• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Abel Magwitch is without doubt one of the main characters in Great Expectations. He is involved in most of the novel; he is introduced at the very start"Tell us your name!"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How important is Magwitch to the story of Great Expectations? Abel Magwitch is without doubt one of the main characters in Great Expectations. He is involved in most of the novel; he is introduced at the very start "Tell us your name!" He is the spine of the story as his involvement is only finished at the very end, although he is not present in quite a large gap in the middle of the novel, his actions have a great affect on the storyline as he is sending Pip money. Magwitch also represents Charles Dickens views of the Victorian society; how Dickens feels criminals can reform and how Dickens sees the Victorian law to be corrupt. Despite these reasons for Magwitch to be the main character, I feel he is not. In my opinion the main character is clearly Pip as the novel is about his life story and is told from his perspective; "I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip". As Magwitch is the character that portrays Charles Dickens views of Victorian society and may well be the reason for writing the novel it can be argued that Magwitch is the main character. ...read more.

Middle

I shuddered at the thought that for anything I knew, his hand might be stained with blood", "I was chained to", "Dreadful burden", "There was convict in the very grain of the man". This use of emotive descriptive language by Charles Dickens gives the reader a negative feeling towards Magwitch, this language is the key to influence the reader with Pips feelings as the descriptive techniques and the emotive words describe Pips negative feelings accurately. Pip feels at this point; once a criminal, always a criminal and this shown in an extremely long sentence on page three hundred and nine; "In all his ways of sitting and standing, and eating and drinking-of brooding about, in a high shouldered reluctant style-of taking out his great horn handled jack knife and wiping it on his legs and cutting his food - of lifting light glasses and cups to his lips, as if they were clumsy pannikins - of chopping a wedge of his bread, and soaking up with it the last fragments of gravy round and round his plate, as if to make the most of an allowance, and then drying his fingers on it, and then swallowing it - in these ways and a thousand other small nameless instances arising every minute in the day there was Prisoner, Felon, Bondsman, plain as plain could be." ...read more.

Conclusion

However the language techniques he uses does underline the initial feeling of "convict" towards Magwitch right from the very start. "You get me a file." He tilted me again. "And you get me wittles." He tilted me again. "You bring em both to me." He tilted me again. This use of repetition tells the reader that this escaped convict must be evil as he is bulling a small, poor and helpless boy. Also when Magwitch returns later on in the novel, Dickens creates a sense of gloom and fear; he uses pathetic fallacy and uses list of three and repetition to emphasise the use of it; "Stormy and wet, stormy and wet" "mud, mud, mud" Dickens symbolism of the "broad shaft of light" dividing the judge from those being sentenced is a use of figurative language to emphasise the much higher position and better life of the judge, it also means that God is looking down on the condemned people. In conclusion I feel that Abel Magwitch is one of the more significant characters in the novel, he is not however the main character as the novel is based on Pips life story and therefore Pip is the main character. However Magwitch portrays the reasons for which Dickens wrote this novel and therefore many could argue that he is the main character. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. Great Expectations - Why is Magwitch an Important Character in the novel?

    this quote shows "He held me by the collar and started at me so, that I began to think his first idea about cutting my throat had revived". After this meeting we see that Magwitch reverts to the evil convict role again.

  2. Great Expectations Role of Magwitch

    " So furious had been the gusts ... death." This quote uses personification to describe the weather and the final clause of Dicken's complex sentences always contains the main clause of the sentence, which then consequently helps create suspense by the prediction within this complex sentence that someone is coming

  1. How does Dickens create sympathy for the character of Magwitch in the novel 'Great ...

    Pip compares Magwitch's eating habits to those of a dog, 'Similarity between the dog's way of eating and the man's.' He is compared to an animal and seen as less than human. The reader can appreciate that Magwitch had not eaten for days and was probably starving at the time.

  2. Who Or What Do You Think Has The Most Influence on Pip's Development And ...

    While in denial, Estella puts him straight, "Why not tell you the truth? I am going to be married to him." Whilst investigating the history of Abel Magwitch, Pip's sponsor, he finds out how Estella came to be adopted by Miss Havisham.

  1. Great expertations What techniques does Dickens use to present the characters?

    'No brightness left' is implying that there is no brightness left in Ms. Havisham or in her house. She only has brightness in her 'sunken eyes'. It's the spark of life that has been extinguished. Another theme he uses is deterioration.

  2. 'Is Magwitch a criminal or victim of society?'

    However Magwitch knew how to read and write, because a soldier and a travelling giant taught him to. Compeyson was a criminal minded man, who fancied taking advantage of other people. He used Magwitch to do all the jobs he did not wanted to do.

  1. An exploration of the ways in which issues of class and status are presented ...

    Brandham Hall however, manages in some ways to cover a broader spectrum of society than "Great Expectations" display of country and city life. As although in essence, the focus is on the upper-echelons of society in the middle and upper classes, rather than those of lower status, whom we see

  2. Charles Dickens's writing techniques in Great Expectations.

    Finally Miss. Havisham is introduced. She is seen in her once white, now yellow, wedding dress. All of this description, the old house, the clocks, the wedding dress, explains how Miss. Havisham was left on her wedding day many years ago and that was when her life stopped.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work