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Examine chapters one and fifty-six of great expectations paying special attention to the change in both Pip and Magwitch.

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Introduction

Great Expectations By Charles Dickens Task: Examine chapters one and fifty-six of great expectations paying special attention to the change in both Pip and Magwitch. Chapter one and chapter fifty-six in Great Expectations are in contrast with each other, they focus on the beginning and the end of Pip's relationship with Magwitch. I am going to investigate the change in the relationship between Magwitch and Pip, and the possible reasons behind them. Great Expectations focuses on Pip and we view the narrative through his eyes. In chapter one Pip, would have been about seven years of age and Magwitch would have been in his late thirties. To Pip, Magwitch seemed a 'being from another planet' and the way Dickens has used the innocence of a child and the 'fearful' convict makes Pip's reaction to Magwitch as a character much more frightening and so gives Magwitch a memorable and aggressive entrance to the book. Moreover, even though Pip is terrified of Magwitch, he still looks up to him as his adult superior. In Great Expectations, Dickens could use his own experience of life and the law to contribute to the atmosphere. Dickens spent most of his life in London where he routinely walked the city streets ten or twenty miles at a time and he could apply his unique power of observation to the city to grasp the sights, sounds, and smells of London into his descriptions. ...read more.

Middle

Chapter one is where Pip meets Magwitch, and where Magwitch leans over Pip, being the more dominant character, striking fear in Pips heart, chapter fifty-six is the death of Magwitch. Now Pip is leaning over Magwitch, talking to him, being the stronger of the two characters. In this chapter Dickens shows us the bond between Magwitch and Pip and the relationship change from one of fear, to love. Chapter one is set near Rochester. Dickens describes the moors in a bleak and depressing manner. 'Bleak place overgrown with nettles'. It is a 'raw' afternoon towards evening on Christmas Eve and the way Dickens describes the setting, from Pip's eyes, makes him seem even more vulnerable and innocent. He uses words such as 'bleak, raw, dead and buried and dark flat wilderness', which introduce the book in a very negative way, also making a very negative introduction into Pip's life. The setting in chapter fifty-six is in a prison's infirmary, with Pip visiting Magwitch. It is around April and Dickens makes sure he describes both settings in complete contrast with each other. 'Vivid colours of the moment, down to the drops of April rain on the windows of the court, glittering in the rays of April sun.' ...read more.

Conclusion

'What fat cheeks you ha got' 'Darn me if I couldn't eat em' 'And if I han't half a mind to't!' The atmosphere in chapter fifty six, however is more compassionate and whereas in chapter one Pip really wanted Magwitch to just leave, now he wants to hold on to him for as long as possible. I also believe that Pip wished that he'd never even met Magwitch, in chapter one, but in chapter fifty-six, after finding out that he was Pip's benefactor and that his meeting with him on the moors at the start of the book changed his life forever, Pip feel that he owes Magwitch a lot and wishes to thank him, by taking care of him. I think that the main feelings Dickens was trying to convey in chapter one, to do with the relationship, are isolation, fear and meaning. Chapter one also ends with Magwitch walking towards the 'gibbet' towards his death. The main feeling Dickens was trying to convey in chapter fifty-six to do with the relationship are love a trust and care. We can therefore see how Dickens has used similar settings for both chapters, changing the atmosphere between Magwitch and Pip and we can how much Magwitch has influenced the life of Pip and the trust and care they share for one another. ...read more.

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