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She has "brought him up by hand," something that gains her respect from all the neighbors, and Pip notices she is quick to use the hand on him and Joe. At supper, Pip slips his bread in his pants leg to save it for the convict. Joe, concerned that Pip has swallowed the bread whole and might choke, expresses his worry. Joe responds by pounding Joe's head against the wall and calling him a great stuck pig, then pouring Tar-water down both Pip's and Joe's throats.
Later that night, they hear guns from the prison ship firing, announcing the escape of another convict. Unable to sleep, Pip gets up early to steal the food and file, and then sets out to deliver them. He runs into a second convict and assumes him to be the young man who eats boys' livers.
Running in terror, Pip finds "his" convict. While watching the man devour the food, Pip expresses concern about not leaving enough food for the young man who is waiting. The convict realizes he is not alone on the marshes, and suspecting it is an enemy of his, starts madly filing his leg iron while Pip escapes. Dickens gets right to the action.
Within the first few paragraphs, he has introduced the main character, Pip, conveyed that the story is being told in first person by Pip when he is older, given the location of the story, revealed that Pip is an orphan with five dead brothers, and introduced the conflict: a convict in need of help.
Important Quotes from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The choice of the retrospective first-person narrator is effective because the reader immediately feels part of an intimate and confessional conversation. Description is one of Dickens' strengths and weaknesses, as seen in the quote describing the convict: ". Yet there is no question he has a gift for bringing the reader right into the place, in this case ".
Previous Character List. Next Chapters The boy stashes some bread and butter in one leg of his pants, but he is unable to get away quickly.
It is Christmas Eve, and Pip is forced to stir the holiday pudding all evening. His sister, whom Pip calls Mrs. Joe, thunders about.
She threatens Pip and Joe with her cane, which she has named Tickler, and with a foul-tasting concoction called tar-water. Very early the next morning, Pip sneaks down to the pantry, where he steals some brandy mistakenly refilling the bottle with tar-water, though we do not learn this until Chapter 4 and a pork pie for the convict.
Stealthily, he heads back into the marshes to meet the convict. Unfortunately, the first man he finds hiding in the marshes is actually a second, different convict, who tries to strike Pip and then flees. When Pip finally comes upon his original tormentor, he finds him suffering, cold, wet, and hungry. Pip is kind to the man, but the convict becomes violent again when Pip mentions the other escapee he encountered in the marsh, as though the news troubles him greatly.
Great Expectations: Summary: Volume 1, Chapter 01-Volume 1, Chapter 3
As the convict scrapes at his leg irons with the file, Pip slips away through the mists and returns home. The first chapters of Great Expectations set the plot in motion while introducing Pip and his world. As both narrator and protagonist, Pip is naturally the most important character in Great Expectations : the novel is his story, told in his words, and his perceptions utterly define the events and characters of the book. As befits a well-meaning child whose moral reasoning is unsophisticated, Pip is horrified by the convict.
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But despite his horror, he treats him with compassion and kindness. It would have been easy for Pip to run to Joe or to the police for help rather than stealing the food and the file, but Pip honors his promise to the suffering man—and when he learns that the police are searching for him, he even worries for his safety.
This is characteristic of Pip as a narrator throughout Great Expectations. Despite his many admirable qualities—the strongest of which are compassion, loyalty, and conscience—Pip constantly focuses on his failures and shortcomings.
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