How Does Dickens Present Pips Childhood?

Topics: Great Expectations, Miss Havisham, Estella Havisham Pages: 3 (1316 words) Published: October 8, 2010
How does Dickens present Pip’s Childhood?

In this essay I am going to focus on Pip meeting the convict in the graveyard in Chapter 1. Pip’s home life with Joe and Mrs Joe. Pip meeting Estella and Miss Haversham at Satis house in Chapter 8. Pip fights the pale young gentleman (Herbert Pocket) at Satis House in Chapter 11.

In Chapter 1 one of the first things we learn about Pip is that his mother, father and five brothers are dead, “Phillip Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and buried”. Straight away, the way Dickens presents the opening scene makes you feel sorry for Pip. Dickens describes Pip as small and weak: “a small bundle of shivers” and “I was at that time undersized, for my years, and not strong”. This makes the scene where he meets the convict more frightening because the convict is strong and powerful. Pip is described as very vulnerable and “a small bundle of shivers”. The effect that Dickens achieves is the use of a good metaphor and it lets the reader get a better picture of what Pip may look like. Dickens tries to make the reader feel sorry for Pip when he is in the graveyard as he often describes the convict as “fearful man” with a “terrible voice”. Dickens also creates the impression that Pip is very gullible in this chapter as the convict says “what fat cheeks you ha got” and then Pip believes he then has fat cheeks. The convict also frightens Pip by telling him that he is with another man who will get Pip if he tells anyone about the convict or if he doesn’t do what the convict asks. He threatens Pip saying that his heart and liver will be “tore out, roasted and ate.” and that even if Pip “may be warm in bed” and “may think himself comfortable and safe” the young man will find him “and tear him open”. Dickens uses the image of being safe and warm in bed to make the threat of what...
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