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Great Expectations

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"Great Expectations" was written in the mid 19th century by the world famous novelist Charles Dickens. Of key significance is the relationship between Pip (a growing young man) and Magwitch (an escaped convict) In Chapters One and Thirty-nine we read about the first and second meetings of the two characters, separated by 15 years. In Chapter one of Great Expectations Pip is a humble, polite orphan whose parents died before the time of photography and he now lives with his sister and her husband Mr Joe Gargery. As he has never seen his parents he uses the look of their tombstones to get an image of what they would have looked like. "The shape of the letters on my father's, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair." This suggests Pip is a lonely sensitive boy and one who misses his parents and brothers. He also goes on to describe his mother as a freckled and sickly woman, not a very high opinion of his mother, maybe due to the fact that his sister (Mrs. Joe Gargery) is a cruel mother figure and an accurate guess at what his mother would look like if she were alive. ...read more.


The dialogue between them showed a significant role reversal, with Pip issuing orders and Magwitch like Pip in the marshes, holding on to some hope that he will be treated kindly by Pip. Pip doesn't want anything to do with this man and repulses him. Yet as the conversation starts to end Pip starts to feel more and more incriminated. He wants this to have never of happened and regrets that his good fortune comes from this convict. He starts to think to himself and use personification to describe the wind and the rain. It becomes apparent that Pip is startled and astounded by this change in events, yet still does not want Magwitch to suffer the punishment due to him if he were to be caught in England. (hanging). The mention in Chapter one of the gallows is a reminder to us of how cruelly prisoners could be treated in Victorian times. The escaped convict in Chapter one, was revealed to be named Magwitch, He had escaped from the prison ships and somehow made his way through the Kent marshes to the cemetery where Pip, was mourning his dead family, Magwitch had no real hope of surviving on the harsh, arctic temperatures and gale force winds of the marsh environment. ...read more.


So furious had been the gusts, that high buildings in town had had the lead stripped off their roofs; and in the country, trees had been torn up, and sails of windmills carried away; and gloomy accounts had come in from the coast, of shipwreck and death. Violent blasts of rain had accompanied these rages of wind, and the day just closed as I sat down to read had been the worst of all." This single paragraph is a key component in the structure of this whole chapter. The opening sentence uses repetition and semi colons indicate how it should be read in a specific thrilling way. It creates a picture of a wilderness not too dissimilar to the settings in the bleak Kent marshes. Dickens describes this storm as a terrible event, the use of the word "Eternity" indicated a constant barrage of wind and cloud dominated the sky, a never ending attack of fury upon the rooftops of London. An enormous change can be seen in Pip from the small fragile boy in Chapter one to the snob and spoilt young man of Chapter Thirty-nine. This is a story of the development and change of Pip, Magwitch and Victorian Society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Antony Taliana English Prose Assignment Great Expectations ...read more.

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