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Compare chapter 1 of Great Expectations, in which Pip first meets the convict, with chapter 39, when the convict returns.

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Introduction

Compare chapter 1 of Great Expectations, in which Pip first meets the convict, with chapter 39, when the convict returns. Charles Dickens is considered to be one of the greatest English novelists of the Victorian period. This greatest of Victorian writers was born in Landport, Portsmouth, on February 7, 1812. His father John worked as a clerk in the Navy Payroll Office in Portsmouth. It was his personal experience of factory work and the living conditions of the poor that created in Dickens the compassion, which was to mark his literary works. Dickens's works are characterized by attacks on social evils, injustice, and hypocrisy. Great expectations was Charles Dickens' second to last complete novel. It was first published as a weekly series in 1860 and in book form 1861. Throughout great expectations, Dickens explores the class system of Victorian England, ranging from the most wretched criminals (Magwich) to the poor peasants of the marsh country (Joe and Biddy) to the middle class (Pumblechook) to the very rich (miss Havisham). The theme of social class is central to the novel's plot and to the essential moral theme of the book. Pip's realisation that wealth and class are less important than affection, loyalty and inner worth. Pip achieves this realisation when he is finally able to understand that, despite the admiration in which he holds Estella, one's social status is in no way connected to one's real character. ...read more.

Middle

The words used to describe the convict such as "limped...shivered...glared...growled" are all stressed to sound more convincing as well as making the convict sound like an animal. Pip is afraid of this "fearful man" because of his animal like features and wounds. The description of the convict is not easily forgotten and our imagination of him becomes almost reality. Magwich is a vague character at the beginning of the story. He meets Pip in the churchyard and appears eager to rush the conversation. He asks Pip many questions to find out more about him. Magwich was of an shambolic appearance, "A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, with broken shoes and with an old rag tied round his head. A man who had been soaked in water, smothered in mud, lamed by stones, cut by flints and stung by nettles." This emphasises the despicable image of Magwich to make the reader feel a sense of sympathy for the character of Magwich, but not much, because the sympathy is decreased because of the way he treats Pip. He speaks commonly and harshly. Furthermore he makes a lot of commands and threats, "Hold your noise!" cried a terrible voice as a man started up from among the graves, "Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!" ...read more.

Conclusion

The convict appears very emotional and upset as he explains to Pip what he has been doing in Australia. This creates a conversation between Pip and the convict. Pip tries to change the conversation by asking Magwich about two one-pound notes that he was given by a messenger when he was a little boy. Pip demeans the convict by paying him the money back. The convict takes the money and burns it. It was probably very insulting for Magwich to be given a small amount of money compared to the hundreds he has given to Pip. When Magwitch, the convict on the marshes reveals himself as Pip's true benefactor, the only feelings Pip can have towards him are 'repugnance' and disbelief. Pip has always believed Miss Havisham to be his true benefactor, and believed that she wanted him to be with Estella. Pip thinks that Magwitch is the lowest of low, and he doesn't want to be associated with him. In conclusion, Pip learns that his wealth and social standing came from the labour of an uneducated prison inmate, turning his social perceptions inside out. The fulfilment of his hope of being raised to a higher social class turns out to be the work of a man from a class even lower than his own. The sense of duty that encourages Pip to help the convict is a mark of his inner goodness, just as it was many years ago in the swamp, but he is nevertheless unable to hide his disgust and disappointment. ?? ?? ?? ?? Prose assignment Rizwan Ahmed 11PX ...read more.

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