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Crime and Punishment Issues in "Great Expectations".

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Introduction

Crime and Punishment Issues in "Great Expectations" 2nd Draft Crime and Punishment is a key theme in "Great Expectations" which is linked closely to Justice and Injustice. Pip is introduced to crime and criminals very early on when he is confronted with Magwitch on the marshes. This encounter compels Pip to steal from his own family, the iron file and the pork pie. So the first crime we see committed is by Pip, which is significant because the book is around crime, and how Pip gets more and more involved. When Magwitch is caught he is taken to the prison hulk where Pip gets an insight into the justice system and how the prisoners are treated. ...read more.

Middle

He "walks among the prisoners as a gardener would walk among his flowers." Pip finds out from Wemmick that the mysterious gifts he has received are from convicts. Pip sees that convicts are treated as celebrities. When Pip returns to the forge to visit his family he travels on the coach with two convicts being taken to the prison ships. Pip recognises one of the convicts as being the person who gave him �2. The convict doesn't remember Pip but the convict does remind Pip how easily he could be exposed. Although the convict gave Pip money, he is looked upon as a "lower animal" by Wemmick. Pip again meets up with Wemmick who shows him around the court and local jail. ...read more.

Conclusion

Under all his clothes the fact that he is a convict still shows through. Also the fact that Magwitch has a daughter, and that daughter is the sweet innocent girl Estella, who Pip loved, makes no sense to Pip. That Magwitch, a common criminal, has produced Estella, a posh lady, confuses Pip because he believes that family should be of the same social background. Crime and justice does play a very important role in the book. Crime falls into two main categories, moral crime and legal crime. Moral crime would be the treatment of Estella by Miss Havisham and legal crimes are crimes that you can be put on trial for. Justice does prevail e.g. poetic justice like Drummel who falls off his horse and Miss Havisham who dies after being cruel. This is also ironic. ...read more.

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