Dickens was an English novelist representative of realism of the XIX century.
His childhood was very hard because he
has to work a lot to obtain money for him and for his family because his father
lost a large sum of money. He never
could forgive his mother because even they don’t need to work for money because they won a heritage;
his mother let him to work forwards. He at a certain time said: “No advice, no approval, no encouragement, no
consolation, no support from anyone to remember, so help me, Lord!”.
most famous novel of Charles Dickens is “Great Expectations” that follows the
destiny of orphan Pip, the nephew of a blacksmith, who comes to London with the
dream of becoming a gentleman.
novel ” Great Expectations” is a bildungsroman because it
presents the process of forming the personality of the main hero under the
influence of direct experience. The theme of maturity and of the formation of a
personality is perfectly present in this novel.
The word has its origin from German
language in which bildungsroman means ” novel of training “.
The basic structure of “Great
Expectations” follows a chronological development of Pip’s life; from his childhood innocence, to his disillusioned expectations
and finally his rejection of the high life and a circular succession ending
back at the beginning. Dickes uses the first person point of view, putting Pip
as a narrator which tells the story of his life. This fact, help the readers to
empathize with the main character, to understand his story and also to create
some suspense in the book. Although, narration on the first person helps the
readers to realize and understand all the emotions of the principal character.
For exemple, when Pip was in the cemetery and says he feels like ” a small
bundle of shivers growing afraid”, the readers can imagine how Pip really
Another narrative technique present in
the novel is represented by description of the setting. It is based by the
descriptions made by Pip which “grab readers attention and set the mood in the opening of the novel”, says Lilia Melani, English
professor at Brooklyn College in New York.
In the first scene
Pip talk about the cemetery and
about his loneliness until he mets the
convict. Later, he discusses the foggy marshes as they level out
toward the Thames River near Kent, England. Although, early in the novel
there is a chapter in which a Christmas dinner party given by Mrs. Gargery has
been described. The whole chapter has been written Pip is afraid that his deed
(the theft of the food from pantry) can
be discovered in any moment.Dickens uses this technique to bring the readers
in the center of the story and to made them to understand the important themes
of the novel.
The chronological accounting of events is also an important
narrative technique used in the novel. Dickens divides the novel into three
parts : Pip’s childhood, middle years and later
years. The fact that the story is divided like that makes it easy to readers to follow the
adventures through Pip passes to became from a pure young child to a very brave
man. The chronology also allows readers to see that scars from his childhood, such
as his struggle to find love and acceptance after being orphaned, never heal
throughout his lifetime
The last narrative technique that Dickens uses in his novel
is dialogue which is used to create a powerful story, to dynamizes the
narrative, makes it more vivid and more suggestive. Also this technique marks
various expressive values: feelings, attitudes, interruptions, hesitations of
characters, but it is also a source of comic by the contrast between what the character decides and what is he thinking
In conclusion, ” Great Expectation ” by Charles Dickens is a novel which is build with
all the narrative techniques which make from it an very interesting novel. The
readers are introduced in a story with many adventures, mystery and suspense.
Melani, Lilia. “Some General Comments on Charles Dickens”,
City University of New York, Brooklyn College.
Dickens, Charles. “Great Expectation”, Kindle