3 examples Parallel structure in Great Expectations?Page numbers and/or chapters would be nice as well.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Parallel structure involves the repetition of certain grammatical structures such as sentence construction, phrasing, repeated use of the same part of speech, similar clauses.  Chapter I of Dickens's Great Expectations contains, perhaps, the most imagery of all the chapters. 

1. In Chapter I, the description of the convict who turns out to be Magwitch is an example of parallelism as the first three sentences begin in similar fashion and follow the same construction in the rest of the sentence:

A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. 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 as he seized me by the chin.

2. Another example of parallelism is also in this chapter with the symmetry of the repeated relative clauses:

...and that the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes; and that the low leaden line beyond was the river; and that the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea; and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was Pip.

3. In Chapter XVIII, Mr. Jaggers brings the news of Pip's "great expectations" to him.  The chapter begins with Pip describing  "the strange gentleman leaning over the back of the settle opposite me, looking on."  This phrase, "the strange gentleman" is repeated in three paragraphs, while the stranger is employed also:

I became aware of a strange gentleman....

"Well!" said the stranger....

The strange gentleman with the air of authority not to be disputed.

The strange gentleman, beckoned ..

The stranger did not recognize me. 







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Great Expectations

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