Dickens tells us of a man, all in “Coarse grey”. The colour of his clothes and the state of his clothes tells us that he was from the lower class of the society and also his behaviour is unrefined. He might have been sweating like someone has poured water on him. His appearance in front of Pip was that he has no respect that means he was with no hat according to the Victorian Times. He was a man has been “soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped and shivered and glared and glowed and those teeth chattered in his head as he seized Pip by the chin.”
The repetition of the conjunction “and” gives the effect of a long list of tortures that have happened to the man. Also the overall effect was that he was a prisoner who has escaped from prison. In the novel, Pip never mentions that there was a convict because he observes the man through a child’s eye. Yes he looks at the man through the eyes of a child.
In chapter 2 Dickens presented two strong characters, which are Mrs Joe Gargery and Mr Joe Gargery. Joe Gargery is related to Pip because Joe Gargery is married to Pip’s sister, making him Pips brother-in-law. However, due to the age differences between them and the fact that Pip is an orphan, Joe is more like a father to Pip. This is the first loving relationship that the reader is told about.
We know feel happy for Pip that he now has someone who loves him and treats him like a son. Also in chapter 2, the contrast between the kindness that Joe shows to Pip and the unkindness with which his wife treats the boy is shown clearly. Pip describes Joe with affection as “a mild, good-natured, sweet tempered, easy-going and foolish dear fellow.” Also in the novel, Pip sees that his sister treats Joe badly as she treats Pip in a similar way and dickens claims that he treats Joe as “a large species of child and as no more than Pips equal”.
In appearance, Dickens describes Joe as “a fair man with curls and flaxen hair on each side of his smooth face and with eyes of very undecided blue that they seem to have got mixed with his own white”. An amusing comment Pip made about Joe’s character was when he said, “Joe was a dear fellow-a sort of Hercules in strength and also in weakness.” This would even make the reader laugh because of the way he calls his wife Mrs Joe which means that he is meekly accepting her superiority. It is ironic that Joe is huge yet his wife beats him. Again, the audience get the sense of humour and ridicule in the situation. Also, the way Joe talks reveals to a lot about his personality. For instance when he says, “Mrs Joe,” this shows that he has a lot of respect for his wife.
Mrs Joe is a complete contrast. She is all rough surfaces, which matches her sharp personality. Also there is nothing soft about her. Charles Dickens gives us an interesting imagery about Pip during his childhood, when he wondered whether his sister Mrs Joe Gargery with black eyes had such prevailing redness skin that Pip sometimes use to wonder, “If it is possible she washes herself with nutmeg instead of soap.”
Mrs Joe seems a hard character and she thinks of Pip as a burden to her. “She was tall and bony, and almost always wore a coarse apron fastened over her figure behind with two loops and having a square impregnable bib in front that was stuck full of pins and needles”. The reader gets a further comic picture of the situation because one does not expect a tall and bony woman to be so aggressive. Instead we thought she would be more graceful. Another indication of her character is given in the words ” I’ve never had this apron of mine off since born you were.” She is constantly looking after them and that Pip should be grateful to her. This would also give the reader another impression that she does not like nursing children, or she finds this task burdensome and takes out all aggression out on Pip and her husband.
Joe is completely different. He’s a lovable fool and befriends Pip. He’s almost as much of a child as Pip is and suffers as much from Mrs Joe as he does. Pip clearly has a very hard life at the hands of his sister. This also adds to the pity we feel for Pip. His sister is violent towards her simple husband. “she pounced on Joe, and taking him by the two whiskers, knocked his head for a little while against the wall behind him: while Pip sat in the corner, looking guiltily on”. Pip feels guilty about everything, including being alive. He has a remarkable sense of guilt. “If ever anybody’s hair stood on end with terror, must have done so then”. Pip is in a state of terror at the thought of stealing from Mrs Joe and the violent man outside intent on eating him.
In Dickens’ time, all novels were published in serial form in magazines. Each group of chapter published would end in a cliffhanger. This would ensure the readership the next copy of the magazine would be like. Chapter 2 ends in a cliffhanger. The young boy, Pip turns back into the darkness to find the convict and therefore putting himself into a dangerous situation. The reader will be asked his or herself what will happen to Pip, which will increase the attention of the reader which will make them want to know more to find out what, has happened. I think the next chapter will be scary because Pip has run off into the darkness again to give ‘Wittles’ to the convict. ‘Wittles’ is also an old English word for food. Also, Pip will be in trouble because of the food he is going to give to the convict especially from his sister. It is going to be marvellous and fantastic.