Charles Dickens was born on the 7th February 1812. His father was sent to prison because he could not afford to pay his debts. Dickens had to go to work at an early age because his father was in prison. At the age of 12, Dickens was working in the blacking factory. A blacking factory was where people made polish for shoes. Dickens worked there to help raise money for his family. As he grew up Dickens became sympathetic towards the poor, especially young children. If you did not have any money in Dickens’ time it would have resulted in going to the poor house or to the Debtors’ prison.
Most of his novels reflected class which was the rich or the poor. ‘Great Expectations’ deals with problems the characters experienced as they moved through their lives. Pip is one of the main characters, at the beginning a poor child but one who eventually becomes a successful gentlemen. Dickens introduces the scene by setting the scene in the “marsh country, down by the river”. The main character in “Great Expectations” is a seven year old boy called Pip. Pip is in the graveyard is in graveyard to visit his mother, father and his five little brothers.
The graveyard is a “bleak place overgrown with nettles. ” “it was dark, flat wilderness beyond the graveyard was intersected with dykes and mounds and gates scatted cattle feeding on it, was the marshes. ” These details suggest to the reader that it sounds like a miserable, dark, cold and a windy place. This sets the scene and it tells the reader it is going to be a miserable story. The use of long complex sentences describes that Dickens sets the scene to help the reader imagine the scene. “At such a time I found…. beginning to cry was Pip. ”
Dickens uses Pip to introduce himself, this is called the ‘first person narrative’ “My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name being Phillip. ” The advantages of telling the story is that the reader gets to know Pip very well, however this an disadvantages because the reader only gets to see what’s takes place through Pip’s point of view. Dickens lets the reader know that Pip is a young boy by using childish language and drawing up childish conclusions about what Pip looks like. “The shape of the letters on my father’s gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man with curly black hair.
” This makes the reader feel very sorry for Pip. Dickens’ describes Pip as a young boy by being an orphan, who is living with his sister Mrs Joe Gargery and a blacksmith. The first thing that the reader learns about Magwitch is that he has got a terrible voice. Magwitch makes the reader and Pip feel scared because we don’t know is there and why they might be creeping around the marshes and the graveyards at night. The reader is led to believe that Magwitch is an escaped convict because it says that he is wearing a “coarse grey” uniform with a “great iron on his leg”.
He is also wearing “broken shoes”, “and he has got an old rag tied around his head. ” Magwitch has been “soaked in water” and he has been cut by pieces of flint. He is described as being a homeless person. My feelings towards Magwitch is that he is terrifying because he has just escaped from prison and he is hungry, and he asks Pip to go and get food for him. The convict speaks to pip with a “terrible” and “threatening voice. ” Pip replies to the convict in a frightening way and says to the convict “O! Don’t cut my throat, Sir. ” “Pray don’t do it, Sir.
This increase the tension as we think Pip is going to be killed by Magwitch. Also later on in the chapter, the convict tips Pip upside down and empties his pockets out. This is humorous because Pip’s only a young child and he has got any food on him. It also shows the reader that Magwitch is really hungry, hasn’t eaten in days and does not want to kill Pip. The way they speak to each other suggests to the reader how each one is feeling. The characters are feeling cold and Magwitch is very hungry, petrified and he is in a terrible state.
When the convict eats the bread “ravenously” which shows that he hasn’t eaten for a long time? What the reader has read so far it is building up to a big end of the first chapter. The reader has been introduced to a small boy crying over the graves of his mother and father, and he is frightened by the voice of a horrible man called Magwitch who asks him questions and then turns Pip upside down to look for food. Magwitch shows some fear when Pip tells him his mother is there, but when he realises that she is buried in the ground, he makes further demands and threatens Pip.
The threats I that he will eat Pip by saying “You young dog” Magwitch is not respecting Pip as a human being but as an animal that he can eat him and “He was licking his lips” because he was getting ready to pounce on him. The tension is relieved when Magwitch thinks Pip’s mother is there “He started, made a short run, and stopped and looked over his shoulder. ” Until he realise she is dead. This is humorous because Pip is scared he will get eaten and Magwitch is scared of being caught by Pip’s dead mother. The convict’s threat appears like a child’s nightmare because he is saying he is going to eat Pip.
The reader’s last view of Magwitch in this chapter is that he is running away because he scared that Pip’s mother was there (but she’s not). while he is running, he is limping because he has got the big iron dangling from his leg. Magwitch is running through the graveyard, as he runs the dead people are trying to grab him and pull him underground into the graves with them. “he looked in my young eyes as if he were eluding the hands of the dead people. ” Magwitch is a pathetic character because he is limping everywhere and acting stupid.
He is also trying to avoid all the boggy land so he doesn’t fall into them. The reader might be feeling much easier now that the convict has gone because the convict has been trying to hurt Pip and the reader feels sorry for Pip. Pip ran home after the convict had gone. ” but now I was frightened, again and ran home without stopping. ” Dickens creates suspense and an eerie feeling at the end of the chapter 1 by saying that the skies are angry with the red lines. “and the sky was just a row of long angry red lines and dense black lines intermixed. “