Analysis of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
It is clear from this first chapter that “Great Expectations” is goingto be an exciting adventure story. The story begins in a graveyard,and both this and the surrounding area are described to us clearly andeffectively.
Dickens uses various words and phrases to illustrate the scene andsetting such as the time of day; the weather and the type of place Pipfinds himself in. The words
“A memorable raw afternoon towards evening…” (Paragraph three, linefour), suggests that it was a very cold winter’s afternoon, possiblywith a cold wind. In David Leans 1946 film, I think that the earlymarsh scene captures the mood of the original text very well andportrays to the reader/viewer the immediate suspense and tension thatDickens wishes to represent.
When Dickens uses the phrases
“… Bleak overgrown place was the churchyard…” and
“… The dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard intersected withdykes and mounds and gates” (Paragraph three, lines five and six, tenand eleven), we realise he is in the graveyard and with Dickenseffective use of long descriptive sentences we as a reader have aclear image of what a lonely and bleak place the graveyard may be. Online ten, the fact that it says, “from which the wind was rushing,”suggests to us that it is a windy day and that Pip can feel the coldwhen Dickens writes
“ … The small bundle of shivers…” and suggests that Pip is so coldthat he is shivering.
Dickens makes sure we are able to visualize the things that Pip seesby creating a powerful atmosphere through his use of adjectives,describing what the se…
… horrible, embarrassed,arrogant and disrespectful to them both. I know this as when Dickenswrites:
“ At a change in his manner as if he were even going to embrace me, Ilaid a hand upon his breast and put him away”. This suggests to usthat when Magwitch wished to greet him in a particular way Pip wouldnot accept it but pushed him away instead. As he did not show any ofthese qualities the reader gets the impression he is a “snob.”
Dickens uses the adventure story to show us how people should behavetowards one another and through his use of characterisation, tensionand development of characters creates a hidden moral. He uses histhoughts about what he thinks of society and how it can be improved tocreate this moral. In addition he uses hidden morals and meaningsthroughout his collection of novels.