourning rings”, “a brooch” and also says “several rings and seals hung at his watch chain” This is very odd and presents Wemmick as an eccentric character.

Wemmicks speech also makes him striking and memorable. Wemmick tells Pip, “I am my own engineer, carpenter, plumber, and gardener” This means that Wemmick does everything, he is a ‘jack of all trades’ he does everything around the house and doesn’t need a specialist to help him which again presents him as eccentric and unusual. While telling Pip about his house, Wemmick says, “I have got hold of it, a bit at a time. It’s a freehold” this is very unusual because most people didn’t own their own house in those day, they only rented them. Wemmick also says, “The office is one thing, and private life is another,” meaning that Wemmick believes that the two sides of his life should be kept separate which is again very strange.

Wemmicks setting is perhaps the strangest in the book and is one of the main ways in which Wemmick is made striking and memorable. Pip says, “It appeared to be a collection of back lanes, ditches, and little gardens, and to present the aspect of a rather dull retirement” and goes on to say, “Wemmick’s house was a little wooden cottage in the midst of plots of garden and the top of it was cut out and painted like a battery mounted with guns.” This is a very peculiar house and because of its strangeness, it makes us wonder why Wemmick has chosen to build his house like this and have it in this area. Pip goes onto say that it was the smallest house he had ever seen. We know that it must be very small because Pip was brought up in a lower class environment and so would have had a small house. This house is very bizarre and we know this because Pip says that there is “a drawbridge” and “a flagstaff”, and the house has “sham gothic windows” and he said it was a “gothic house” that seemed like a “fortress”, it had a gun which was actually a small cannon and even had a little farm, it had an ornamental lake, a fountain and had twisted paths. This is extremely odd and this shows that Wemmick can supply for himself and so must have quite a lot of money. Pip finds this character strange and comical, and because of that, we also believe he is strange and comical. Pip also seems to like Wemmick and therefore, the reader likes him too. His setting also makes the reader ask questions of the text such as: “Why does this man have such a peculiar house?”

Another way in which Wemmick is presented as eccentric and unusual is through the way he acts. His house has a moat with a four-foot gap and a two-foot depth and Wemmick has made a drawbridge to cross it and Pip says he hoists it up with pride. By doing this Wemmick is cutting off the outside world both physically and symbolically. Wemmick communicates to his father, (referred to as the poor old aged) by nodding, and this again shows how unusual Wemmick is.

Pip talks about a “bizarre ceremony” where Wemmick and his father fire the gun on the roof of his house. Pip says, “aged heats the poker and Wemmick times it to perfection. Wemmick stood with his watch in his hand until the moment had come for him to take the red hot poker from the aged and repair to the battery.” This is extremely unusual and very bizarre and this makes Wemmick striking and memorable.

Conclusion:

Dickens uses different techniques to make characters striking and memorable; he manages to make a variety of characters from a range of social backgrounds striking and memorable through use of physical description, setting and speech. The way that the characters interact with Pip is also important.

Dickens makes Magwitch striking and memorable because of the way he is introduced through speech and the way he makes Pip and us feel.

Miss Havisham is made particularly memorable to the reader, as she is so bizarre- receiving Pip initially in her dressing room and living her life in a time warp.

Wemmick is perhaps the character most people can relate to- he is middle class and lives two separate lives. His individualism, his appearance and choice of home make him striking and memorable.

The character who makes the biggest impression on me is Mr Wemmick because I think that his house and his actions are very bizarre and I believe he is a funny character and I think he is the character I can relate to.

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