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Show how Dickens introduces the themes of crime, punishment and guilt in the early chapters of "Great Expectations".

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Show how Dickens introduces the themes of crime, punishment and guilt in the early chapters of "Great Expectations" I think that when Dickens wrote this novel in instalments, his purposes were to entertain the readers and keep them in suspense as to what might happen next. It made them want to read more and rush to buy the next instalment as soon as it was available. He had to make them entertaining because having the novel set out like this, if the first one was boring and didn't amuse or attract the reader to buy the next issue, there would be no money for him. Dickens also did this by introducing early on a mixture of both tension and horror especially at the end of the first chapter because he was desperately in need of attracting the readers to buy the next issue. In the first instalment, he makes the ending very exciting where Pip met the convict and the cliff hanger he chose to leave this instalment on is where the convict has threatened Pip and told him that he wants some food and a file and tells Pip to go and get them. So the people are left with the thought as to whether Pip will or will not carry out the convict's instructions. When Dickens was writing this novel he was very concerned about the inequality in Victorian society. He didn't like the fact that there was a huge difference in the sense of class between the rich and the poor. He shows this class divide especially in the characters of Magwitch and Miss Haversham. Magwitch has a very poor way of living and has no wealth to his name, whereas Miss Havisham is very wealthy and lives in a very big house and wants only the best for her "ward" Estella. In the novel the poor people's way of living is focused on to a great extent and concentrates on prisoners who are punished severely for insignificant crimes. ...read more.


And he smeared his ragged rough sleeves over his eyes." Pip helps us to understand and see how scary and unhealthy the convict is. He also makes us feel sorry for the convict as he says to Pip "You'd be but a young hound indeed, if at your time of life you could help to hunt a wretched warmint, hunted as near death and dunghill, as this poor wretched warmint is!" In this next chapter of the story Mrs Joe, her guests and the soldiers are all enjoying themselves in the forge; meanwhile Joe is dealing with the handcuffs that need to be opened. Pip is thinking about the "two villains". Pip puts these words in speech marks in the story to suggest an irony about this term for them. "And now, when they were all in lively anticipation of 'the two villains' being taken, and when the bellows seemed to roar for the fugitives, the fire to flare for them, the smoke to hurry away in pursuit of them, Joe to hammer and clink for them, and all the murky shadows on the wall to shake at them in menace as the blaze rose and sank, and the red hot sparks dropped and died, the pale afternoon outside almost seemed in my pitying young fancy to have turned pale on their account, poor wretches." In this Pip is talking about the villains and he feels sorry for them "Poor wretches." Also Pip when he says "The red-hot sparks dropped and died" he is saying this as if the villains are the sparks and they are about to be caught and go back to the hulks and never to be seen again as if they were to be dead, he pities them. Pip and Joe when they are running in the marshes to try and get "the two villains" they whisper to each other that they hope the two villains aren't caught. ...read more.


When Pip first sees Miss Havisham he describes her as an old woman. "She was dressed in rich materials - satins, lace, and silks all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white. He is describing her that she is in all white; she is still in her wedding dress from the day she was stood up. When she was "stood up" the pain that she had gone through was very bad and she decided to restrict her feelings for somebody else and then this way she wouldn't have to go through the pain again. Miss Havisham also had a ward, her name was Estella Miss Havisham decided to bring her ward up to be cold and have no feelings for others all because she didn't want her to feel the pain that she felt. We see that this is a very unnatural way to live. It is a life denying and this is symbolized by the denial of sunlight and her life. When Pip hasn't even got to the house he says "I had heard of Miss Havisham up town - everybody for miles round had heard of Miss Havisham up town - an immensely rich and grim lady who lived in a large and dismal house barricaded against robbers and who led a life of seclusion." Pip here is thinking about what she and her house are going to be like and whether or not he should be frightened. This is our first indication of her self imprisonment. When Pip has to stay in Mr. Pumblechoock's house he notices the way that seeds are kept in drawers, and with his imaginary mind he thinks that they are imprisoned and want to get out and bloom. This is symbolic of Miss Havisham because she has been imprisoned in darkness and there for has not been able to "bloom" or grow in any way. ...read more.

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