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

Great Expectations

Extracts from this document...


Amisha Pabari GREAT EXPECTATIONS COURSEWORK Great Expectations is a story about the impact that money can have on people's lives. Money can change anybody and Pip was no exception. When Pip is poor he truly wants to be a gentleman, he has "great expectations" for himself. He loses friends, family and parts of himself all to be a true gentleman and forgets about the true values of life. Eventually he realises that letting money rule your life can have harmful effects. There are many themes that run through this novel. One important theme is class and status. During the Victorian times, class played a huge part in society and throughout the novel the strict class system is conveyed. An example of where this is shown is when Pip is embarrassed that his benefactor was Magwitch, a convict. This shows that someone who is high up in society does not want anything to do with someone in the lower class. Another theme is about things that make a perfect Victorian gentleman. A Victorian gentleman would have had to have the following qualities. He would have to be mannerable, well dressed, educated, wealthy, have a nice house, have servants and come from a good background. Another theme is crime and punishment. Punishment in the Victorian times was very harsh. We see this when we hear about Magwitch. When we see him on the marshes, he is in a very bad condition. We also see that at the end of the story Magwitch is going to be hanged for returning to Britain from Australia. Small crimes were seen as huge matters a thief could receive seven years transportation to Australia. ...read more.


By Chapter thirty-nine Pip does not want to be reminded of his past and about how poor he was. He thinks that his benefactor is Miss Havisham. He also thinks that he is much respected and does not want anything to do with poor, lower class people. This is conveyed in the text when Dickens writes "I shuddered at the thought that for anything I knew, his hand might be stained with blood", this quote shows that in chapter 1 Pip was willing to help Magwitch but now that Pip is wealthy when Magwitch touches him he is horrified and ashamed. This shows how much Pip has changed since he has become rich. The point in the novel when Magwitch is telling Pip that he is his benefactor there is a lot of tension. Dickens created this tension by making Magwitch ask many questions until eventually Pip realises what Magwitch is trying to convey. This is reflected when Magwitch asks the first question "might a mere warmint ask what property?" After hearing, this Pip has not yet suspected what the convict is trying to say but may be worried about why Magwitch is asking personal questions. Pip tells Magwitch that he does not know and then Magwitch repeats the question. "Might a mere warmint ask whose property?" Pip then gives the same reply. When he answers, he is faltering which means that he might be lying or could be beginning to get scared. It could also mean that Pip is stuck for words because he does not want Magwitch to know that the house does not belong to him. Magwitch then begins to ask questions that give Pip and the reader more hints that he is Pip's benefactor. ...read more.


This shows that Pip has affection for Magwitch. Magwitch also returns the affection. He says "God bless you!" This shows that he cares about Pip and he knows that he is going to die and is therefore giving Pip all his blessings. To make sure that his second father dies peacefully Pip tells Magwitch that his daughter is still alive and that he loves her. I think that Magwitch changes a lot throughout the novel. At the beginning, he is seen as a terrifying character and towards the middle of the novel, we see a more caring side to him. This loving side develops more towards the end of the story. At the beginning of "Great Expectations", I feel sympathy towards Pip but then at the middle of the novel Pip came across as a snob and so our feelings about Pip change. However, at the end we regain our respect towards Pip when he realises the true meaning of a gentleman. At the start, Pip is nice to Magwitch because he is scared of him but towards the end, Pip respects Magwitch for helping him. Through Magwitch, Dickens gives us the message that criminals can be reformed and deserves a second chance. Dickens also gets the message across that money can change a person but we should not forget who we really are and who our true friends and family are. Pip realises this throughout the course of the novel. He goes back to live with Joe and lives happily ever after. He realises that a gentleman is not someone with wealth, education and social status but is someone who is caring and knows the true values of life, someone like Joe or Magwitch. ...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 Great Expectations 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 Great Expectations essays

  1. Great Expectations Role of Magwitch

    The reply that Pip then gives, shows how Pip is weak. "I believe they were fat, though I was a that time undersized for my years, and not strong." Pip then again shows his vulnerability to Magwitch. "Partly, to keep myself upon it; partly, to keep myself form crying."

  2. Great Expectations Character analysis of Magwitch and Pip

    lamed by the stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin'. Overall, this quote emphasises Magwitch's desperation in chapter one.

  1. Great Expectations - Theme of class

    progress from childhood to adulthood to fulfil his aim and become a 'gentleman.' At the beginning of chapter 14, we see Pip being direct with the reader and admitting that he now comprehends his specific social rank. "It is a most miserable thing to be ashamed of home."

  2. Great Expectations: Father figures, mentors and patrons

    Wemmick is a "yes man" for Mr. Jaggers at the office, imitating him in almost every way, including the dispersions that he constantly casts at his customers. Wemmick becomes acquaintances with Pip through their dealings with Mr. Jaggers. When Wemmick invites Pip over to his home, he sees another side of Wemmick that is never seen at the office.

  1. "Is Magwitch a Criminal or a Victim of Society

    This is because one of the main pieces of evidence for Pip is the fact that Jaggers is the lawyer for both Miss Havisham and for his benefactor, because he has seen Jaggers in Miss Havisham's house.

  2. Great Expectations; Is Magwitch a criminal or a victim of society?

    This is certainly an attack by Dickens's upon a corrupt legal system where Magwitch and others like him are victims. It is surely criminal that Compeyson wastes his talents in the way he does and in the way he manipulates the less fortunate, that being Magwitch.

  1. Great Expectations - Why is Magwitch an Important Character in the novel?

    The descriptions of Magwitch before his conversation with Pip presents modified ideas, which do not correlate with the ideas I have already explained; some statements are more sympathetic towards him. Dickens uses Pip's narration to add thoughts that the convict has been through great hardship.

  2. Describe the character of Magwitch. What do you think Dickens has to say about ...

    This is the answer to all of Pip's dreams, it's like his Christmases have all come at once but all doesn't go as well as Pip would have hoped and he becomes involved in quite a few adventures. Also, when he is handed his fortune, Pip becomes a snob and

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