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Great Expectations Role of Magwitch Essay

Magwitch Appears Twice Unexpectedly in Pip’s Life, With Traumatic Effect and Dramatic Consequences. Show how Dickens Brings These Episodes to Life, Commenting on his Style and how the Character is Portrayed. In Your Answer, you Should Concentrate on Close Analysis of Chapter 1 and 39. Charles Dickens, the author of Great Expectations was born in 1812 and spent his early childhood living in Portsmouth. His family then moved to Chatman which was located next to the River Thames marshes, and it is here that the scene of Great Expectations was set.

Great Expectations is regarded, as one of Dickens’s darkest and more reflective novels as it contains passages of grim realism based on criminal London and within Great Expectations, Dickens’s uses a fairy tale plot, which he treats ironically. Dicken’s uses his own personal experiences within Great Expectations, as when he was a small boy his father became a criminal by not paying his debts. This gives the reader of Great Expectation’s a grim realisation that the character of Magwitch could have been based on his criminal father.

Dicken’s also grew up as a poor boy, because of his father’s time in prison. Dicken’s had to work within factories to earn money,

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but then began writing and became what he is today, one of the best authors of English literature. These characteristics shown by Dicken’s are also expressed by Pip in great Expectations, as Pip is a poor boy with nothing about himself, but then he suddenly becomes a man with great expectations thus he then becomes well-off and never poor again.

However, many agree that Great Expectations is a great example of and bildungsroman (and educational novel) but it also shows traces of using an older form of fiction called the Picaresque novel. Dickens novels are often regarded as being part if his own personal experiences which have affected him in later life. The use of his own experiences is shown in Great Expectations, as it is generally agreed that within this novel Dickens’s explores his personal mixed feelings about his past more rigorously than in any of his other novels.

The first meeting between Pip and Magwitch (the escaped prisoner) takes place on Christmas Eve in a church graveyard. The location of the graveyard is on the Thames Marshes and is also the location of Pip’s father, mother and brothers as their bodies lie within the graveyard itself and this is the reason for why Pip is visiting the graveyard on Christmas Eve. However, while sitting amongst his dead families bodies Pip is disturbed by the sound of a scary and horrible voice of a man, the man being Magwitch.

Before Pip and Magwitch meet, the reader is made aware of why Pip is at the graveyard and what pip’s character is like. The first sentence of chapter 1 makes connotations that Pip is young, uneducated and vulnerable. “My infant tongue. ” The name Pip, acts as a metaphor, as though Pip is actually a small pip or deed which needs love and care, so that it can grow big and strong. Because Great Expectations is written by the older Pip, the reader is made aware of how he recognises his younger self as being very childish and infant for his age.

“Infant tongue… childish conclusion. ” This re – enforces the perception Pip has of himself, but also adds emphasis to the fact that Pip is only a small child, who can not stand up for himself. The reader is made aware that Pip is very literal and regards to his family as though it is blatantly obviously that he knows nothing of love or comfort, or for that matter knows anything about his family. “I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly.

” This shows the reader that Pip doesn’t know anything about his family and he often entertains thoughts and ideas in his mind of what his family was like. The reader is then told how Pip’s memories of visiting the graveyard when he was younger are still extremely painful and that Pip would not want to remind himself of them. “On a memorable raw afternoon towards the evening. ” This then re – enforces the pain that Pip has felt over the years and the non-existent ant love that he has never felt.

When explaining to the reader that both of his parents and his younger brothers are buried in the churchyard, there is a use of repetition, which shows the reader that Pip is very aware of the fact that nearly all his family are dead and that he is quite alone in the world. “Dead and buried… dead and buried. ” Because of this repetition it emphasis the fact that Pip is alone and there is nobody there to comfort him. The reader is then finally made aware, that Pip’s character is very melancholic and this makes the audience feel sorry for him.

However the audience are also made aware that Pip gets easily scared and upset while visiting his parents and his brothers. “And that small bundle of shivers growing afraid if it all and beginning to cry, was Pip. ” This emphasis the fact to the reader that Pip is alone and that he is extremely vulnerable to anyone who is in the graveyard with him. Overall, before the arrival of Magwitch Pip’s character is portrayed as a scared small boy whom has no one left in the world and has no compassion, feelings or knowledge about his dead family.

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