Pip's Benefactor

The convict has to treat Pip badly and frighten him because the convict is ‘on the run’ and if he is caught he will be sentenced to death, therefore the convict has to be careful with Pip. If Pip is scared he will do as the convict tells him. It is important for Dickens to start the novel with such a climatic and tension filled start, so that he grabs the readers’ attention. Pip supplies the convict with food in reward for friendship later on, hence the convict being Pip’s benefactor.

I think that Dickens uses the supplying allegorically; Dickens supplies us with a climatic and tension full start in return for our attention and understanding of the message he was trying to get across. Which was: if you were rich you got treated well, if you weren’t then you didn’t get treated well. To mark the convicts second arrival the weather returns to cold, dark and stormy which re-suggests the imagery and pathetic fallacy of the first appearance.

We think back to the churchyard and the horror genre, as we do not know that the convict has changed.

Pip is startled to see the convict (at first he doesn’t even recognise him because it has been such a long time since they first encountered one-another). Pip is happy for the convicts new life but wonders why he has come to visit him from Australia without any notice. Then it becomes apparent; the convict is Pip’s benefactor, much to Pip’s disappointment.

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Pip was so sure that Miss Havisham was his benefactor; “All the truth of my position came flashing on me; and its disappointments, dangers, disgraces, consequences of all kinds, rushed in such a multitude that I was borne down by them and had to struggle for every breathe I drew.”

This was such a blow to Pip because he hoped that if Miss Havisham was his benefactor so that he could marry Estella. Pip talks to the convict in a negative way at first; “Stay!” said I, “Keep off! If you are grateful to me for I did when I was a little child, I hope you have shown your gratitude by mending your way of life”-that’s like Pip saying ‘nice of you to come but bye, go’. Pip’s attitude of the convict quickly changes; they become great friends.

Pip And The Convict

I think that Dickens brings the convict back into the novel now because Pip and us have been led to believe that Miss Havisham was Pip’s benefactor because Estella has come back into Pip’s life and it fits concurrently. This also creates tension; How will Pip’s relationship with the convict change, or will it? How will Pip’s relationship with Miss Havisham change, or will it? How will Pip’s relationship with Estella change, or will it?

Pip becomes annoyed with Miss Havisham because she led him to believe that she was his benefactor but she doesn’t care about her wrong doings because she wanted to break as many male hearts as possible, this was because her husband-to-be stood her up on the day of their wedding. After Pip’s shock of the convict being his benefactor they become great friends, almost like father and son, this friendship last until the convict’s death; “he had spoken his last words”.

The convict stays with Pip and the book until the convict dies but the scene where the convict gets sentenced is dark, dull and scary. “The sun was striking in at the great windows of the court, through the glittering drops of rain upon the glass, and it made a broad shaft of light between the two-and-thirty and the judge…down to the drops of April rain on the window of the court, glittering in the rays of April sun” all of this is describing the scene in which the convict’s trial takes place. But it is also describing the convict’s feelings using pathetic fallacy; the rain represents the convict’s sadness, as he knows that he going to be sentenced to death.

The sun symbolises the convict’s happiness; he is pleased that he has changed his way of life and that he made Pip’s life a better one. The description of the weather is also a metaphor of what is happening to the convict; the rain is telling us that the convict is being judged and the sun tells us that Dickens considered the convict to be a good person and doesn’t deserve to be sentenced to death.

Where it says “and others were chewing the fragments of herb they had taken from the sweet herbs lying about”, we get the idea that the people sentenced to death wanted one last taste of sweet life before dying as their remaining time before being hung would be sour. “While the audience got up (putting their dresses right, as they might at church or elsewhere)” we get the idea that as these poor people were getting sentenced to death the rich people would watch as if it were some type of show or something.

This ties in with the point that Dickens was making, poor people were treated dishonourably, the way that all the two-and-thirty were all crammed into one room also supports Dickens’ point because if you were rich and getting sentenced you were sentenced by yourself. Also with Dickens’ idea of the legal system being iniquitous the judge doesn’t take into account that the convict has changed, he has helped Pip quite significantly, the convict made Pip a gentleman. The convict was now living a good life but this new lifestyle was ignored by the court due to his background.

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Pip's Benefactor. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-pips-benefactor/

Pip's Benefactor
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