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“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens Essay Sample

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“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens Essay Sample

Charles Dickens is a 19th century writer which affects his writing and language used within the novel. He has also written many other famous books such as “Oliver Twist”, “The Christmas carols”, and “David Copperfield”. The Dickens family were of middleclass status and had sturdy finances until the father was unable to manage their money efficiently and was briefly sent to Prison. During this time, Charles was also punished for his father’s mistakes. The young Charles was forced to quit school and was sent to work in a ‘warrens blacking factory’ for a few months, earning an unsatisfactory wage which was just enough to ensure his basic survival. Charles experienced poverty at first hand and for many years he was rather disturbed by that short episode of his life. However, it was the ever present memories of those difficult periods of his life which enabled Charles to write with such considerate feeling about some subjects in his novels. Much of Dickens’ writing was based around life and hardships of the poor, as he was once poor himself.

The novel, ‘Great Expectations’ is set in London in the 19th century. It is about a young boy called Pip, ambitious to become a gentleman; He starts off as a na�ve, innocent, young boy growing up in a working class family who is then tainted by wealth, desire and pride. In the novel, Philip Pirrip or Pip is the protagonist who expects great things from life. As the writer, Charles Dickens, worked in a ‘warrens blacking factory’ he knew what life was like to live as a working class. This influenced his writing of Pip being a blacksmith, who goes to London leaving his working class status developing the expectation to grow on to a higher class status, however he finds out human values are much more important than pride and wealth.

In order to entice the reader to the rest of the novel, Charles Dickens employs a variety of techniques and narrative hooks in the opening chapter. Within the opening chapter Charles Dickens exploits engaging characters such as Pip who is portrayed as a young, inexperienced and guiltless boy who subsequently goes on to the outside world where he meets Magwitch, in which he learns that the world was not as simple as he assumed it to be. Charles also uses dramatic action and mysterious setting in the first chapter to hook the reader to the rest of the novel. The use of pathetic fallacy is also developed in the first chapter, where Charles uses the presentation of nature possessing human qualities. The theme of crime, childhood, and class is explored throughout the novel largely through the characters.

Great expectation is a novel, wrote in a semi-autobiographic style by Charles Dickens about the expectations of an orphan called pip, who is the protagonist of the story, writing about his life from his childhood to adulthood. It was first published in a magazine article as a twenty part series throughout 1860 to 1861, and was later published as a novel. The story is set in Victorian society, and its main theme is rich and poor along with the theme of gratitude, and how for or the first time in history you could become rich without owning land because of the industrial revelation, so people could ‘make’ money without inheriting it, and it was the birth of the ‘nouveau riche’, people who had standing in society through work rather than title. Dickens grew up with a cruel and brutal father. Which is why many of his novels it contains cruel and brutal adults because of his upbringing, as it does in great expectations.

Dickens chose the storyline because at the time it would have been believable and inspirational and this is what made the novel so successful because the story reflects what could have been reality. In the novel, Philip Pirrip or Pip is the protagonist who expects great things from life. Great Expectations is told by Pip in his own semi-autobiographic voice, tracing his life from his early days of childhood until adulthood. Pip is an adult looking back on the growth and development of his younger self. The use of a first person narrator only allows the reader to see events from the perspective of Pip but he is a brilliant teller of his tale and holds the interest of the reader throughout. Pip is introduced in the opening chapter, where the fact that Pip had no parents is revealed early on. The quote which supports this is, “As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them” this immediately captured the reader’s sympathy for Pip because they knew what happened to orphans at the time of the Victorians, as they were not valued.

Moreover, Pip makes a juvenile assumption on his parents appearance, “I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly” Pip’s innocent mind hallucinates about the appearance of his parents from their tombstones; his misreading of the situation represents a lack of communication. This creates sympathy for Pip because the reader knows that Pip’s childish assumptions are shadowed from the truth. Pip’s gloomy and unpleasant surroundings transform him into a “small bundle of shivers”. The reader is once again reminded of Pip’s vulnerability and defenselessness. The readers were particularly worried that a little boy like Pip was all alone in a graveyard, “a bleak place overgrown with nettles”. Obviously nobody cared for the sad, lonely graveyard, just like the fact that no one cared for Pip. Death surrounds him; Pip’s dead brothers were buried beside their parents. The readers are now starting to guess what’s going to happen. This is because many children died early in Victorian times, it was entirely possible that Pip would be joining his brothers very soon. Although very young, Pip had plenty of experiences with death; he had a limited ability to cope with what had happened. The evidence for this was when he had cried for no apparent reason.

