Great Expectations Through Multiple Characters

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Samantha Marion Mr. Whitmore English Honors 1A 2 December 2014 Many people can prosper, even in the harshest of times. Charles Dickens discusses the many conundrums in society, especially in the Victorian Era, in his novel, Great Expectations through multiple characters. Throughout this novel, Dickens shows how different characters act when they have to face society head on, when put through the social injustices of every day life. Throughout the novel, you see the many personalities of each character develop as they interact with Pip, the novel’s narrator. Dickens uses the character of Abel Magwitch to portray that society places too much value on appearances rather than attitude, this is shown by the mistreatment of Magwitch in the court, Pip having a changing fear of Magwitch throughout the novel, and Dickens showing how Magwitch is truly a good man on the inside, a true gentleman. Magwitch was sentenced to twice the jail time as his accomplice Compeyson. Both Magwitch and Compeyson were sentenced for “putting stolen notes in circulation”(375). Although Compeyson was the one who started the illegal bidding, Magwitch was sentenced to fourteen years in prison, while Compeyson was sentenced to only seven years in prison. This weighted conviction is based solely on the fact that Compeyson looks and acts like a gentleman, while Magwitch has a lesser education and less money, thus the court treating him harshly. Compeyson himself even states to Magwitch “to judge from
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