Chapters One and Thirty Nine of Great Expectations

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Chapters One and Thirty Nine of Great Expectations In the novel 'Great Expectations', chapter 1 and chapter 39 are both descriptions of Pip's encounters with Magwitch the convict. The two chapters have key differences and important similarities. In the first chapter, Pip is alone on the bleak and inhospitable marshes, the wind is cold and violent and creates a threatening and frightening mood for both Pip and the reader. Pip is a poor young orphan boy and is in the wild overgrown churchyard visiting his family's grave. From the fact that most of his family are dead, we learn that in the 19th century, the life expectancy was very low and infant mortality was very high. Pip feels alone and scared and is 'beginning to cry'. This compares to chapter 39 in that the weather is similar and also creates a threatening mood by being 'Stormy and wet'. Even though he is inside and safe, he still feels alone and exposed to the weather as he does in chapter 1. In Chapter 39 Pip's circumstances have changed considerably. He is now a young gentleman of means, sharing rooms with a friend in London, whereas in Chapter 1 he was a poor, young boy living with his sister and her husband on the country marshes. In Chapter 1 when Pip first encounters the convict, he springs upon Pip without warning and begins to interrogate him. The convict is presented as 'a man with no hat', which in Victorian times meant a man who wasn't a gentleman. The convict also has a large list of sufferings, 'Soaked Smothered Lamed Cut' which Dickens uses to make us almost feel sorry for the convict, as we see he is in a lot of pain, even though in this chapter he comes across as evil and heartless. Pip feels very threatened and d... ... middle of paper ... to now fully respect Magwitch for what he has done for Pip. Compared to chapter 1, this honest behaviour by Magwitch is seen towards the end of the chapter, when he tells Joe Gargery, the blacksmith and Pip's brother in law and only father figure, that he has stolen food and a file from his forge, thus saving Pip from any trouble he may have got into for stealing these things for Magwitch. Towards the end of chapter 39, Pip starts to come to terms with what Magwitch has told him and becomes more tolerant and even friendly with the once evil convict. The two chapters have many similarities and differences which are shown through Dickens' message to his readers, and the way the characters are portrayed. In conclusion the chapters both include a confrontation between Pip and Magwitch, and both chapters show a different feeling and message within.

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