In paragraph 3 Dickens also uses the phrase “and that” 6 times, Dickens uses long lists instead of placing separate sentences to give the impression that Pip took everything in even though he was innocent. The odds were piled against him. Even the weather is bad, with the wind rushing. Pip, the main character of the book is described as very temperate, and polite this can be established by examining a quote from the first chapter where Pip spoke to the imminent convict, Magwitch in a civil manner, “If you would kindly please to let me upright, sir, perhaps I shouldn’t be sick, and perhaps I could attend more.” Even though Pip did not know Magwitch he still conceded on using his dialect in a very formal and proper manner; this particularly shows that Pip was apprehensively very humble and loyal towards Magwitch, even though he was a complete stranger to Pip and was described as a convict.

During Victorian England, mortality rates were extremely high. This may have been because of the fact that there were many diseases going around at that point in time. Another reason as to why there may have been high mortality rates could have been because conventional medicine was not there at the time, and because of this, people had no extra defences for themselves against diseases. Chapters one and thirty nine are important in this novel as they are the two points in which Pip meets Magwitch. The opening paragraph of the novel sets the scene out for the readers. For example, Dickens uses a descriptive opening paragraph so the reader can imagine the same type of thing that Dickens is. The narrator, Pip, remembers how he was when he was a child; this gives us an insight into Pip’s younger self, showing us how he used to be, and thus, the story being revealed through the eyes of Pip. When we are introduced to Pip, we realise that he is living with his sister and her husband – Joe Gargery.

In chapter one, Pip is a small boy, who is innocent and naive. He is in a graveyard, where most of his family lay in peace. Pip narrating is very detailed, as he says the introduction as if it was just yesterday, and he can remember everything very clearly. For example, he says; “memorable raw afternoon towards evening”, and “bleak place overgrown with nettles”. These two phrases, of many, tell us exactly what Pip is thinking when he tells us, as he uses descriptive words, such as: “raw afternoon”, and “overgrown with nettles”. Pip also uses personification, when he says, “The distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea”. We can also have an insight into how unstable Pip is, due to the past of how most of his family are dead, as he starts to cry for no apparent reason; “beginning to cry was Pip”.

When Magwitch was first introduced, we were not given a warning. He just “started up from among the graves”. The actual confrontation with Pip and the convict is sudden and is quite shocking, ” Hold your noise!’ cried a terrible voice, as a man started up” this quick, spontaneous meeting creates suspense and tension giving the convict a more frightening appeal. The fact that Magwitch was a convict was made clear by the “great iron” on his leg. The reader now has a very good reason to be afraid. The tension is growing because we are now scared for Pip. Dickens described events in a broad ways to begin with. The first three paragraphs were descriptions, nothing really happened in these first few paragraphs. Gradually as we learn more about a character and his capabilities, we begin to expect an event, or guess what might happen. In Magwitch’s case, when he said “keep still, you little devil, or I’ll cut your throat” we now know that Magwitch will scare Pip into obedience, it also gives the reader the expression that Magwitch is rather spiteful and offensive. Dickens then continues to describe Magwitch as “A fearful man, all in coarse grey” This description is characteristic of a convict.

The adjectives “fearful” and “coarse” force us to believe that Magwitch is terrifying, dangerous and to some extent a deadly character. This makes the readers feel very sympathetic towards Pip and his current situation pertaining to the convict at the mysterious graveyard. However, Magwitch’s fearfulness is inflated because he is seen through Pip’s eyes. The reader sees all of this through the eyes of a child, so the description of Magwitch is exaggerated since Pip had a limited knowledge of the world in general. As a child sees things differently they have known fewer people, each person they meet is scrutinized according to their short pasts. Moreover, Magwitch has a very strong cockney accent and Dickens picks up on this by spelling some words so that they are pronounced phonetically, ‘Pint out the place’ would be said as it is shown to get across the fact that he has a very strong cockney accent. Later on in the novel the technique of depicting speech phonetically also gives a comic twist to Magwitch’s speech, “Thankee sir” this sense of humour in the 19th century was very amusing for the people at the time.

