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Pip’s Shadow Parents Essay

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Paper type: Essay

Words: 716, Paragraphs: 8, Pages: 3

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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. The BBC dramatization of this echoes this, because the actor who plays Magwitch uses his eyes to great extent, looking Pip all over, checking him out, and the whole scene is reproducted even down to the last detail.

When Magwitch is led away in Chapter 5, we don’t hear much about him until his return in Chapter 39.

What we find out is that Magwitch was taken to Australia by the dreaded “hulks” and worked in sheep farming, and this is the source of Magwitch’s money, which he uses to fund Pip’s journey to London, and to become a gentleman. However, when Magwitch is away in Australia, he sends Pip money, in other words, he is Pip’s benefactor. We find out this in chapter 39. Dickens plays with the idea that Pip has no idea where all this mysterious money is coming from, and it is quite amusing. A huge sum of around five hundred pounds (a huge amount of money in the 19th century) arrives for him via Jaggers in Chapter 36.

Pip is still confused and thinks that it is Miss Havisham who sends him the money; however, Miss Havisham denies this fact. Miss Havisham, whom Pip first meets in Chapter 8, conveys herself as a mysterious character, who is sitting upon a great fortune, but who will not spend it. Miss Havisham, despite the fact she doesn’t give Pip any money, still plays a major part in sending him to London. Miss Havisham acts as Pip’s “shadow mother”; because she gives him advice like a mother would give to her own son.

Frequent visits to Satis House build up the relationship between Miss Havisham and Pip, and in addition to this, Pip and Estella, since their first meeting, grow more tolerant towards each other. Estella has treated Pip like dirt since their first meeting in Chapter 8. We know that there is a link between Compeyson and Pip’s shadow parents. 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 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

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