Two chapters in great expectations Essay
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Magwitch also refers to Pip as ‘master’ after he has been invited into his home, although Magwitch is older and wiser, he seems to be looking up to Pip. However, when Magwitch is questioning Pip about his fortune, Magwitch seems to gain more power with the more knowledge he reveals. Once he had eventually said ‘I’ve made a gentleman on you! ‘ he had the most power in the scene. Pip was speechless, he had gone through his whole life thinking it was Miss Havisham who had been the benefactor and was disappointed that he had become a gentleman because of a man lower than himself.
Pip in chapter 39 says very little, but thinks a lot.
Magwitch’s large amount of dialogue in this chapter contrasts with Pip’s minor spoken responses. This suggests that both men feel awkward and to a certain extent, nervous. The uncomfortable atmosphere reaches the reader as they read the chapter’s narration. ‘My attention so attracted by the singularity of his fixed look at me, the words died away on my tongue’.
Pip feels intimidated by Magwitch staring at him; it is like Pip has become the child out on the marshes again. Pip (the man with high social class) being intimidated by Magwitch (a man who was so low compared to Pip), shows how much power Magwitch had in this scene.
I think Dickens’ life has influenced the story a lot. Pip’s character starts off as a poor boy readers have sympathy for. He later changes drastically to a cocky narrow-minded gentleman. Dickens was born into a large family who didn’t have much money. I think Pip as a young boy mirrors Dickens when he was a child, as they both have problems and struggles in their lives. When Pip becomes a gentleman a reader will tend to like him less as he becomes the villainous character of the story, being selfish and frowning upon those lower than himself.
Because our opinions of this character change when he becomes a successful gentleman, this may be because Dickens himself didn’t like or agree with gentlemen. Dickens has also influenced equality and second chances in Great Expectations. Magwitch who was a convict sent to Australia started a new life there, he became a shepherd. His boss died and left the money and position to Magwitch. Magwitch sent the majority of the money he made and his property to Pip through Jaggers, a London lawyer. Magwitch has tried to set his past right by helping out Pip who helped him when he was a desperate escaping convict.
Equality is shown in Great Expectations as Magwitch, who was a very lower class convict, made a poor boy into a gentleman. This shows that the lower class were often under-estimated. Magwitch is introduced to a reader twice, both at tense times. I think that these introductions are misleading as Magwitch, although comes across very frightening in the first chapter; he becomes the ‘good guy’ of the novel. In chapter one, Magwitch’s description leads a reader to believe he is a typical threatening criminal. When the reader discovers that he is in fact the benefactor, there is a pleasant surprise.
With Magwitch being the benefactor, I think this could be Dickens putting across another opinion. A reader’s opinion of Magwitch changes dramatically when the benefactor is revealed, this could be Dickens warning people about their first impressions. Our first impression of Magwitch is that he is a bad man; however he later turns out to be nothing what a reader expected. Once the reader knows that Magwitch has given Pip a new life, Magwitch is seen with a lot more respect. This could be Dickens showing he thinks people should be more respected by the upper class I find the introduction in the first chapter more effective than the second.
This is because it is the opening to the story and I had little knowledge of what the novel was like. The language in the first chapter is a lot more descriptive then in chapter 39; the descriptions create imagery of quite a dull and bleak scene. The descriptions often leave us with unpleasant pictures like ‘overgrown with nettles’, this description shows the area is run down as it isn’t in perfect order, it is quite an abandoned place. The unpleasant setting has a strong bleak atmosphere which matches well with the two characters bad situations.
Pip and Magwitch are both having negative experiences in their lives, although they’re not keen on each other, they have similarities. This could represent the lower class should stick together in hard times like work houses or even daily struggles; struggles which the upper class would often frown upon. Also in chapter 1, Pip is innocently visiting his dead family but encounters an intrusion from Magwitch. I think this causes tension in the scene because it seems disrespectful towards Pip, disturbing him at this time.
Chapter 39 had more emotive language and atmosphere, although Pip has the most power, I still think he fears Magwitch. Even after Magwitch admitted he was the benefactor. ‘He took both my hands and put them to his lips, blood ran cold within me’ this shows Pip still has negativity towards Magwitch but the description of these feelings in chapter 39 has more depth than in chapter 1. 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.