Magwitch uses Formal language as well as informal, we see traces of Magwitch’s intelligence as his formal language is well-spoken an example of this is, “The question is whether you are to let her live.” Magwitch sounds intelligent saying this, however his intelligence has not come from education it has come from his own doing, what he has piled up in his own life time. We see informal language when he is frightening the boy, “hold your noise!” Dickens makes the readers foreshadow on what will happen next, so they continue on reading and hold interest in the novel. The fact that Pip was used to doing what he was told; He had agreed to help Magwitch because he was unaware of the dangers. This may mean that Pip could get himself tangled up in a criminal activity and be punished for it even if his intentions were good. The readers start to feel that is very unfair, and naturally are worried and then wonder what’s going to happen next. Dickens secured the reader’s interest by playing on their sympathy. The readers can’t feel completely at ease knowing it was entirely possible for Pip to get into at awkward position in any time since children are less cautious. Innocence and trust is a hazard of childhood. Pip was both innocent and trusting.

In the Victorian times, criminals were the lowest members of the working class and often referred to as the ‘criminal classes’. People that were higher than those in the criminal class thought of them as having a behavioural abnormality, either inherited or due to being badly brought up. Crime was handled very unfairly by the criminal justice system, for example, a hungry boy who broke into a bakery, got the same punishment as those who broke into a house and had the intention to steal a lot more than a loaf of bread. Dickens opposed the death penalty and argued that taking someone’s life does nothing to prevent crime. He shows his disapproval of the justice system in the book by showing how the weak form of Magwitch, clearly not a criminal anymore as he had worked as a sheep farmer in Australia for most of his life, an honest day’s worker’, was given capital punishment along with thirty-two others all in the same court.

In chapter 39 Pip is not recognisable to the young morally upstanding boy he was in chapter 1, not only has he grown up and his appearances changed but he’s changed who he is, and it now an upper class citizen. In chapter 1 he is lower class with a lower life expectancy, he would have been looked down on and he was poor, lonely and an orphan as his mother, father and brothers had passed away leaving his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, and her husband, Joe Gargery to bring him up. Then were as in chapter 39 pip is a 23 year old educated and wealthy man living in London and has completely forgotten his roots.

In chapter 1 the reader feels sympathetic towards Pip, he has no mother or father, as he tells us this early in the first chapter “that Phillip Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried”, also he is poor and his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, who is an angry short tempered woman is bringing him up, who also feels Pip is a burden to her with shows he doesn’t want him all that much. But the sympathy doesn’t change all that much in chapter 39. When Magwitch comes to see Pip, Pip is back in the place of being a little boy again, and he’s just as scared of him as he was all those years ago, we know this because of what Pip says about Magwitch, “The abhorrence in which I held the man the dread I had of him, the repugnance with which I shrank from him, could not have been exceeded if he had been some terrible beast” , this tells us pip is back where he was in chapter 1. But Pip is now a snob who left Joe and his sister and now has nothing to do with either one of them so as readers we also feel sympathy towards Joe, as he brought him up and wasn’t any relation to Pip, and now Pip wouldn’t want anything to do with him.

There is a huge difference between the characters Magwitch is in chapter 1 in comparison to the man he is in chapter 39. In chapter 1when Magwitch is first introduced into the story he is a desperate criminal who’s just escaped and is facing prison, and Pip is terrified of him as he’s ruthless and threatening as he threatens Pip with his life saying “Keep still you little devil or ill cut your throat”, later in the chapter he threatens Pip again by saying if he doesn’t get him a file and some whittles he would ” Have your heart and your liver out”, also Pip describes him as wearing no hat which tells us he wasn’t a gentleman, as gentleman is those times also wore a hat in public. Because of how Magwitch is in chapter 1 we feel sympathetic towards Pip as he is terrified of this man who’s using force and threats to get what he needs, and al Pip can do is go along with it, he has no choice in the matter.

