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Essay on Great Expectations By Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations By Charles Dickens


Chapter one and chapter fifty-six in Great Expectations are in
contrast with each other, they focus on the beginning and the end of
Pip's relationship with Magwitch.

I am going to investigate the change in the relationship between
Magwitch and Pip, and the possible reasons behind them.

Great Expectations focuses on Pip and we view the narrative through
his eyes. In chapter one Pip, would have been about seven years of age
and Magwitch would have been in his late thirties. To Pip, Magwitch
seemed a 'being from another planet' and the way Dickens has used the
innocence of a child and the 'fearful' convict makes Pip's reaction to
Magwitch as a character much more frightening and so gives Magwitch a
memorable and aggressive entrance to the book. Moreover, even though
Pip is terrified of Magwitch, he still looks up to him as his adult
superior.

In Great Expectations, Dickens could use his own experience of life
and the law to contribute to the atmosphere. Dickens spent most of his
life in London where he routinely walked the city streets ten or
twenty miles at a time and he could apply his unique power of
observation to the city to grasp the sights, sounds, and smells of
London into his descriptions. When Dickens was twelve, his father was
imprisoned for debt and this made Dickens recognise the law as it was.
He was also forced to work in blacking warehouse and I do not think
that he ever forgot this humiliation of his father's imprisonment,
especially because of the way he describes the court in chapter
fifty-six of Great Expectations: 'I could scarcely believe, even as I
write these w...


... middle of paper ...


...ter fifty-six, after finding out that he was Pip's benefactor
and that his meeting with him on the moors at the start of the book
changed his life forever, Pip feel that he owes Magwitch a lot and
wishes to thank him, by taking care of him.

I think that the main feelings Dickens was trying to convey in chapter
one, to do with the relationship, are isolation, fear and meaning.
Chapter one also ends with Magwitch walking towards the 'gibbet'
towards his death. The main feeling Dickens was trying to convey in
chapter fifty-six to do with the relationship are love a trust and
care.

We can therefore see how Dickens has used similar settings for both
chapters, changing the atmosphere between Magwitch and Pip and we can
how much Magwitch has influenced the life of Pip and the trust and
care they share for one another.


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