How Does Charles Dickens Create Characters
How Does Charles Dickens Create Characters

How Does Charles Dickens Create Characters

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  • Published: October 18, 2017
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I have been studying the life of Charles Dickens and the times of the Victorian era that began with the coronation of Queen Victoria. Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 in Portsmouth. His parents were John and Elizabeth Dickens. Charles was the second of their eight children; he later left school at the age of twelve because his father ran up a big debt which he could not pay.

His father John Dickens got thrown into Marshalsea prison and he remained in jail until the debt was paid off, this meant Charles Dickens had to work in a blacking factory making shoe polish. Children working at the blacking factory had to clean machines this meant the children could have got crushed so it was very dangerous for Charles Dickens to work in that factory.

Charles Dickens at the age of 16 was able to leave his family; he hated his parents very much, many heroes in his novels are orphans or characters who have been a victim of what he has experienced or what he has seen, “Oliver Twist” a book involving the brutality of poor laws, vice and crime in the London underworld and “Hard Times” is another book about the treatment people got working in factories these are examples of what he has seen and what he has experienced .

Then later on in that year he became a clerk of an attorney in a law firm. Charles Dickens in 1831 became a journalist; most of his job was attending law courts where he became known for his quick and accurate courtroom reporting, he then got interested in soc

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ial injustice / treatment of the poor; he thought this was rubbish and that there were loads of hangings happening for little petty crimes.

Charles Dickens began his career by writing short stories “Sketches By Boz” in 1836 and some of his other stories were released in chapters in a popular magazine which was out every month or week “Oliver Twist” released in monthly parts Jan 1837 – Mar 1839 and “The Pickwick Papers” released Mar 1836 – Oct 1837, were some of his other stories. Charles Dickens sprung to fame with the stories he wrote.

Charles Dickens also had a long term relationship with Maria Beadnell he wrote to her: “I never have loved and I never can love any human creature breathing but yourself. although she was the daughter of a rich banker which he could not marry because she was wealthy and he wasn’t. Charles Dickens then met Catherine Hogarth and got married in 1836 he was married to her all his life and they both had ten children together. Charles Dickens other profession was touring around Europe and reading extracts from his stories, he was also a great speaker this made his reputation even bigger and more popular. He toured America in 1867 and England in 1870 unfortunately before he died he could not finish “The mystery of Edwin Drood”.

Charles Dickens died in June 9th 1870 and he was buried in Westminster Abbey. “Great Expectations” is the novel that I have analysed and I have been trying to find

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out what makes the characters so vivid and effective. My essay will now analyse Magwitch, Pip and Miss Havisham to determine why they are so memorable. In the novel when Magwitch first appears we don’t see him but we hear him, his voice is described as “terrible” this means it is not a normal every day voice it is a voice that has been affected by the ordeal he has been through.

He actually says “keep still, you little devil, or I’ll cut your throat! ” This shows Magwitch sounds threatening and is also scared that he might get caught because in the novel it is written that he “cried a terrible voice”. Magwitch also shows scary behaviour by picking up Pip and turning him upside-down and then shaking him while emptying his pockets. “Turned me upside-down, and emptied my pockets”.

When Magwitch shook Pip a piece bread dropped out of his pockets Magwitch then eats the piece of bread “ravenously” this is similar to large dog eating mouthfuls of food and watching for danger, while he was eating the piece of bread he put Pip on a tombstone “I was seated on a high tombstone, trembling” this suggests he puts Pip on a “high” tombstone so he won’t escape out of his custody and also Pip was “trembling” this showed that Magwitch’s scary behaviour had worked and it had frightened Pip.

Another example of Magwitch being frightening is when he lies to Pip about having a friend with him who is compared to Magwitch is that Magwitch is an angel “There’s a young man hid with me, im comparison with which young man I am a angel” and also when Magwitch lets Pip go he orders Pip to say “Lord strike you dead if you don’t” this puts Pip in fear of god and Pip think there is no one else more powerful than god.

Magwitch scars Pip by saying the things he said and by making Pip say what he was told to say all these things will stay with Pip forever which means he won’t tell anyone about Magwitch. Magwitch, in the novel, also has an outlandish appearance, for example when Magwitch emerges he is described as a “A fearful man, all in coarse gray, with a great iron on his leg” this shows a Magwitch has escaped from prison because he was “in coarse gray” and he also had “a great iron on his leg” this is what prisoners would wear in those times and the chains would be what they kept him, in on the ship.

Another example of Magwitch’s appearance is when he is described as going through all the obstacles before reaching the graveyard: ” A man who had been soaked in water , and smothered in mud , and lamed by stones , and cut by flints and stung by nettles , and torn by briars ; who limped , and shivered , and glared and growled ; and whose teeth chattered in his head” This shows he has been through a great deal from jumping overboard, to swimming ashore, to dragging himself up the beach, to

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