Then when Magwitch is reintroduced into the story in chapter 39 he has a more gentleman-like appearance and has manners, and also tells Pip of his stable job and good income, as when he was recaptured back in chapter 1, he was transported to a Australian penal colony, or “the new world”, he was sent to Australia as at the time the British prisons were over burdened as there was far too many people to keep in Britain or on the prison ships (one of which Magwitch has escaped from). In chapter 39 when Magwitch meets Pip he is very happy and kisses his hands, and refers to Pip as “noble Pip”, this shows that he is very fond of Pip and grateful for what he did to help him.

We feel sympathy towards Magwitch as knowing that the punishment for returning to Britain after being deported was the death sentence, it shows he has acted very virtuously just to see Pip and tell him that he was his benefactor and how proud he was of him, and Pip in very uncomfortable and doesn’t want Magwitch there and shows no gratitude for what he’s done for him, “Stay! Keep off”, “I reluctantly gave him my hands”, “O. that he had never come! That he had left me at the forge!” these quotes show this, and show how he treats Magwitch with no appreciation. Pips reaction also helps build tension, as Magwitch was clearly not expecting Pip to react in this way, and Magwitch showing up was a big surprise and the fact that if he is caught he’ll face the death penalty also helps build tension.

Dickens presents Pip in two completely different ways is each chapter. In chapter 1 Pip is presented as I vulnerable lonely little boy, he is determined and brave, and also polite and respectful, and as the reader we are made to feel sympathetic towards him. It tells us early in the novel how Pip wanted to become a gentleman because he was in love with Estella and he wanted to be equal and worthy or her so they could be together, this shows us his determination of how he longed to make a man of himself. Pips bravery is shown when meeting Magwitch, he doesn’t try to run away and when Magwitch asks him to get him the things what he needs Pip does so, and doesn’t run away from him yet again.

This tells us that Pip was morally upstanding, and makes us like him and feels sympathetic. Then in chapter 39 a completely different side of Pip is portrayed. He is made to seem snobbish, and when He meets Magwitch he is shocked and disgusted by his presence, and doesn’t try to hide his abhorrence towards Magwitch, simply telling him to “stay!” and “keep off!” when Magwitch tries to embrace him, showing Pip still see’s him at the desperate common criminal he was all those years ago. This creates tension, as Pip makes the situation awkward and discomforting, and starts to give the impression he’s not going to help Magwitch, which leaves the reader on edge asking the question will he or won’t he? Pip is also shown as slightly arrogant and boastful, as he boasts to Magwitch about his life saying “I’ve done wonderful well. There’s others went out alonger me and has done well too, but no man has done nigh as well as me. I’m famous for it”, this shows the reader that Pip puts himself above other people and thinks very highly of himself, and the fact he is a gentleman.

At the beginning of both chapters 1 and 39 the weather reflects the atmosphere, with the weather being dark and rainy, and the atmosphere being eerie and intense gives us the impression something dramatic and dreadful is going to happen, this is pathetic sympathy. In chapter one Pip is walking through the marshlands and the graveyard and the atmosphere is eerie and the weather is foggy and dark, making the setting spooky and scary, Pip describes it as a “raw afternoon” and that the “rains were heavy” . Also because of the gravestones and gibbets it gives the impression that something is going to happen, and also Pip describes the scene as a “savage lair”, Pip is also scared by the weather and the eerie atmosphere, he says “growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry” which shows that he almost new that something bad was going to happen, so when Magwitch appear it is not that surprising and also Magwitch’s personality and appearance reflects the atmosphere. Then in chapter 39 when Magwitch appears or the second time in the novel the weather is raining heavily, “vast heavy hail”, and Pip is saying how the lamps have blown out, “the staircase lamps had blown out” and “the lamps in the court were blown out”, which tells us it is dark and windy, which yet again like in chapter one gives us the impression that something bad is going to happen, which is pathetic fallacy. The fact that in both chapters the weather is very familiar links in with the fact that these are the two chapters which Magwitch appears in.

