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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!"

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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.

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