How does Charles Dickens explore Pip's state of mind ?
William Priddy, 1ere ES1
'Great Expectations', by Charles Dickens, presents Pip's constant moral evolution. This particular extract reflects Pip's state of mind in his adolescence, following the year he spent visiting Miss Havisham. These encounters have presented to him an alternate lifestyle that he would not have been aware of otherwise. He begins to reflect on his own life and sees himself as inferior to Estella and her education. Consequently, a certain shame of what he wants to visualize as his 'old' life, such as his home, his common mannerisms, Joe, or even his apprenticeship as a blacksmith (something he was desperately looking forward to prior to meeting Estella) ensues. Dickens makes use of both narrative perspective and varied language and literary techniques in order to convey this evolution.
Dickens presents the novel through the character of Pip, in a first-person view. Therefore, the narrative perspective reveals a conversational style, which is particularly effective in creating a link with the reader. This technique is particularly effective in order to explore and understand Pip's thoughts. This is revealed through the use of extended sentences ; “I can testify”, which brings the reader a step closer to the narrator, increasing his likeability and the reader's identification to Pip, or by including the readership in his personal memory : “I remember”. We are directly aware of the changes he is experiencing, and therefore more susceptible to provide an emotive response. A bond grows between the reader and the character. Another important aspect of the extract is Dickens' use of a double narration, where two different time periods appear, the action, experienced through the 'young' Pip's eyes ('I used to stand about the churchyard'), and the retrospective aspect, where guilt and shame (of his original shame) appears. This underlines the importance of the grown Pip's thoughts, the...
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