View Full Version : Can someone help me with my essay?

10-11-2007, 04:29 PM
i've got to write about how dickens evokes sympathy for all his characters, the structure of the novel, the language used, themes like love, rich and poor..But Im not allowed to tell the story..like go by chapter, I've already started on Pip but Im stuck on the part when he meetsmagwitch on the marshes at the start of the book, will someone please help me? (: pleeeasseee.

10-13-2007, 05:36 AM
Hi! I might help as I've just written a chapter for my MA dissertation on Great Expectations.

Basically Pip's encounter with Magwitch on the Kent marshes is very symbolic. It represents Pip's psychological birthwith Pip's psychological birth when, at the age of seven or so, he comes to his ‘first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things’ (p. 3). The setting is the Kentish marsh country on a bleak December evening, consisting of an empty churchyard at dusk on a cold and grey winter day. Pip is in the churchyard, and while visiting his parents' tomb and thinking of his dead parents and siblings, he is brought back to consciousness by an escaped convict, Magwitch, who picks him up, turns him upside down, places him on a tombstone, fills him with fear and terror, and makes him promise to bring food and a file.

Actually, apart from giving the reader a first hint that the theme behind this novel is psychological, this first chapter, through Pip's mind and Magwitch's violent behaviour also acts as a mirror of what will happen to Pip in the future. He is in fact picked up by Magwitch in another sense, that is, to fulfil the convict's dream and become a gentleman, the gentleman Magwitch himself can never be. This move towards gentility also results in Pip's character being turned upside down, and this is manifested in his rejection of his ‘gentle Christian’ (p. 381) brother-in-law Joe Gargery and in his fascination of the decaying Satis House. Metaphorically, Pip is also placed on a tombstone, due to the cold and cruel treatment he receives from Estella and after learning that his benefactor is a criminal and not Miss Havisham. He is filled with fear and terror as he matures, better still, in the process of coming to terms with himself, therefore in acknowledging his past mistakes. Finally, towards the end of the narrative, Pip's mistakes and their devastating repercussions are brought to an end in his reconciliation with Joe and his acceptance of Magwitch.

I hope I have helped.

04-10-2009, 05:29 AM
can someone help me too understand how Dickens portary Magwitch in Great Expectations, please?

I like writing about Great Expectations and I have done about how dickens portary Pip, Estella and Miss Havisham; but I need some help on the portary of Magwitch.