Uploaded by Юлия Латонова

Great Expectations

I would like to analyze the story under the remarkable title «Great Expectations».
The author of this literary work is Charles Dickens. He was a notable and prolific
writer of the 19th century. His works belong to novels, because his stories deal for
the most part with different life situations and human relationships. His most
famous stories are: The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, A
Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two
Cities, Great Expectations.
Such features as endowing his protagonists with a great force of character, a
profound psychological insight, reflections on the nature of human interrelations
and a deep understanding of the human motives are typical of the writer. His
literary works were adored by the readers, but were panned by the critics. The
writer won a public recognition posthumously.
I don’t consider the title of the story to be rather suggestive, because the plot
centers round little boy and in the text there is nothing about expectations.
As far as I am concerned the setting is not of great importance, because it is
described implicitly. Undoubtedly, the scene is laid in England, because the author
uses some descriptions: « Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within,
as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea». We don’t know what city it is. I
admit that the story is set at the beginning 19th century, because because the
photos mentioned in the text appeared only in 1822. Moreover, the author’s
creative activity was connected with that time and place which proves our point of
The subject of the story may be formulated as famiky and apperiance. The
following row of thematic vocabulary helps us to gain a better understanding of the
topic: parents, brother, sister, mother, father, square, stout, dark man, with curly
black hair, freckled and sickly, fearful.
The message of the literary work runs as follows: almost all misunderstandings
between people can be solved with the help of words. The idea is conveyed
through the presentation of the main character’s feelings. To my mind, the story
teaches us to be friendly and empathetic. The story gives food for thought.
The plot. In my opinion, the plot of the story is rather complicated and tangled up.
The story is devoid of insignificant details and full of philosophical digressions.
The charm of the story lies in its interesting plot and exciting situation. At the same
time it conveys deep thought, keen observation and sharpness of characterization.
The plot structure of the story is closed, since all the necessary elements: the
exposition, the story, the climax and the denouement are presented in it. The story
has an entertaining and exciting fast-moving plot. The exposition takes place
traditionally at the beginning of the story, where the author grabs our attention
from the very first line. He reflects upon Pirrip family. The author also introduces
Philip into the story. He is the main character a boy who, due to his age, cannot
pronounce his full name yet. Later the narration gains momentum and we get to
know that the boy's parents died and he came to the cemetery to visit them. There
he meets an intimidating man who threatens him in every possible way.
The climax of the story is rather vivid and quite unexpected, because a stranger
threatens to kill Pip. The highest point of the action creates a great emotional
tension and explains nothing at once. The passage is rich with such emotionally coloured words, as, for example, pleaded in terror. The author renders feelings
through thoughts and actions of the main character. The denouement is quite
unpredictable, as the man did not kill the boy but instead asked him to bring food.
Alive and practically unharmed, Pip ran home as fast as he could.
The story is told in the first person narration. It allows us to regard main
character’s point of view.
The composition of the literary work is level, because all the elements are given in
their logical and chronological sequence. Narrative forms, used in the story, are the
following: the exposition, the narration, the description and the dialogue.
The characters. The protagonist is Pip, the antagonistis an unnamed escaped
convict. The charm of the story lies in a realistic portrayal of the characters. They
are full-blooded and many-sided. The author’s real central figure seems to be
complex. The author reveals the nature of his characters through actions and
description of their motives. At the beginning a prisoner was very rude and
dangerous, but by the end of the text he became a little more restrained. The story
reveals the author’s great knowledge of man’s inner world. He penetrates into the
subtlest windings of the human heart. It shows the person’s pangs if te main
character Pip suffers from such drawbacks as the death of his parents . The
character is portrayed dynamically. The author uses the direct characterization,
because he evaluates the protagonist himself. The major character is represented
through his behaviour and thoughts.The author shows complex complicated,
realistic, well portrayed characters. The events and descriptions in the story are
seen through the main character’s eyes. So, the story is a remarkable insight into
human character and these explicit hints for seizing the personalities of the
characters promote better understanding of their actions.
The conflict. We may observe the external conflict: a man against a man which
reveals how intricate relations are between people. This conflict contribute to an
accurate and complete realization of the author’s message.
The Vocabulary. The story is full of emotionally-coloured words, which show the
author’s knowledge for a deep psychological analysis of his characters: dreadfully,
frightened, giddy, threatening, trembling, pleaded, terror, pray, terrible, etc. I’ve
found such phrasal verbs, as: come back and idiomatic expressions: There is a
vulgar expression: “You young dog.”
I discovered such antonyms, as wittles-food, up-down, warm-cold and such
synonims, as frightening- terrible.
Now let’s see how the author’s intention is realized in the language of the story.
The author uses a a few stylistic devices to reveal his idea.
Repetition: "Now lookee here," he said, "the question being whether you're to be let
to live. You know what a file is?"
"Yes, sir."
"And you know what wittles is?"
"Yes, sir.";
You get me a file." He tilted me again. "And you get me wittles." He tilted me
again. "You bring 'em both to me." He tilted me again. "Or I'll have your heart and
liver out." He tilted me again.;
Anaphora: That young man hears the words I speak. That young man has a secret
way pecooliar to himself, of getting at a boy, and at his heart, and at his liver. It is
in wain for a boy to attempt to hide himself from that young man. A boy may lock
his door, may be warm in bed, may tuck himself up, may draw the clothes over his
head, may think himself comfortable and safe, but that young man will softly creep
and creep his way to him and tear him open.
In conclusion, I found the story thought-provoking and entertaining. The thing I
liked most about the story is well portrayed characters. Life sometimes presents us
with unexpected and not the most pleasant acquaintances during difficult periods of
life, and it is important to be able to cope with this. We are all human, and for all of
us, spoken and heard words play a big role.