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

Look carefully at the opening chapter and subsequent chapters connected with the convict, Magwitch in Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

James Pearce 11B Look carefully at the opening chapter and subsequent chapters connected with the convict, Magwitch in Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations". Explore some of the ways in which Dickens introduces and portrays his skills as a writer and relevant themes of his 19th Century times. The themes which are relevant in "Great Expectations" by Dickens include prisons, the conditions of the poor, the importance of money and class, and oppression of children by adults. The main character is a small boy called Pip. He is the narrator of the book (i.e. it is in 1st person) so the audience sees events through his approach, and this gives Dickens the opportunity to strongly influence the readers opinions about children, as it does not really give any other point of view. The book "Great Expectations" starts with the main character, Pip, giving a short description of himself and his brief life. "So I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip." Because the word "Pip" is small, it suggests images of a small, young, lonely boy who is vulnerable. "I gave Pirrip as my father's family name, on the authority of his tombstone...". This tells the reader immediately that his father was dead, something that was common in the Victorian age, remembering that Dickens wrote for the people. Pip also never had a mother, "Also Georgiana wife of the above" (on the tombstone of his father). Those words, "Also Georgiana wife of the above" are not saying a lot about his mother, and Pip does not know a lot about his mother. ...read more.

Middle

Dickens has portrayed the convict in such a way from Pip's point of view that the convict himself almost looks vulnerable and lonely. If it were not for the fact the convict was an adult, he would be as weak as Pip. The sympathy slightly shifts towards Pip again, "Where's your mother?" "There, sir!" said I." The reader would feel more sympathetic towards Pip here as Dickens has reminded the reader that Pip's parents are not alive. This was common in the Victorian Times, a lot of parents had to work to put food on the table, they worked on machines which were unsafe and often claimed the worker's life. It is quite possible that Georgiana, Pip's mother, died in childbirth, again, not uncommon for the times. Dickens then brings back the horridness of the convict. "Who d'ye live with - supposing you're kindly let to live, which I han't made up my mind about?" Magwitch makes Pip feel very helpless again by exposing his throat. A lot of people feel weak when their neck is exposed, and this makes Magwitch is again portrayed as an extremely violent and desperate person, where perhaps jail was the best place for him to spend his life. This is more likely to be a stereotypical view of the convict, which Dickens is creating, rather than one of a convict that he has actually met. Hulks were used at the time to house prisoners and they were big ships that had retired and had no other use. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pathetic fallacy is used again by Dickens to create a sense of awfulness. "... picking his way among the nettles, and among the brambles" Nettles and brambles are nasty plants if someone gets caught in them, so they help to set the scene here. The pace has slowed down slightly, building up tension perhaps for Pip's encounter with his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery in Chapter 2, "Where have you been, you young monkey." possibly as daunting for Pip as meeting the convict as Mrs. Joe did not suffer fools gladly. Another idea is that adults dominate children's lives, and it has to be said not always for the better. Pathetic fallacy is again used at the end to create a particularly powerful image. "... the sky was just a row of angry red lines" Red means blood. Could this be a sign of things to come? Or a summing up of what has happened? Pip meets the convict again in Chapter 39, "There is some one down there, is there not?" so it cannot be a sign of what is to come, or at least for the next day when Pip gives the convict "wittles" and a file. Magwitch has been portrayed in a way by Dickens as such that on first sighting he looks like a tough middle aged man who is very physically overpowering, especially to a small boy, but shows signs that he is just as vulnerable as the boy himself, because of his lack of food, the chain between his legs and that there might be someone there with him to keep him safe. ...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. An exploration of the ways in which issues of class and status are presented ...

    the angry Ted for sliding down his straw stack, diverts his attention and anger by letting him know that he is from the Hall, and is not surprised by Ted's transformation. This even suggests that the standards of behaviour expected are different depending on class, and that it is to

  2. Discuss how Charles Dickens builds tension in Chapters 1 and in Chapter 39 of ...

    What's more, Dickens personified the weather when he said this, 'tide is in'. Here the tension builds up because the reader can get an image of the sea invading the land and hence being hazardous for a young child. Furthermore, Dickens also personifies the weather to build up tension in Chapter thirty nine.

  1. Compare, Contrast and Analyse Chapters 1 and 39 of Great Expectations.

    has the ability to manipulate Pip, although he still poses a mental threat as he has the ability to change Pip's whole position within the setting, changing Pip's way of life and removing the financial support, would once again see Pip exposed and under threat from the harsh environment Dickens

  2. How does Charles Dickens create an effective opening to Great Expectations?

    are both prime examples of this. Despite this, Pip still treats Magwitch respectfully and calls him 'Sir'. At this stage is the story, it is unclear whether Pip speaks with respect to all adults he meets or if it was just because he didn't want to annoy Magwitch and put himself in danger.

  1. How do David Lean and Julian Jarrold use film techniques to influence the viewers ...

    the entire section of the film which it is played in seem to be in slow-motion. This makes it more exciting for the viewer as it adds to the chase feel, because the heart beats louder when one is running or scared.

  2. How does Charles Dickens present Pip as vulnerable in the opening chapters of Great ...

    This makes the reader imagine that the environment around pip is against him and the weather is aggressive towards him. This is intensified by Charles Dickens who uses metaphors to create a desolate, bleak picture of the landscape. He says "the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing has the sea."

  1. How does Dickens create sympathy for Pip in the opening chapters of great Expectations(TM)

    that is supposed to be a time of joy but for him it is not. The settings are not like they would be today on this special day, there are no Christmas trees or light instead there is this lifeless and dead atmosphere.

  2. Analysing and explaining Charles Dickens' Great Expectations; Chapter 1.

    the book is as well(that's why it's there), creating even more tension in the atmosphere. Tension increases further as the zooming in of the book to a super extreme close up, increases speed, in harmony to the books pages begin to turn faster and faster, frantically and uncontrollably with again the shot 'dissolving' away into the start of the movie.

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