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Dickens’s Presentation of Magwitch and Miss Havisham at the beginning of Great Expectations Essay Sample

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  • Word count: 513
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Introduction of TOPIC

Dickens’s technique at the beginning of the novel is to write from the point of view of a small child but at the same time to allow the reader to have a different point of view.

Pip is portrayed as being frightened and nervous. He recalls a �bleak place on a raw afternoon,” in a deserted churchyard. Dickens makes the place depressing. “The river is a low, leaden line” However, the noise of the wind seems to be coming from an animals “lair” which suggests to the reader it is Pip who is being over imaginative and so the reader is not as terrified as Pip is when Magwitch appears.

Although Pip is “In terror” of the criminal, the reader notices that he has no hay and has broken shoes and so feels sympathy for him. The verbs Dickens chooses highlights this:” soaked…smothered…lamed…cut…stung…torn…limped…shivered” Even when Magwitch turns Pip upside down the reader feels sorry for Magwitch because he eats “ravenously” suggesting he is very hungry.

The n

ame Magwitch suggests Magic and fantasy and e even sounds like a fairy tale villain. “What fat

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cheeks you got!” He tells Pip “Your heart and your liver shall be tore out, roasted and ate.” This ridiculous exaggeration shows the reader that Magwitch is not really a villain.

Magwitch makes use of Pip and Dickens was really interested in the exploitation of children, having been forced to work in a factory himself as a young Child. Magwitch sends him away to fetch him a file and broken bits of food.

When Pip is leaving the notices that Magwitch wishes he was ” a frog or a eel” making the reader sorry for the way Magwitch is soaking wet. Magwitch is associated with death because it seems to Pip that “the hands of dead people” was stretching out of their graves to “pull him in.”

Pips dealings with Miss Havisham are different in some ways but similar in others. Just like Magwitch, her name seems to have a special meaning. Havisham sounds a bit like having a sham and everything about her is not quite what it seems to be.

The outside of her house is neglected and the windows have bars on them, which makes a connection in the readers mind with Magwitch. It is as if Miss Havisham is a prisoner in her own house.

Like Magwitch, she exploits Pip but much more cruelly, after all she has him there purely for her own entertainment and for Estella to practise breaking hearts.

Unlike Magwitch she has money thought she appears not o do anything worthwhile with it. Indeed Pip thinks that his great expectations comes from her and is shocked when he found out that the money is from Magwitch.

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