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In this essay we will be discussing the life and times of the one and only ‘Charles Dickens’. He was an author. A very famous and popular author. Firstly we shall discover the background of Charles Dickens; we shall also discover how powerfully Dickens background affected him as an author and child. Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and grew up in Portsmouth. His farther was a clerk in the navy pay office. At this time Dickens also worked as a clerk with his farther.
But when Dickens turned 12 years old his farther started to have problems, very serious problems, financial problems. The reason for this is that he had quite a large family. In the year of 1824 Dickens whole family was sent to prison and Charles had to give-up all his home life and school because he was sent off to work in a shoe polish workhouse. Dickens was so sad and hurt because of his family’s imprisonment, so what he did was write about his early life in novels, but before all of this had happened Dickens family was released from the Marshal Sea prison in 1825. Straight after this his farther sent him to the Wellington house academy (a school).
When he had grown up in 1827 he worked as a clerk for a firm of solicitors in Holborn, but he hated the law so he was drawn into journalism. In 1831 Dickens was writing short hand reports of parliamentary debates for the London papers. After this Dickens started life as an author he wrote many novels such as: ‘Bleak house, ”The old curious shop, ”Master Humphries clock’, and ‘Great Expectations’. But the most popular and famous out of the novels above is probably ‘Great Expectations’.
The novel Great Expectations begins with the protagonist ‘Pip’ strolling through the graveyard, in which his mother and farther are buried, what the author is trying to tell the reader is that Pip is an orphan. After this scene Dickens introduces the next character ‘Magwitch’. Magwitch is an escaped convict; we know this because in the novel it says, ” A fearful man, all in coarse gray, with a great iron on his leg”. Dickens deliberately creates this type of tension to get the audience interested and to suggest that ‘the fearful man’ is an escaped convict. When Magwitch appears in front of Pip he starts to threaten the poor little boy. Magwith said to Pip that he would cut his throat and rip his heart out and eat his liver, ” keep still you little devil, or I’ll cut your throat”…”you bring them both to me or I’ll have your heart and liver out”.
Yet again Dickens deliberately means to do this to create a mood of tension so that the audience feel sympathetic towards Pip but think that Magwitch is a violent, intimidating and aggressive character, the author also makes the audience think that Magwith is a cannibal because of the threat he made to Pip. After this encounter Magwitch asked Pip where is his mother and then Pip replied, “There sir”. He meant in the graveyard (tombstone). After a while Magwitch realised that Pip was an orphan, so he asked Pip who does he live with, Pip said that he lives with his sister Mrs Joe Gargery.
The escaped convict is starving because of his long journey from the Hulk ship (prisoner ship). So Magwitch asked Pip to bring him some food but did this in an unusual way, he bribed him by saying that there is another escaped convict on the loose much worse than he is, Pip agreed to meet Magwitch the next day. Gradually we discover that Pip thinks that Magwitch is like a ghost haunting him as Magwitch walks toward the Gibbet.
At the end of the chapter we discover that both Magwitch and Pip walked off into the distance, but Dickens also makes the audience feel sympathy for Magwitch because of the way he was dragging his feet with the iron piece of metal on it. The author creates another mood of sympathy towards Magwitch when he hugs himself. This identifies that Magwitch is lonely and cold and Dickens leaves the chapter on cliffhanger. He leaves it with Pip, “But now I was frightened again, and ran home without stopping”. What the reader would want to know next is, when will Magwitch and Pip meet again.
In chapter 3 we discover that Magwitch and Pip meet again, but in the first paragraph Dickens creates a sinister atmosphere, “It was a rimy morning, and very damp. This explains that Dickens wants to make the audience feel a degree of tension. As the paragraphs go on, we discover that Pip sees another escaped convict that appears to be Magwitch to Pip”…”I saw a man sitting before me”…”I went forward and touched him on the shoulder”…”and it was not the same man, but another”. What this means is that Magwitch seemed to be telling the truth about the other escaped convict, but was only trying to bribe Pip, so now we realise that there is another convict on the marshes. When Pip had stolen the file and food and running through the marshes he was considered
to be as bad as Magwitch because since Pip has such a vivid imagination he imagines that the cows and animals are talking to him, “A boy with somebody else’s pork pie! Stop him”. This shows that Pip has a vivid imagination and is guilty of theft. When Pip meets Magwitch Dickens creates sympathy towards Magwitch, … ” the right hand man hugging him-self and limping”. Magwitch seemed to be very weak and cold, … ” drop down before my face and die of deadly cold. His eyes looked awfully hungry”. The author creates this mood of empathy so that the audience begins to think that Magwitch can be weak and pathetic and therefore we are interested to see whether he will survive or not.
When Pip gave Magwitch the food, he saw Magwitch eat the food “ravenously” but there was a bit of a bond between Magwitch and Pip. This bond is that they are both lonely and scared. But all of a sudden Magwitch started to act nicely to Pip, “I am glad you enjoyed it’ did you speak; I said did you enjoy it, thankee my boy. I do.” The audience now think that Magwitch is not much of a villain. The other reason why Dickens did this was because he did not like the penal system in those days, he also wanted to show society that prisoner’s were human too.