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Pip's Shadow Parents.

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Pip's Shadow Parents Although both of Pip's parents are dead, two important characters in the novel play the roles of shadow parents, mainly the roles of Miss Havisham and Magwitch. Magwitch is an escaped convict which Pip meets in the first chapter of the novel on the misty Kent marshes, and Miss Havisham is another strange character who we first meet in Chapter 8. This essay will explore the links with both these characters, and how they aid Pip in becoming a gentleman. Pip has been brought up, "by hand", and the BBC serialization of Great Expectations demonstrates this. We see how Pip is brought up very roughly by Mrs Joe Gargory. The BBC production also gives us a good idea of the setting, on how eerie and deserted the marshes are, and the fact that this is a truly rural area. The first meeting between Pip and Magwitch in Chapter 1 is a crucial milestone for their relationship. Magwitch, an escaped convict (who we discover is working with another criminal, Compeyson) demands food and a file off Pip, and is surprised when Pip actually meets his requests. ...read more.


This can be linked with his funding - he is almost in control of Pip's whole life, because he is the one who gives him the money Pip needs to survive. He then takes Pip's hands, and causes him to be disorientated and feel very weak and vunerable. This is, again, like a metaphor for Pip's whole world being shaken up and turned on his head, and he has control, he is pushed out of his comfort zone by this stranger, and so it creates a strange bond with him, because then Magwitch has total control over Pip. Magwitch exerts his "new found control" over the boy to pressure him into stealing for him, and if Pip fails this, the fate is death. The mention of death has a huge emotional impact on Pip. Magwitch also uses his eyes to great effect to scare Pip, intensifying his stare to pressure Pip even more. Dickens focuses on the eyes and hands in Great Expectations because they show the methods, which Magwitch uses, and the look in Magwitch's eyes reveals a lot about his desperate attitude. ...read more.


Compeyson is Magwitch's arch enemy, since Compeyson "split the beans" and blamed all his misdemeanours on Magwich. Miss Havisham, as we discover in Chapter 42, reveals that Compeyson was the con-man who ruined Miss Havisham's life by failing to show up at her wedding. The social class system in the mid-19th century was much stronger than it is today. There was a more obvious divide between the rich and the poor. Nowadays, it is less apparent. At the time Dickens is writing, it was "easier to become a gentleman". Before the novel, the only way you could become a gentleman was to be born into a rich upper-class family, and brought up in decent surroundings. Pip was born in the working-class "band" and works his way to becoming a gentleman, aided along the way by Miss Havisham. Dickens' writing style throughout the whole novel ends the novel on a cliff-hanger. The reason for this is because of the original format of the book. Great Expectations was published in a journal format (one chapter per journal) in a publication called All The Year Round from December 1, 1860 to August 3, 1861. The writing style is apparent throughout the whole novel. 1,207 words ?? ?? ?? ?? English Coursework Mr Bacsich James Cull Page 1 08/05/2007 ...read more.

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