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Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Charles Dickens was on of the most successful 19th century novelists. From being born in 1812 and dying in 1870, he wrote such novels as 'A Christmas Carol', 'Oliver Twist' and 'Great Expectations'. Many critics throughout his life have praised his mastery of prose and his characters throughout his novels. During the 1840 a Dickens went over to America with his wife, during his time there him supporter the abolition of slavery. Throughout his life, and his novels, he addresses social issues in the world. As we see in 'Great Expectations;' there is a hint of his time in America, with issues of crime and punishment. In this piece of coursework I will be studying how Dickens engages and sustains the interest of the reader in the 1st and 39th chapter of the novel. It starts in paragraph 1 where pip the protagonist is sitting and mourning his parents' death, at a dark overgrown graveyard during the night. Pip is a very small child and compared to the environment in which he is, is described to be tiny and weak, because of his 'smallness' we/reader feel sympathy for Pip. As Pip is mourning at the Gravestones, and escaped convict who is as cold as stone. ...read more.


When the convict turns up we suddenly know that something is going to happen, and the mood changes. In the beginning of the chapter the reader is reminded of the age Pip Is 'I was three and twenty years of age.' This is reminding the reader That many years had passed and that Pip had nothing to 'enlighten' him On his expectations. He has also left 'Barnard's Inn more than a year, And lived in temple'. He hasn't seen Mr. Pocket for some time now, Which is curious because they were the best of friends? Pip is 'Alone' and he was 'dispirited and anxious' this may be because he Still doesn't know who is benefactor is that he is all alone now, He Missed his 'friend', Dickens has used the effect of weather to have an Effect on Pip's feelings, 'it was wretched weather...deep in all the Streets'. The bad weather creates a dark gothic atmosphere and, shows the reader that soon a major event is going to happen. In chapter 39 Magwitch was portrayed very differently, in fact, he was almost like a new character, he was kind "dear boy", caring ""He caught me, drew me to the sofa" and he respected Pip with an almost godlike reverence ""he took both my hands and put them to his lips" "bent on one knee before me". ...read more.


Dickens message to the readers is that not all convicts are malevolent. This idea comes across very strongly in chapter 39, when Pip realises that it was Magwitch that had been his benefactor all along. The fact that Magwitch "lived rough, that you should live smooth" also shows that not all convicts are selfish; in fact, Magwitch is one of the most generous people that Pip had met! Chapter 1 portrays the idea that not all convicts are inherently wrong, they are just driven to do wrong by the circumstances that they are in, just like Magwitch. The reason that Dickens wanted to portray this particular message may be due to the fact that he, and all his family, was imprisoned for his father's debt. He may even have met someone who helped him whilst he was in prison, and subsequently he based the character of Magwitch on them, realising that not all convicts are the evil people we think of, and some are kind generous people. From analysing both of the chapters, I think that Dickens engages the reader in a variety of ways; he uses suspense and description to bring the reader into the novel itself, and he gets across messages, in which day to day life come across. I think that Dickens is a Great Novelist and that he writes, in such a way that the reader cannot help but to read on. . ...read more.

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