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great expectations

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Introduction

Great Expectations By Kirsty Thompson The novel 'great expectations', written by Charles Dickens, is a well known novel about class division, hierarchy and personal growth. It is one of the most prestigious novels of its era. The storyline to the book follows pip, the protagonist of the novel, as he enters the world of money, adulthood and power. In the first chapter pip, as narrator, introduces us briefly to his past and family. He then swiftly moves on to begin the real story starting with him as a lonely, scared, na�ve little boy, crying in the midst of the churchyard weeds. Then enters Magwitch, he is dominant in this scene, fierce, knowledgeable of the real world and standing strong and untameable, leering over pip. He forces pip to relinquish information about the marshes, and fetch him a file and whittles to rid himself of his 'great iron' on his leg. This is the beginning of their relationship. Then in chapter thirty nine, pip and Magwitch meet again. It is many years since pip has been the wimpy little boy, living sheltered in amongst the marshes; he is now a gentleman with an unknown benefactor and he now lives up among the other gentle of his same calibre. ...read more.

Middle

This shows off his characteristically young mindset to the reader. Then when Magwitch comes in, he is a complete contrast to pips character. He is bold, superior, authoritative and tough. He makes a huge impact on pip, image and presence wise. Dickens describes Magwitch with animal like qualities, using words like 'growls', this fits in with the image that the marshes contain all varieties of uncivilised people. In Pip and Magwitches relationship in the first chapter, is that Magwitch is the backbone and muscle of the relationship, yet very loyal and it is made clear he keeps his promises and takes them seriously. This is shown when he makes pip promise to bring him back the file and whittles and makes him say, 'say lord strike you down if you don't', to seal the deal. This shows that he believes in people sticking to there word. Pips part in the relationship, however, is that he is the sweet, na�ve little boy that, although terribly scared of the convict, still holds empathy and remorse for him and his current situation. He is the one with a kind heart and an inanely good conscience. ...read more.

Conclusion

By the end of the novel though, the message of the book is made clear, it is not social and educational improvement that we should strive for in life, but to accomplish real worth in life from the likes of conscience and affection. There are many similarities and differences in the two parts f the book, chapters one and thirty nine. There's the innocence to pip in the beginning, the fondness from Magwitch in the second part, the bonds pip creates with different characters and how they change as he grows older and matures. There's the manner in which the weather always seems to be dire when something arises in the plot pointing the direction of trouble and misfortune and the compelling way in which pip helps the convict both times they meet, showing his true goodness even through his new found 'gentlemanly' behaviour. To summarise, great expectations is novel about a boy who goes through many changes in his life, who meets new people and who learns to grow up. It is a well know novel about class division, hierarchy and personal growth. It is a classic and will remain a classic because even now, we can appreciate and integrate the messages of great expectations into our own lives. ...read more.

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