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Chapter One Of Dickens' Great Expectations

3073 words - 12 pages

Chapter One of Dickens' Great Expectations

The title of the novel that I studied is, 'Great Expectations',
written in the 19th century by Charles Dickens. Pip, an orphan often
goes to the cemetery to mourn for his dead parents and brothers. While
mourning one day, a convict hiding in that same cemetery scares him.
All that he thinks of is to listen and obey the man. As the story
evolves, we are also introduced to the sentimental part of Pip's life.
He is in love with a girl named Estella but unfortunately, she doesn't
like him. When Pip becomes the perfect gentleman, he inherits some
fortune. He mistakes the real provider thinking it is Miss Havisham,
until one night he meets the convict again. The latter claims that he
is the person providing him with money. Pip was unable to accept both
the truth and the man. For my assignment, I am focussing on the 1st
and 39th chapter of the book, where Pip first meets the convict, and
when he meets him for the second time.

In the first chapter of the book, the circumstances that Pip is in are
very pitiful. He is an orphan and although he has a big sister, he
does not get the motherly affection he is supposed to in his life. He
seems to be very drawn to the place where his parents are buried as
stated, "my fancies regarding what they were like were unreasonably
derived from their tombstones," (chapter 1, pg 1, line 9-10). This
shows how much he misses parental affection that his sister, Mrs Joe
cannot give him although she looks after him. Furthermore, Pip appears
to be naïve and he is very lonely as a little boy because he doesn't
have friends. In contrast to chapter thirty- nine, we are introduced
to an arrogant man that doesn't care for others' feelings at all. He
is no longer that orphan boy for whom we had so much pity. Also in the
first chapter, we see how Pip is very helpless in his state. By saying
this, I mean that his sister is always beating him whenever he returns
home from the church late at night. What he thinks or does do not
matter to his sister and he always ends up keeping his point of view
to himself. As a result, he suppresses his feelings deep inside him. I
find him rather submissive for a boy of his age. When the convict
keeps on being harsh to him and scares him, he decides to "get him a
file, and I would get him what broken bits of food I could, and I
would come to him at the Battery, early in the morning," (chapter 1,
pg 4,line 10-12).

On the other hand, the rude man that we meet in chapter thirty-nine is
not that helpless at all. He has a home, a lot of money, as well as a
lot of pride. Furthermore, he values people by social standard as he
tells Magwitch "that I cannot wish to renew that chance intercourse
with you of long ago, under these different circumstances," (chapter
39, pg 301, line 35-36). On top of...

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