• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far does Charles Dickens encourage the reader to feel sympathy for Magwitchin "Great Expectations".

Extracts from this document...


Michelle Kelly May 2002 10 Reynolds How far does Charles Dickens encourage the reader to feel sympathy for Magwitch in "Great Expectations" Charles Dickens wrote the novel "Great Expectations" in 1861, however the main action of the novel is set between 1807-1823, and the opening scene is set in a churchyard upon the Kent marshes. It is here where we first meet the character of Magwitch. A young, orphan boy named Pip is visiting the graves of his parents when he is scared by Magwitch and told to "Keep still you little devil or I'll cut your throat" As the reader meets the character of Magwitch the reader doesn't feel sympathy for Magwitch as the reader sees him through Pips eyes. Pip sees Magwitch as this big, scary, rugged prisoner who could be very violent. Pip could possibly be in fear of his life. In some ways Pip is a victim because all Magwitch wants from Pip is to own a gentleman. ...read more.


I'll put it at once into one mouthful of English. In jail and out of jail, in jail and out of jail..." Magwitch carries on to talk about how he grew up only to be known as Magwitch and how he never had a proper home. He also pointed out the fact that people had just given up on him. Dickens tries to make the reader feel sympathy for Magwitch by telling the reader that Magwitch was never educated properly. "A deserting solider in a Travellers Rest... taught me to read; and a travelling Giant what signed his name at a penny a time learnt me to write" Magwitch goes on to tell the reader about how he met got acquainted with a man who he had seriously hurt many years before. His name was Compeyson. He had a good upbringing and Magwitch thought that he would help him become a better person and be considered a gentleman. ...read more.


But on the way they encounter Compeyson and Magwitch ends up fighting. This leads to Magwitch becoming seriously injured and eventually his capture. Throughout these events in the novel the reader develops a sense of sympathy for Magwitch after all he has been through, compared to the sense of anger and possible hatred towards him in the beginning of the novel. Dickens gradually develops this sense of sympathy throughout the last few chapters of the novel. This feeling originates in Chapter 41, in which Magwitch pays Pip a visit. It develops a bit more in Chapter 42 when Magwitch tells his life story to Pip and gets bigger over the remaining 17 chapters of the novel. Dickens encourages you to use your imagination when feeling sympathy for the character of Magwitch as he can be seen in two different ways. He can be seen as a very unfortunate individual who has had a lot of bad luck, or he can be seen as someone who has got everything that was already coming to them. That choice is the readers to make. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. How does Charles Dickens hook the reader into reading Great Expectations?

    Pip is shown to be quite vulnerable as he talks like an educated gentleman, 'Pray don't do I, sir'. The protagonist isn't speaking in a Kent Dialect though he is from that area; this may interest the reader to know why this is.

  2. How does Charles Dickens make the reader feel sympathy for Pip in the opening ...

    He is frightened and starts to run. Eventually the man picks him up and tilts him so hard that he feels sick. Furthermore the convict threatens to eat his liver and heart after ripping it out. He tells us how terrified he is as well as telling us describing to us what this convict was doing to him.

  1. An exploration of the ways in which issues of class and status are presented ...

    they are comfortable, appearance is important as a display of respect and diffidence. Dickens throughout the rest of the novel then attacks the superficiality of appearance as having any value or importance at all in the judgement of character. For Dickens there is no value in tradition for traditions sake;

  2. How does Charles Dickens make the reader feel sympathy for Pip in chapters one ...

    The only things that Pip can see standing are a beacon to sailors, and a gibbet; the gibbet is particularly unnerving to him, as he begins thinking that the convict could be "a pirate come to life" who has come down from it.

  1. "Great Expectations" is considered Dickens' finest novel. To what extent does it deserve this ...

    "I took the opportunity...to look at my coarse hands and my common boots...They had never troubled me before but they troubled me now as vulgar appendages...I wished Joe had been rather more genteelly brought up, and then I should have been so too."

  2. How does chapter 8 prepare the reader for the novel to follow?prose coursework: great ...

    An advantage of this is that the original reader, if having missed an issue, can have a summary of what has happened. The novel is the Victorian equivalent to soap operas of today. Nevertheless, as we are introduced to these new characters this will not be the case.

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

    As well as being afraid we can tell that Pip is very imaginative, because of the descriptions he gives in the text. He makes a link between the convict and a pirate in a simile; "as if he were the pirate come to life."

  2. How Does Charles Dickens Engage the Reader In "Great Expectations? Focus On Chapters 1-8"

    describes it, so we see the surroundings in the first person narrative. Dickens uses this device cleverly to engage the author right from the beginning. The novel's opening is set in a graveyard, the surrounding landscapes is described as "this bleak place overgrown with nettles."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work