The novel “Great Expectations”

The novel “Great expectations” is about a young boy called Pip, meets an escaped convict called Magwitch in the graveyard and by helping him survive by providing the convict food that he stole from his family, after the convict was arrested and shipped to Australia for a few years Pip becomes a gentleman from the money of a unknown benefactor.

Though Pip always thought it was Miss. Havasham, (a wealthy old women who calls Pip round to play) it turns out to be the man he least expects, Magwitch actually. Pip feels ashamed by this, but soon he changes and becomes close to Magwitch, Eventually Pip meets a girl called Estella and falls in love, though the girls doesn’t love him she still leads him on but then leaves to attend a finishing school, Pip then moves to London for a job and moves in with a man called Herbert Pockets then discovering they had met a few years before in Miss Havasham’s garden.

When Magwitch is sentenced to death by the courts Magwitch tells Pip he had a daughter but he soon gave her up so she could have a better life, remembering this Pip figures out that Estella is his daughter and lets him know this before he dies in jail before the sentence could come around.

The novel begins with Pip and what his life is about because the writer wants the reader to understand Pip and how his life is hard and what he was like and has to go through before he is given the chance to become a gentleman.

Dickens portrays Pip as a venerable, scared little boy. Dickens quotes –

“Small bundles of shivers growing afraid of it and beginning to cry was Pip”

the words “small bundles” shows that Pip is fragile and delicate but also the words ” growing afraid” shows he’s scared and getting more scared as the convict speaks.

– It is unusual how Pip refers to himself in another person he does this because Pip thinks that because he think of himself then as a different person, much weaker than he is now and he almost feels embarrassed of it.

The novel is first published in a magazine, but he was printing a chapter at a time so the readers would want to read on and keep them thinking about how Pip behaves.

The novel was written in the 1800’s. Charles dickens started writing stories for children who he thought could do with something to get stuck into. He tried to put issues out to the public and make them realise what’s going on around them, he made stories about poverty and crime so that people would realise and try and do something about it.

Pip is given �500 a year to live off – about 50 times what a servant would earn, and 10 times what a vicar would earn.

What social class does this make Pip?

I would say that Pip is lower class. Because he hasn’t really done anything to earn this money, it was given to him as thanks you for helping someone a few years back, and he doesn’t even have you work.

What social class is Magwitch?

Upper middle class I suppose because he works hard for the money but then passes it on to someone else for there use.

What do middle class people like Pip think of people like Magwitch?

At first Pip thought of him as scum, a mess I suppose. All because of the way his clothed are and how he presents himself. Pip quotes –

“And he pulled off a rough outer coat, and his hat. Then, I saw his head was furrowed and bold.”

Why is Pip so shocked to find out that Magwitch is his benefactor?

Because he always thought that Miss Havasham paid for his education and to find out a man like Magwitch paid for it all them years he’s kind of embarrassed and paranoid what people will think of him if they find out.

Magwitch quotes – “you can’t do better nor keep quiet, dear boy. You ain’t looked slowly forward to this as I have; you wosn’t prepared for this, as I wos. But didn’t you never think it might be me?”

Does the reader’s attitude change or stay the same in the rest of the novel?

– As the reader of this novel my attitude changes towards Pip and Magwitch because they both change towards the middle of the story, because Magwitch turns out to a be a nice man and you find out he is really grateful for what Pip done for him all then years ago and he shows this by sending him money every so often and makes it so that Pip can have an education and become a gentleman.

Also that Pips character changes my attitude towards the story and my opinion on Pip because he becomes a snob when he receives a large amount of money from an unknown benefactor and moves to London but then soon forgets about his family and when Joe comes to visit him in his new home he is embarrassed of him towards Mr Pockets.

“Yes; he replied, I do wish to come in, master”

– Shows that Magwitch is polite to Pip and now thinks he’s a gentleman also he knows that Pip thinks he’s better but only from his secret generosity.

“Pray what is your business?” I asked him.

– Shows that Pip is more in power now then he was in chapter one, because he asks a lot of questions.

Magwitch has changed throughout the novel from a nasty, tatty escaped convict to an old, hard working, tatty old man that just wanted to come and tell Pip that he is very thankful for what he did and inform him that he is the person who has been giving him all this money over the past few years.