When Dickens sets the scene at the beginning of chapter thirty-nine, he uses a very detailed description. For example, he says, “my twenty-third birthday was a week gone…” telling us that he is very precise as to when the event is going to happen. In the second paragraph, Dickens writes; “It was wretched weather; stormy and wet, stormy and wet; and mud, mud, mud, deep in all the streets. Day after day, a vast heavy veil had been driving over London from the east…” Dickens uses the weather, like in chapter one, to portray a threatening atmosphere, creating tension, as because of this, and the readers may link this chapter to the first. He also uses repetition, so as to help the intuition of a threatening event. The phrase, “vast heavy veil” infers that something that was hidden throughout the whole of the book is going to be exposed to the readers very shortly. In chapter 39, Dickens uses pathetic fallacy, ‘so furious had been the gusts’, to show Pip’s emotions and how he feels.

This is particularly helpful in creating the desired sense of tension as it too emphasises the violence and abnormality of the night leading up to a lot of tension before the reader is told what happens on that night. Although Pip is fearful of the man in both chapters, but in chapter 39 he mostly resents the fact that a non-gentleman shows gratified recognition towards him whereas in chapter 1, Pip is very respectful towards the man by referring to him as ‘sir’ every time. This shows us how much Pip has changed to become a gentleman, a sort of snobbish attitude to those he sees lower down in the Victorian class system to him. Dickens tries to convey the reader that being a gentleman can mean putting yourself above others and judging lower class people too quickly. Irony is used in chapter 39, before Pip is told who his benefactor really is; when Pip offers Magwitch 2, as he was given that sum of money by Magwitch, when he was a young boy.

This is linked to Joe’s visit because Pip tell the reader that he would have kept Joe away by paying money if he could thus this is the reason why the reader feels a lot less sympathetic towards Pip in chapter 39. In the third paragraph of chapter thirty-nine, Dickens uses personification; “the smoke cam rolling down the chimney”: this tells us that even the smoke did not like the weather outside, as it also says, “could not bear to go out in such a night”. This tells us that the weather outside was horrible and wet and windy, thus, linking back to chapter one. Dickens also uses repetition, when he says, “the lamps were blown out”, and he keeps on repeating the words “the lamps”. In paragraph four, the narrator, Pip, is very precise, as he knows at exactly what time it is. The way Pip says; “struck that hour”, is portentous, as it builds up the tension, and the readers are all wondering as to what is going to happen next in the work of fiction.

When Magwitch first appears, the readers are quiet unclear as to who exactly the unknown person is. For example, Pip says, “There is someone down there, is there not?”, and we can see the uncertainty in the way he speaks, and to emphasis this point, Pip also says, “Pray what is your business?”. Later on Pip thinks to himself, “I saw nothing that in the least explained him”, as he was looking to see if he was meant to actually know who the stranger is. The idea that Pip still has no idea who the stranger is being even more emphasised when he says, “What do you mean?”, as this implies that Pip is clearly confused, and is wondering what on earth this stranger is doing in his house, asking for him, Pip. However, in paragraph fifteen, Pip suddenly realises who the stranger is. We do not know who Pip is thinking about at the time, creating a distinct mood. Dickens uses repetition to grasp our attention, so that we cannot wait until we get to know who the stranger is. When Pip realises who the stranger actually was, (Magwitch), he does not seem to be excited at his presence. He actually hopes to himself for him to leave very soon. This shows the snobbish side of being a gentleman during the times of the book being written.

When Pip is in the process of discovering who his benefactor really is, Dickens uses a simile to create a distinct atmosphere; “my heart beating like a heavy hammer of disordered action”. When dickens writes, “I was borne down by them and had to struggle for every breath I drew.” it tells us that Pip’s world is falling apart. Pips reaction to Magwitch’s arrival, is telling him to “keep off!” and “stay!”, making us feel sorry for Magwitch as Pip is treating him badly before he knows what he’s done for him, that he’s the reason he is where he is now, and even after Magwitch tells him about him being his benefactor he still acts with disgust towards Magwitch , “the abhorrence in which I held the man, the dread I had of him, the repugnance which I shrank from him could not have been exceeded if he had been some terrible beast” this quote both builds tension and creates sympathy towards Magwitch, as Pip had just told of his absolute hate and disgust to and for Magwitch even though he had done this wonderful thing for him.

