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Great Expectations Coursework

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Great Expectations Course Work: Introduction: We are studying the novel Great Expectations which was written by Charles Dickens. In this novel Dickens shows his concerns about injustices within the society that he lives in and he intends to describe to us what his childhood and past life may have been like. This novel is written in first person narration. The form it's written in is called bildungsroman. It means the protagonist of the book i.e. Pip is now grown up and is looking back on his life. I intend to compare the similarities between Chapter 1 and Chapter 20 focusing on the differences between both of them. Section 2: In the beginning of the novel Pip is standing lonely and desolate in a graveyard overlooking the graves of his parents and five brothers. He appears poor and vulnerable and lives with his sister and Joe Gargery (blacksmith). Since his parents died his sister has been raising him by hand. Dickens uses the weather and the fact that Pip feels lonely to create a frightening atmosphere and environment around Pip. When Pip is standing in the graveyard he is scared and caught by a convict called Magwitch. Magwitch catches Pip and hangs him in thin air whilst asking him his name and where he lives. ...read more.


When convicts were given harsh punishments they were mainly transported to Australia and should they choose to return they would be killed. Dickens links the novel to Victorian England and shows that the poor and uneducated aren't treated in the same way as the rich people were. Section 4: In Chapter 20 Pip has changed from being a child and is now twenty three years old. He has lost most of his morals in trying to become a gentleman. He now knows how to present himself in society and the people around him but knows nothing of how he should behave with his old friend and mentor, Joe. Also Pip has changed from being poor to having wealth. Pip is the same in some ways such as feeling guilty about anything he does wrong but as well as his wealth, he has also had a change in his attitude. He behaves as if most people are beneath him and his is better then them in most ways so basically he thinks himself better then anyone else and is bigheaded. He lives with his roommate and best friend Herbert Pocket. Dickens is using first person narration in this novel to present Pip in different ways as compared to Chapter 1. ...read more.


When Pip about Magwitch having funded him he is not pleased besides knowing that Magwitch is a criminal he also knows that this means Miss Havisham was not preparing him to marry Estella therefore there is now no hope for him being able to do so. Conclusion: At the time this novel was written the justice system in Victorian England was very harsh especially with the poor people. Dickens has shown Magwitch as a very nice person who is good hearted and wants to help Pip in any way that he can but he finds it hard to do so because since he has gotten in trouble with the law. If he chooses to return to England and meet Pip he will suffer harsh justice. Since he murdered his partner, Compeyson then Magwitch will be put to death. During the time Dickens wrote this novel the death penalty was very common and whilst writing each of his novels he chooses a character who is poor and suffering due to the legal system. Through Pip's experiences in this novel we can now fully understand that the poor aren't treated equally to the rich in any way. The poor are mainly uneducated and the rich live exquisite lifestyles in which they are free to do whatever they please. Victorian England is projected as full of injustice ands the differences between rich and poor is emphasized. ...read more.

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