Great Expectations

How does Charles Dickens make the characters in his novel, Great Expectations, memorable?

Great Expectations the novel by Charles Dickens, follows a young orphaned boy’s journey through life. The little orphan Pip, has an insignificant existence, just another common labouring boy, however a twist occurs with the discovery of a new fortune from a mysterious source and he becomes a boy of ‘great expectations’. The novel is set in England in the 1800’s it is made clear that the novel is set in this period as Pip states as a young boy, referring to his parents ‘their time was long before the days of photographs’. This suggests that the novel is set roughly in the 1840’s. Later, when Pip has grown up the story seems to be set at the same time as the novel was written, in 1860. Dickens uses many clever devices to make the characters in his novel come alive and stick in the readers mind. He uses vivid description and powerful language, striking dialogue and characters brimming with personality, to make them very memorable. He did this, because at the time, Great Expectations was not published as one whole novel, but as separate chapters in a magazine, as many people at the time could not afford to purchase a full novel. Thusly in order to keep the readers interested and to make sure they kept buying the issues, he had to make the story exiting and interesting, as well as memorable, so that the narrative stayed bold in the readers mind. The novel begins with a narrative by the protagonist: Pip and continues this way throughout; this makes the reader feel more attached to him as it makes the book feel more personal, and because we feel attached to Pip, we remember him. He is an unforgettable character, as he plays the main role and tells his story to the reader, we are given an insight into his mind, conscience and deepest feelings, this makes us feel even more close to him. Dickens also makes us grow fond of Pip by creating sympathy for him. The reader feels.