In this essay I will be comparing the ways in which Susan Hill and Charles Dickens convey character, setting and atmosphere in “I’m the King of the Castle” and “Great Expectations”. From “I’m the King of the Castle” I will mostly be focusing on extracts from chapter one, from “Great Expectations” I will focus mainly on chapters one and eight. The opening of “I’m the King of the Castle” focuses on two characters, Mr. Hooper (Joseph) and his son, Edmund Hooper.

The opening of “Great Expectations” is describing Pip; following this he describes an escaped convict. Pip is the narrator in “Great Expectations” so everything is from his point of view. This is slightly different to “I’m the King of the Castle” as narration is third person and is sometimes describing Mr. Hooper and at other times is describing Edmund. This is very effective because both points of view are portrayed although it sometimes makes the plot hard to follow because it’s difficult to tell who is being talked about.

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While reading the books I noticed many similarities as well as differences between Pip and Edmund. They are both of the same age and both have lost their mothers. One of the main differences is that Edmund had been brought up in a loving atmosphere with everything he could want, where as Pip had been bought up “by hand” and never made to be felt wanted. I think Edmund is very much like Estella, as they are stubborn, scornful and disagreeable.

In “I’m the King of the Castle” this is shown by the way that Mr. Hooper talks to Edmund, “Edmund, you will not be difficult”. Another way in which Estella and Edmund are alike is that Estella has Pip come to her house, in a similar way that Edmund has Kingshaw come to his house. “I’m the King of the Castle” focuses mainly on one house, Warings. “Great Expectations” looks at one house, Miss Havisham’s house. The book, unlike “I’m the King of the Castle” doesn’t describe where Pip lives.

Both Miss Havisham’s house and Warings hold many secrets; similarly both Pip and Edmund want to explore the houses to find out more. The difference is that Edmund is exploring Warings, where as Pip is too scared to explore Miss Havishsham’s house. This is a good indication of their contrasting characteristics. It also shows how different Miss Havisham and Mr Hooper are. Miss Havisham is very strict and has excellent control and power over Pip, where as Mr Hooper thinks he can control Edmund but obviously has no affect on him.

“You had better not go into the Red Room”, Edmund disregards what his father says and goes into the middle of the night, he is obviously not intimidated by his father, where as Pip, in the same situation would have been to scared of how his sister would punish him. On the other hand Pip was brave enough to help the escaped convict where as Edmund probably wouldn’t have been brave or kind enough. The atmosphere in both the books is quite similar because both have a very foreboding atmosphere.

In “Great Expectations” this is portrayed by the darkness of the corridors and the way that Pip is feeling. Which leads me onto another point, I think the way Pip is feeling the first time he visits Miss Havisham is represented by the darkness and the foreboding atmosphere. Another view is that Miss Havishams house is described as being very enclosed and old in a physical sense, where as Warings is enclosed in the sense that Edmund isn’t allowed to do as he pleases all the time and old in the sense that somebody has recently died there and there is few young people around.

Having looked at all the points I have come to the conclusion that even though Susan Hill and Charles Dickens lived at different times and wrote about different things from different perspectives they often wrote using the same ways of describing things. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

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