Great Expectation

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The novel, Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of Victorian fiction. It is through the use of characterization and imagery that Dickens is able to make his ideas most prominent in the minds of readers. Through his expert use of these authorial techniques, Dickens successfully criticizes the prison system, the morals of society, and the social injustice of his time. In the novel, Dickens takes an innocent young orphan boy through childhood and on through adulthood showing the lasting effects of the transition. The novel begins in a marshy cemetery with Pip, a lonely orphan boy who lives with his sister and her husband Joe Gargery. While Pip is curiously studying "five little stone lozenges" (Dickens 9), an escaped convict approaches him and demands that Pip gets him a file and some wittles. Being scared of the man, Pip does as he asks. As Pip grows older, he forgets about Joe and the convict and becomes closely aquatinted with Miss Havisham and her adopted daughter Estella. He soon becomes infatuated with their lifestyle and Estella's beauty. As Pip continues his expectations, he comes into the possession of money from an anonymous benefactor and changes into an egotistical snob and develops selfish dreams for the future. It is not until his benefactor, the convict who is Magwitch and also the father of Estella, is revealed that Pip begins to change himself. His goodness seems to return and he eventually find true happiness in the meaning of life. It is through each of these characters that Dickens not only shapes the plot of the novel around, but also as tools to express his ideals of the time. Dickens literary craft is shown in the fact that he creates a believable world in which Pip lives that the reader can relate to. The reader is taken to Victorian England and allowed to experience the emotions and occurrences that surround Pip. It is through the use of "visual images as well as other aspects of...
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