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

Examine how Dickens uses the characters Pip and Magwitch to explore themes, attitudes and ideas in great expectations

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine how Dickens uses the characters Pip and Magwitch to explore themes, attitudes and ideas in great expectations Dickens wrote "Great Expectations" to display just how unfair the criminal justice system and the class system of his day were. He successfully achieves this by telling the story of two characters caught up in these harsh systems; Pip and Magwitch. Pip is the main character and the book follows him from a small child. This is to get an insight into his life and to help the audience understand and relate with him and his feelings throughout the book. Dickens emphasises this even more by writing in the first person thus giving the audience a more accurate account of Pip's feelings and creating a more personal relationship between reader and character. Magwitch is also mostly portrayed in a good light as - although being a criminal - the audience is shown he is a good person at heart by certain actions he takes and his gestures and movements towards Pip. These two characters are very similar as Dickens depicts them both as kind people with good intentions. This image though is purposefully distorted as Dickens takes the readers and the characters on a journey into the snobby, overpowering world of the upper class and the brutal, unjust criminal justice system. Dickens then uses his characters to shock the reader as he shows what ordinary human being can become in the unforgiving time he lived in. ...read more.

Middle

Dickens has made these characters into what he believes is the average working class person, hard working with a good heart though the rest of the world is against their very survival. In the second extract however we see Pip as an upper class citizen and we see how a nice boy can become something totally different given the chance. Dickens aims in this extract to put people against upper class citizens and their snobbery and see that Pip, and therefore others would be much better off, personality wise as working class people. He also show however his belief that it is not the upper class peoples fault they are the way they are it is just how people felt they needed to act to get what they thought of as a decent life as we see Pip, a kind person stuck in this trap. The beginning of the extract shows Pip opening the door to what he believes could only be a mad man. This can be seen as Dickens explains Pips reaction to the stranger as a "stupid kind of amazement". Dickens uses this description to depict the emotion felt towards the man. Pip knows; because he has been converted to thinking that way that people like that do not turn up of someone like his door step. It is a "stupid" kind of amazement because it was stupid of this man to be here. ...read more.

Conclusion

"arter having looked for'ard so distant and come so fur..." This shows this has hit Magwitch hard as he had been thinking of this moment for so long and how he expected such a different reaction. Pip had broken his dreams he had worked so hard for and the audience can see this hurts him. As is evident throughout this extract Dickens is making the audience feel sorry for poor Magwitch and become increasingly angry with Pip's obnoxiousness. This is then taken one step further as Magwitch continues to speak, without anguish or angry towards an ungrateful Pip but excusing his behaviour: "...but your not to blame for that - neither on us is to blame..." As a now well established as morally correct character on the audiences eyes they too will also now think of Pip in this way. Now venting their anger not towards Pip as such but towards the upper class society as a whole. This is the aim of this book and is why Dickens wrote it, this extract displays this very effectively. The extract contrasts a snobby Pip against the nicest possible character to emphasise just how mean Pip has managed to become through his new found ideas of life, brought to him through his money. Both men with a kind soul stretched to something they are not by the criminal justice system and the class system. Both of them with ideas and attitudes at certain points that would not resemble their own but are what they had become through almost no fault of their own. ?? ?? ?? ?? Emma Elphick 11e1 - 1 - ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. A View From the Bridge

    After this, Beatrice finally states Eddie's true feelings for Catherine, "B: You want somethin' else, Eddie, and you can never have her! E: (shocked, horrified, his fists clenching) Beatrice!" This finally reveals to the audience and also to the other characters that Eddie real feelings for Catherine are more than just father-daughter - his fatal flaw.

  2. The Long and the Short and the Tall - Examine the Characters of ...

    He then follows this by ridiculing Whitaker for saying that something had come through on the radio; 'This boy couldn't get the home service in the sitting room.' Although this shows that he enjoys bullying, it also illustrates that he is intelligent and quick-witted; he always has a clever or sarcastic reposte: ' Don't give us that.

  1. Analysis on the character of Margot Frank

    even though she is like her mother in the way in which she is describing , she never had to suffer teasing from Mrs Van Daan, so it shows that she is sympathetic. When Anne reveals that she thought that Margot might be jealous of her and Peter, Margot replies with a simple 'no'.

  2. gothic horror

    The radical changes in the performance of characters puts into perception showing impact the monkey's paw holds on the characters in this story. The characters of the "the red room" also creates suspense. In this story central character is the young narrator.

  1. How does Shakespeare use the soliloquies in Hamlet to explore the moods of the ...

    Hamlet wishes to take revenge by creating a play which will be shown to Claudius and Gertrude, the play will represent what has happened to him. Hamlet intends to scare Claudius. In this soliloquy Hamlet says "O what a rogue and peasant slave I am!"

  2. Original Writing

    In Act One, Willie has no education and no authority to demand a pay rise from Hobson. "...and I expect you underpay him." This quote conveys to the audience how Willie is underpaid whilst working at Hobson's shop. It shows how Willie does not have the authority to demand a

  1. How Stevenson Uses Setting and Place in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and ...

    At no point throughout the novel is there any indication of an in-between class, which was exactly how the London of the late nineteenth century was - very much "us and them".

  2. the importance of magwitch in great expectations

    Although Magwitch's crime is rarely mentioned in the novel, we get an Idea of it because of the brutality of his punishment. He is sent to prison and when he escapes, is given no chances and straight away sent to the hulks.

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