In paragraph thirty-four, Dickens uses word to reflect Pip’s state of mind; “When I awoke, without having parted in my sleep with the perception of my wretchedness, the clocks of the Eastward churches were striking five, the candles were wasted out, the fire was dead, and the wind and the rain intensified the thick black darkness.” This quote shows how depressed Pip is at this moment in time, as he does not know what to think, as he though Miss Havisham was his unknown benefactor, and thought it was the plan to get to Estella and marry her, but it was just a common criminal who turned out to be his benefactor, and realised that Estella was not meant for him.

There is a huge difference between the characters Magwitch is in chapter 1 in comparison to the man he is in chapter 39. In chapter 1, when Magwitch is first introduced into the story he is a desperate criminal who’s just escaped and is facing prison, and Pip is terrified of him as he’s ruthless and threatening as he threatens Pip with his life saying “Keep still you little devil or ill cut your throat”, later in the chapter he threatens Pip again by saying if he doesn’t get him a file and some whittles he would ” Have your heart and your liver out”, also Pip describes him as wearing no hat which tells us he wasn’t a gentleman, as gentleman is those times also wore a hat in public. Because of how Magwitch is in chapter 1 we feel sympathetic towards Pip as he is terrified of this man who’s using force and threats to get what he needs, and al Pip can do is go along with it, he has no choice in the matter.

Then when Magwitch is reintroduced into the story in chapter 39 he has a more gentleman-like appearance and has manners, and also tells Pip of his stable job and good income, as when he was recaptured back in chapter 1, he was transported to a Australian penal colony, or “the new world”, he was sent to Australia as at the time the British prisons were over burdened as there was far too many people to keep in Britain or on the prison ships (one of which Magwitch has escaped from). In chapter 39 when Magwitch meets Pip he is very happy and kisses his hands, and refers to Pip as “noble Pip”, this shows that he is very fond of Pip and grateful for what he did to help him. We feel sympathy towards Magwitch as knowing that the punishment for returning to Britain after being deported was the death sentence, it shows he has acted very virtuously just to see Pip and tell him that he was his benefactor and how proud he was of him, and Pip in very uncomfortable and doesn’t want Magwitch there and shows no gratitude for what he’s done for him, “Stay! Keep off”, “I reluctantly gave him my hands”, “O. that he had never come! That he had left me at the forge!” These quotes show this, and show how he treats Magwitch with no appreciation. Pips reaction also helps build tension, as Magwitch was clearly not expecting Pip to react in this way, and Magwitch showing up was a big surprise and the fact that if he is caught he’ll face the death penalty also helps build tension.

Dickens presents Pip in two completely different ways is each chapter. In chapter 1 Pip is presented as a vulnerable lonely little boy, he is determined and brave, and also polite and respectful, and as the reader we are made to feel sympathetic towards him. It tells us early in the novel how Pip wanted to become a gentleman because he was in love with Estella and he wanted to be equal and worthy or her so they could be together, this shows us his determination of how he longed to make a man of himself. Pips bravery is shown when meeting Magwitch, he doesn’t try to run away and when Magwitch asks him to get him the things what he needs Pip does so, and doesn’t run away from him yet again.

This tells us that Pip was morally upstanding, and makes us like him and feels sympathetic. Then in chapter 39 a completely different side of Pip is portrayed. He is made to seem snobbish, and when He meets Magwitch he is shocked and disgusted by his presence, and doesn’t try to hide his abhorrence towards Magwitch, simply telling him to “stay!” and “keep off!” when Magwitch tries to embrace him, showing Pip still see’s him at the desperate common criminal he was all those years ago. This creates tension, as Pip makes the situation awkward and discomforting, and starts to give the impression he’s not going to help Magwitch, which leaves the reader on edge asking the question will he or will he not? Pip is also shown as slightly arrogant and boastful, as he boasts to Magwitch about his life saying “I’ve done wonderful well. There’s others went out alonger me and has done well too, but no man has done nigh as well as me. I’m famous for it”, this shows the reader that Pip puts himself above other people and thinks very highly of himself, and the fact he is a gentleman.

