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The Man Behind It All. Magwitch in "Great Expectations".

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Miranda Roskens ENG2D7 5/9/11 The Man Behind It All Great Expectations is a classic novel written in the 1800?s by a man named Charles Dickens, and it is the story of a young boy and is unfortunate expectations. The story is narrated by an older version of Pip, the protagonist. He recounts the days of his past, revealing how a simple infatuation with a young lady lead to false hopes and ambitions which alter with his persona and leave him with much guilt. One can therefore easily presume that Estella was the root of Pip?s remorse. However there is another character, a man by the name of Abel Magwitch, that has a much greater impact on the direction that Pip?s life had taken. In the first chapter, Magwitch is merely ?a fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg? (4). Yet as the story progressed we see the true significance Dickens anticipated for this character. In Charles Dicken?s Great Expectations, Magwitch is made responsible for all the guilt in Pip?s life, yet ironically is also reason behind his redemption as seen by his change in character, and the changes in his relationships. ...read more.


This is only the first time in the Pip?s story where Magwitch caused Pip to feel guilty on his reactions with Joe. Shortly after this, Pip is arranged to play with Estella, a young girl who was brought up as a tool to revenge against all men. Estella had a significantly large affect on Pip. She gave him something to look forward to, yet also made him question the person he should be. Because of her beauty, Pip falls in love with Estella and finds that her words stick to his mind. She continuously criticizes him, saying things such as ?what coarse hands he has. And what thick boots!? (60) She made him become ashamed of his uneducated family and social class, and made him believe that he could not live up to her expectations, that he was simply a ?common boy? (81) . When news comes to him that someone is giving him the opportunity to become a gentleman however, it creates hope for him, and the unforeseen fortune that comes to him gives him an unpleasant arrogance. ...read more.


I only saw in him a much better man than I had been to Joe? (450) He learns from Magwitch that loyalty and human affection are more important than social standing and ambition. This realization serves as an eye-opener for Pip, and makes him even more remorseful of how he had treated Biddy and Pip. He realizes ___ When Pip is telling Joe Biddy about his hopes for their son, he says, ?Don?t ever tell him, Joe, that I was thankless; don?t tell him, Biddy, that I was ungenerous and unjust.?(479) Pip?s appreciation when he says ?I will never rest until I have worked for the money with which you have kept me out of prison, and sent it to you.? (479) is mirrored by Magwitch?s appreciation for Pip when he becomes his secret benefactor. Now all that Pip hopes for is forgiveness, as seen when he says ?I pray tell me both, that you forgive me.? (484) Pip has been able to redeem himself. ...read more.

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