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How does Dickens create the characters of Magwitch and Miss Havisham? How does the setting in which he presents them add to these characterizations?

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Introduction

Nadine Shinya 10J - Draft How does dickens create the characters of Magwitch and Miss Havisham? , How does the setting in which he presents them add to these characterizations? Charles Dickens 'Great expectations' written in the 1850's is a Victorian novel. 'Great Expectations' is about a young boy who grows up and moves from a lower class to being a gentleman. Dickens writes the story as an adult looking back at his childhood as a child would not be able to write a complete novel. Dickens was brought up in a middle class family. The character in the story is brought up in a middle class family, so he knows about poverty and abuse as he suffered from both. At the age of 12, Dickens parents were sent to the Marshalsea prison for debt. Dickens went to work in a blacking factory, earning less than a pittance a day. He worked in extreme bad conditions suffered by all children of the poor. Eventually the debt was paid off by other family members, so his family came out and dickens sent to school to fulfil his dreams of becoming a writer. ...read more.

Middle

The appearance of Magwitch, cut and stung by nettles, scares Pip, because he doesn't want to become like him and look like that. Pip is about to under go a disturbing experience as he enters Miss Havisham's garden, as it is overgrown and tangled with weeds, "It was paved and clean, but grass was growing in every crevice". Dickens describes it like this to show that it hasn't been cared for and there's no love, like the appearance of Miss Havisham. The courtyard is described as being lifeless and desolate; there are no animals, not a sound. "We came to Miss Havisham's house, which was of old brick, and dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it". This gives the idea that the place is abandoned and empty. The noise of the wind is compared to the noise of the wind in the rigging of a ship (hulks prison ships), "it made a shrill noise in howling in and out at the open sides of the brewery, like the noise of wind in the rigging of a ship at sea". This shows how quiet and scary the atmosphere was and how lonely Pip must have felt. ...read more.

Conclusion

After Pip spots the clock he is ordered to play. He does not question her and follows her order, this shows her authority. We see Miss Havisham as a strange lady because she desires to have a working class boy come to 'play'. Estella reacts to this in the same way we do; she wonders why Miss Havisham would want a working class boy to play. "With this boy? Why, he is a common labouring boy!" .Then we realise it is part of Miss Havisham's plan. She wants him to play and fall dearly in love with Estella so that she can break his heart, "Well? You can break his heart". She wants revenge on men, as Compeyson broke her heart so she will break others. As more is revealed about Miss Havisham we find out that she is obsessed with her own death. "This is where I will be laid when I am dead, on the bridal table in my bridal dress." In "Great Expectations" Charles Dickens shows the difference in the Victorian times to how society is now. He has criminals appearing on the marshes in the harsh and horrible conditions. Where as for the upper class people he has them living in the town in well-established houses such as the Satis (Miss Havisham's) house. ...read more.

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