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How does Dickens use Pips relationship with Magwitch to interest the reader?

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Introduction

Great Expectations How does Dickens use Pips relationship with Magwitch to interest the reader? The novel called 'Great Expectations' written by Charles Dickens, uses a very unique relationship between two characters to form the main 'stem' of the book. Pip's relationship with Abel Magwitch is extremely interesting because it is so significant. It is at the heart of the book mainly for the reason that it is the closest and deepest relationship between any two characters in the whole novel. This forms a relevance to the title of 'Great Expectations.' After meeting with Pip for the first time, Magwitch begins to desire many expectations for Pip. Pip receives money from an anonymous person and goes to London to become a gentleman. This causes irony because Pip thinks that the money comes from Miss Havisham when in fact it comes from Magwitch. He wants Pip to live how he couldn't live. These expectations often came in the way of his duty, leaving him in a position in which he has to choose between his family and his life in London. Throughout the novel both Pip and Magwitch misunderstand the meaning of the term 'gentleman.' Towards the end of the novel Pip learns that he should value generosity and also realizes that relationships are most important. There is a very common theme in this novel which is similar to many other books in Victorian Times. It is about a central character growing up and developing, written in first person. The novel portrays the emotional and mental growth of the character whilst the reader sympathises with the narrators of the stories. Dickens had already written 'David Copperfield' and 'Oliver Twist' in this way. Dickens also uses the book structure to make the relationship involving Pip and Magwitch central and also crucial. There are 59 chapters which were published in 3 parts. Chapter 19 ends Part 1, when Pip goes to London to become a gentleman; Chapter 39 ends Part 2 when Magwitch suddenly reappears. ...read more.

Middle

As more information is provided the shock begins to have physical effects; "struggle for every breath I drew." It results in Pip nearly fainting; "the room began to surge and turn." While Magwitch is made known to be feeling proud and pleased, Dickens shows Pip's disgust and fear in a very fascinating manner. Pip knows that morally he should be grateful but he cannot prevent his feelings, so Dickens uses similes and metaphors to explain his emotions; "the abhorre in which I held the man." Pip is also afraid of the convict; "I recoiled from his touch as if he ha been a snake," and when Magwitch touches him he illustrates his emotions as; "my blood ran cold within me." Pip is particularly afraid of what Magwitch might do and this scares him a lot. This is also enthralling because neither the reader nor Pip know of Magwitch's past and why he was sent to prison which adds more tension and suspense; "I shuddered at the thought that for anything I knew, his hands might be stained with blood." Other than these feelings, Pip has many other thoughts about his own life; "O, that he had never come! That he had left me at the forge - far from contented, yet, by comparison, happy!" He wishes that he had never seen the convict so he wouldn't have to face all this complication. Pip also develops a guilty conscience; "sharpest and deepest pain of all - it was for the convict... that I had deserted Joe" and realizes that Estelle had used him; "Estelle not designed for me; I only suffered in Satins house as a convenience, a sting for the greedy relations." It is interesting to see how Pip feels in chapter 40 when he has to try to disguise and hide Magwitch. Pip feels that it is impossible to disguise Magwitch's criminal identity because he has the appearance of a criminal; "He dragged one of his legs as if there was still a ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout the novel, Pip and Magwitch's social attitudes change and they learn to put generosity and love before wealth. This is all relevant to the social issues today and proves that in the 1800's there was a social gap and that there is still a social gap today, although it is not as strong as before. In my opinion Dickens key techniques in presenting the novel's central relationship is the dialogue of the characters along with the description of the unique atmospheres. The whole time through the novel there is also lots of suspense used which I think is again, another key technique. The relationship between Pip and Magwitch has interested me because it is marvellous to read about two people who develop such a unique bond at an early age and how they help each other through bad times. They both learn that wealth and status are not the essential things but what matters in life are the relationships we form with others and people's true nature. The moments and scenes involving Pip and Magwitch which stand out most in my mind are all in chapter 3. I assume that this is because I can clearly remember how frightened Pip was when he first heard about the other convict and when he told Magwitch that he had seen the convict, I could picture the disbelief on Magwitch's face. Dickens created a lot of suspense and interest at this point and I think that is the main reason why that chapter appealed to me more than the others. Other than this I can also clearly recall the last few paragraphs of chapter 56 when Pip attested his true nature. Despite the fact that Estelle took advantage of Pips companionship, he still briefly informed Magwitch of the pleasant virtues in her. By doing this he helped Magwitch to die 'peacefully' without any adverse emotions. ?? ?? ?? ?? Great Expectations Adeen Parvaiz 02/05/2007 pg 1/6 ...read more.

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