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Look carefully at the opening chapters of Great Expectations and explore some of the ways in which Dickens develops Pip's character - How is he affected by his initial encounters with Magwitch, Miss Havisham and Estella? How do different classes treat pip

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Introduction

Look carefully at the opening chapters of Great Expectations and explore some of the ways in which Dickens develops Pip's caracter. How is he affected by his initial encounters with Magwitch, Miss Havisham and Estella? How do different classes treat pip? Great Expectations was first written in 1860 and is set in England. In the 19th century the society was comprised of the upper class and the working class or the lower class. The upper class were wealthy and had few children as their was no need for a large family, whereas the lower class had large family's as they would expect alot of their children to die through starvation or disease. Throughout the novel Charles Dickens use of language is consistent and precise. During that time of history they did not have television and for the lower class the only form of entertainment was reading. The language the author uses is very basic and explanatory, this would fit in with the time it was written. He also uses phonetic spelling sometimes which gives us a feel of the culture and people of that time. ...read more.

Middle

I think that Charles Dickens shows that Pip learns the true meaning of life. The opposite of Pip, Orlick, does not learn from his mistakes and after he kills Mrs Joe he tries to kill Pip and is arrested. At the start of the book Pip meets Magwitch he is scared and he shows his childish and premature emotions. At one point during Great Expectations Pip refers to Magwitch as "my friend". This shows that Pip likes Magwitch, which is very strange considering he is an apparently dangerous convict who threatened Pip. But this also shows that Pip has been so isolated he wants to make a new friendship, even with Magwitch! He next meets Miss Havisham at Satis House. This visit is very important to Mrs Joe because she believes that she could possibly get some of Miss Havisham's wealth if Pip impresses her. It is also a very significant visit for Pip and it is his first experience of the upper class. From the moment he is born he is destined to a working class life being apprenticed to Joe. ...read more.

Conclusion

But his anger soon turns to himself, when he realizes how badly he treated Biddy and Joe, his true friends. He saw Joe as common and low class when all the time he was being supported by the lowest of the classes, a convict. It is now that he also sees Miss Havisham kill herself as a result of the pain she has caused to Pip. He then goes back home only to see Magwitch kill Compeyson and he just escapes being killed by Orlick. He looks on in sorrow as he sees how unfairly Magwitch is treated at his trial, this scene shows how the author has developed Pip's emotions and how he can distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. He then returns to his previous life with all his expectations lost. The different classes treat Pip extremly differently throughout the various stages in his life. At the begining of his life, the upper class treat Pip as a working class boy. Miss Havisham reguallary looks down on him, and ironicly upperclass Estella looks down on him and regulary mocks him throughout the begining of his life. ...read more.

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