Great Expectations Chapter 1 & 2 notes

  1. When Great Expectations opens Pip is in the graveyard looking at his Mum and Dad’s gravestone.

  2. Dickens hooks his reader immediately by having Pip attacked by an escaped convict.

  3. Pip is afraid that if he doesn’t return with a file and food for the convict then he will be disembowelled by the convict’s friend.

  4. Mrs Joe calls the stick ‘Tickler’ because she used it to hurt people rather than actually make them laugh. It shows she has a twisted sense of humour.

  5. The story is told from Pip’s point of view. He is reflecting on his own history. This was unusual at the time as the majority of novels were written in the present tense with a third person voice – not in first person, past tense.

  6. Pip is technically Joe’s brother-in-law, as Joe is married to Pip’s big sister. Joe and Mrs Joe are raising Pip, although Joe is more like Pip’s best friend.

  7. There is physical comedy in Pip getting tipped over the gravestone, even though this is threatening behaviour from the convict. It is also physically funny when Pip is chased around the kitchen and Joe acts as his protector from Mrs Joe.

  8. At the end of Chapter 2 Pip runs from the house to give the convict the stolen supplies on a very bleak morning. (dramatic epithet)

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