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Dickens' Depiction Of Pip And Magwitch

1658 words - 7 pages

Dickens makes the reader feel sorry for pip describing his as ‘a small bundle of shivers starting to cry’. This makes us feel sorry for Pip, because he is shown as ‘small’ meaning helpless and also he is crying and cold which shows he is obviously upset and alone. Dickens makes us feel sympathetic towards Pip, because the fact that he has to make assumptions of what his parents were like from reading their gravestones shows he is an orphan and did not even get to know his parents ‘As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them my first fancies regarding what they were like, were unreasonably derived from their tombstones’. This also shows Pip as a child, because he makes an immature conclusion of his parents, by the font on their gravestones. Pip mentions all the names of his siblings which helps us to get more emotionally attached and to empathise more with him.

In the 19th Century it wasn’t unusual to have had a child die at birth, so if Dickens wanted to keep the audience interested he had to make it more drastic. So Dickens shows Pip standing with the graves of all of his brothers as well. This shows Pip as very alone and helpless.

Magwitch’s language is presented in a less intellectual way than to Pips. Dickens has written Magwitch’s speech in non-standard English, this helps us to feel what the character is like. Where as Pips language is very short and stuttered which also helps the reader to relate to the characters more.

Dickens stories were intended to be read aloud to big audiences, and he went on reading tours and performed at public performances. Dickens used non-standard English in his writing to give the characters more of a personality. Dickens style of writing is different to any other writer, his sentences are very long and he repeats words. His reason for doing this is because the audiences he used to read to didn’t get a proper education and some words that one person could understand wouldn’t make sense to the other.

‘Hold your noise’ Magwitch’s speech is written in non-standard English, so a lot of things he says in chapter one is shouted like an order ‘Tell us your name! Quick!’ Magwitch is shouting snappy orders because he is desperate and agitated.

The last three paragraphs of chapter one make you feel sorry for Magwitch as he is described as ‘a man whose legs were numb and stiff’. These last paragraphs show the reader that Magwitch isn’t just a horrid man who goes round scaring kids. It shows us that he is just trying to do what he can to stay alive. Magwitch scares Pip in a clever way; he does this by making himself look good ‘ There’s a young man hid with me, in comparison with which young man I am an angel.’
This makes the reader think he is not all bad and that it wasn’t really his choice to be in the situation he is in now. This links back to the idea of being born into the 19th Century; depending on which family you were born into determined your lifestyle.

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