Examining Techniques Used by Dickens' to Present Pip and the Convict in Chapters One and Thirty-Nine

Examining Techniques Used by Dickens' to Present Pip and the Convict in Chapters One and Thirty-Nine

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The novel ‘Great Expectations’, by Charles Dickens, follows a young, socially inexperienced orphaned boy called Pip, through his journey, emphasizing his inability to adapt to life and relationships around him. His story is told through the eyes of the older Pip and highlights the aspects of society which Dickens disapproves of. His techniques throughout the novel help to give a better understanding of Pip's life. When Pip first encounters the escaped convict in the graveyard, the tense relationship between them is obvious to the reader, but all is revealed in chapter 39, where the readers meet both Pip and the convict again, and witness a role-reversal between them. The weather in the novel is significant; Dickens describes it in such a way that it creates an atmosphere using foreboding ominous imagery. This story of a lonely orphan in a mixed up world provides plenty of opportunities to consider the difficultly of an impoverished childhood in the nineteenth century and how hard it might have been for such a naïve and gullible young boy to survive in this time, especially with such harsh family circumstances. The theme of injustice, which is inherent throughout, explains some of the reasons why he has so many ‘great expectations.’ Charles Dickens’ novels criticize the injustices of his time, especially the brutal treatment of the poor in a society sharply divided by differences of wealth. He lived through that world at an early age; he saw the bitter side of the social class system and had wanted it to be exposed, so people could see the exploitation that the system rests on. But he presents these criticisms through the lives of characters, Pip and Magwitch.

Social status was important in the mid-nineteenth century. The rich ...


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... more in his life but in doing so, changes and becomes a worse person for it.
Dickens has conveyed many lessons to the readers one of which is that you can't judge a book by its cover. We know this because in Chapter 1, the readers reactions’ to the appearance of Magwitch is a disgusting, sinful creature, ‘a fearful man’, but in Chapter 39, the reactions are the opposite; we warm to the convict, and see how the convict repays Pip by becoming his benefactor. The morals are just as relevant today because people are stereotypical and place a judgement based on their appearance, like in the novel Pip is described as a shy, timid, innocent little boy; however, in chapter 39 his true colours are shown. We see the grown up snobbish Pip, where his better class and status has changed his demeanour; immediately breaking the stereotype readers had placed on him.

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