The readers view of Magwitch changes dramatically between chapter 1 and chapter 39. In chapter 1 the readers opinion of him is that he is ruthless, threatening and desperate because of how he acts with Pip, “Tell us your name!”, “give it mouth”” and darn me if I could eat ’em”. The way Magwitch speaks commonly also makes us think of his as a low class citizen. Because of with actions we as readers are made to feel more sympathetic towards Pip, and this creates tension, because of Magwitch’s character it is unpredictable what Magwitch is going to do next, because of how he jumps out on Pip and threatening him with his life “keep still you little devil or ill cut your throat”. Because of all this out opinion is moulded into not liking Magwitch very much, and being weary of him. In chapter one when Pip is describing Magwitch, he says he has a “grey iron on his leg”, then in chapter 39 when Magwitch is in the story again, Pip describes the ‘man’ who’s turned up at his home to have “grey iron” hair, which gives us the impression that the characters Magwitch before it tells us because of the language used in both chapters to describe Magwitch, and also that the weather is the same is both chapters also.

In chapter 39 the sympathy and tension switches from being sympathetic towards Pip and Magwitch creating tension to being sympathetic towards Magwitch and Pip creating the tension in the scene. In chapter 39 the reader feels sorry for Magwitch, as he shows how grateful he was to Pip, calling him “Noble Pip”, for what he did for him when he was a child, also that he finally tells Pip that he was his benefactor, and every penny he earned he gave to Pip. It seems over the time Magwitch has spent away in Australia he has developed a love for him, having been given the time to think about what he did for him, and he maybe even thinks of him as a son referring to him as “my boy”, Magwitch shows a lot of gratitude and appreciation for what Pip did and has clearly not for a second forgot what he did, “You acted nobly, my boy! Noble Pip and I have never forgot it!” Magwitch is also polite and treats Pip with a lot of respect, and acts like a decent man and a gentleman, and shows this my kissing his hands “he grasped them heartily, raised them to his lips, kissed them and still held them”.

This shows that Magwitch wants Pip’s respect and he looks up to Pip and thinks of Pip as being this moral person he was all those years ago. Pips reaction to Magwitch’s arrival, telling him to “keep off!” and “stay!”, makes us feel sorry for Magwitch as Pip is treating him badly before he knows what he’s done for him, that he’s the reason he is where he is now, and even after Magwitch tells him about him being his benefactor he still acts with disgust towards Magwitch , “the abhorrence in which I held the man, the dread I had of him, the repugnance which I shrank from him could not have been exceeded if he had been some terrible beast” this quote both builds tension and creates sympathy towards Magwitch, as Pip had just told of his absolute hate and disgust to and for Magwitch even though he had done this wonderful thing for him.

Overall Dickens successfully manipulates us as an audience cleverly by using tension and sympathy to constantly change our opinions and views of a character as he wants too, which means he controls the readers feeling towards a certain individual. He uses pathetic fallacy and a range of complex sentences as techniques to change our views on characters, especially Magwitch, even though Magwitch is a convict and committed crimes he are still made to like him, Dickens was poor as a child and would have associated with people like Magwitch, and Magwitch is dickens way of saying even though people are made to do bad things, they can still be kind and caring people. Dickens uses the scene and atmosphere to affect us as readers, using pathetic fallacy to create tension and a build up to the climax of a scene. In chapter 1 and chapter 39 Dickens uses his techniques to create what he wants to create, which is tension and sympathy towards the individuals of his choice.

He keeps the reader surprised, as in chapter one Magwitch’s emergence wasn’t expected and his emergence wasn’t expected in chapter 39 either, the way Dickens plays off another story of Miss Havisham being Pips benefactor for him to be worthy to marry Estella keeps the reader off any trail that Magwitch is involved furthermore in the story. The novel was so popular at the time is was written because it was believable and reflects reality of that time, so it’s like a drama or a telling or someone’s actual life, but in the 21st century it’s not believable but still very popular and is still considered one of Dickens most sophisticated and greatest novels, because of the language and techniques used throughout, keeping the reader interesting all the way through and having surprising twists to the plot. Great expectations is a successful novel, with chapter one and chapter 39 being the two most important and having the most authority of the whole story, with chapter one introducing the reader to the twist and chapter 39 revealing it.

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