This is a presentation on Diction and Syntax for Charles Dickens's "Great Expectations". Chapters 1-8

Topics: Social class, Working class, Denotation Pages: 10 (1442 words) Published: June 3, 2002
Chapter 1

Infant tongue

Denotation- Infant means newborn, or new, while tongue means the organ the human body uses when it speaks.

Connotations- What Dickens could try to mean in this small passage is that he doesn't have the mastery that he should have over his tongue because he is very young and doesn't know much about the world.

Simple Sentence

Declarative Sentence

It relates to the theme of social class, because Pip is a poor young boy at the time. Being a from the poor class, he doesn't know how to talk in the dignified matter that the richer classes speak in.

(Page 9, Paragraph 1)

Freckled and Sickly

Denotation-Freckled means that there are dark spots on one's face. Sickly means sick looking, or not healthy.

Connotations- What Dickens is trying to portray in this sentence is the condition of Pip's mother before she had died. She was very sick looking, and had freckles; since freckles come from the sun she could have been overworked.

Compound Sentence

Declarative Sentence

This sentence once again relates to the theme of social class. Pip's mother was "Freckled" and "Sickly" because she was in a socially lower class and thus had less money to take care of herself.

(Page 9, Paragraph 2)

"What fat cheeks you ha' got?"

Denotation-The denotative meaning of this sentence literally means, what fat cheeks have you got?

Connotations- Trying to convey that Pip has fat cheeks, Dickens tries to show his audience how Pip looks by revealing him with this character.

Simple Sentence

Interrogative Sentence

This sentence relates to the theme of social class again. The character talking to Pip uses simple language, thus showing that he is of a lower class.

(Page 11, Paragraph 1)

"Now lookee here!"

Denotation- The literal meaning of this sentence is "Now look here!" with "lookee" deriving from the word "look".

Connotations- None

Simple Sentence

Exclamatory Sentence

Social class is again the theme this sentence is relating too. Using simple, and slang language, Dickens portrays how the social class spoke.

(Page 11, Paragraph 6)

Chapter 2

"By Hand"

Denotation- Literally, "by hand" means "manually" or "with no help".

Connotations- Dickens tries to show that Pip's sister raised him without anybody's help. This phrase can be found in many sections of "Great Expectations"

Compound-Complex Sentence

Declarative Sentence

The theme of social class comes into play once again. Dickens uses this phrase quite often throughout the first 74 pages, and it shows how the lower social classes had to literally do everything with "no help" and how hard their life really was.

(Page 14, Paragraph 1)


Denotation- Hercules was a Greek god. The son of Zeus, he had tremendous strength that none could match.

Connotation- When one thinks of Hercules, one thinks of tremendous strength and will power. Dickens tries to prove how the lower social class had the Herculean will power and strength to do the work that they did.

Complex Sentence

Declarative Sentence

The theme of social class comes into play during this sentence. With their brute strength, and tremendous will power, many of the poor in the lower classes of society had kept their jobs and worked hard to get them.

(Page 14, Paragraph 2)


Denotation- The modified word of "rampage", it means to go on a violent strike, or using force without clearly thinking.

Connotation- Rampage is what a killer would do if they were on a killing spree, endless choosing targets without thinking of their actions. Pip's sister is very angry, and thus is on a rampage with her stick to find Pip and beat him.

Simple Sentence

Exclamatory Sentence

The people of the lower class were always overworked. They came home tired and reckless. If one thing was to disturb the peace then the person who had done so will pay dearly. This relates to the theme of social class.

(Page 15,...
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