The first major event of the Novel was Pips first encounter with Magwitch, the convict. “The dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard……. the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing”. This quotation is an example of Pathetic Fallacy. This is where the settings set the mood. Again this extract used guttural sounds and a dark setting to implicate that the weather in the marshes was terrible. The bad weather foreshadows a bad event is about to occur.
“A fearful man all in coarse grey……… who limped, shivered and glared and growled” This shows the animal imagery that Magwitch is described with, this also emphasises the fact that this man is very dangerous as shown below. “You get me a file and wittles or I’ll have your heat and liver out” This speech is from Magwitch. It orders Pip to get him food and a file. It shows the commanding role that Magwitch is playing at this moment in the novel. As mentioned above it shows this man is very violent as he says he will ‘have his heart and liver out’ if the file and food is not delivered. In order to give the food and file to the convict it meant that Pip had to steal. This was his first piece of crime. The readers are left with the question ‘Will there be more crime to come from Pip?’ Also the aspect of crime and punishment was very important in this story as well as in the Victorian Crime. A petty crime such as theft could lead to being jailed or a deportation to Australia for a minimum of 7 years.
The second key aspect of the novel that is going to be focussed on is when Joe visits Pip in London followed by Pips and Magwitch’s second meeting. Firstly Pip was visited by Joe for the first time after his move to London in chapter 27. Stated in the letter form Biddy was “I write this by the request of Mr Gargery, for to let you know that he is going to London….. To be allowed to see you”. This shows that Joe would like top meet Pip.
“I received this letter by post……Not with Pleasure. This is Pips reaction to reading the letter and hearing the news that Joe is coming to meet him. He isn’t very please and is not looking forward to it. This is snobbish behaviour and is due to class issues. “If I could have kept him away by paying money, I certainly would have done”. This quote indicates that Pip is very financially minded so much so that he has been blinded from the love of those who actually care. It again shows how ashamed Pip is of Joe. However this was typical of upper-class gentlemen to behave in such a way with a working-class man.
Even though Pip tried to forget memories of his past life, he still recognised the foot steps of Joe. “I heard Joe on the staircase. I knew it was Joe…..his state boots being always big for him.” This comment indicates that the protagonist, Pip still recognises his origins even though he wishes not to. This is quite ironic as the readers would consider Pip to have forgotten his beginning due to his arrogant behaviour and difference in social class. However in this same comment insults Joe by saying his inferior than himself. This is due to the common boots. This interpretation is a contrast to that mentioned above. By this statement he is denying his origin by insulting state boots which he once used to wear as well. This gives evidence that he has put his past behind him.
Joe is very nervous and replies to Pip with “Pip, how AIR you, Pip?” At this moment in time Joe is trying to be posh, in other words trying to be something he isn’t. He knows pip has changed and wants to try and adapt so that he may speak to Pip. However Joe fails and this is due to him being illiterate. Another evidence of Joe being nervous and greeting Pip in an over-exaggerating way “caught both my hand and worked them straight up and down as if I had been the last patented pump.” However being nervous was very regular for the working class as it would be an honour to talk to a gentleman and would be more of a privilege to visit his house.
Joe’s final words to Pip upon departure were very emotional with many emotive language used to emphasise the amount of love shown by Joe towards Joe. Joe stated that Pip would find half as much faults in Joe if he was in the Forge and Joe is to blame for the distance between them. “He touched me gently on the forehead, and went out”. This quotation which is towards the end of chapter 27 after Joe’s departing speech. He left the house and Pip after bestowing his blessings upon Pip. The strong bond between Pip and Joe is no more. However this is from Pip’s point of view and not from Joe’s. Joe is still a caring ‘father-like’ figure towards Pip as shown by the quote above. The viewers are forced to have empathy for Joe as they have to see Joe being denied by the one who comforted Joe showed so much love and affection towards. No matter what Joe did, to make Pip want to like him again; Joe was rejected.
They were many changes in Pip between childhood and as young gentlemen. As a young man, Pip’s ambition was to work in the Forge as an apprentice for the Blacksmith, Mr Joe. However in chapter 12, which was later on in his life, he regretted this decision and swore an oath that he shall never like working in the forge. “I was truly wretched, and had a strong conviction on that I should never like Joe’s trade. I had liked it once, but once was not now”.
This shows that Pip didn’t want to work for Joe anymore. This was the start of the break in their relationship, the start of Pip’s great expectations. The word ‘wretched’ shows that he is pitiful but needs to move away from where he is in order to chase his dreams and complete the social mobility. It also shows a sense of confusion, not knowing whether what he’s done is right or wrong. The past tense phrases ‘had’ and ‘once’ emphasises the fact that the Pip that we knew is different from the current Pip. He recognizes the reformation in himself as well as the readers.
The main reasons for these changes were due to his crave of becoming a gentleman. Only if he was a gentleman he could change social class, and mainly attract Estella to himself. However to become he needed to obtain a great amount of wealth, which he received from an unknown benefactor who was later revealed as Magwitch the convict. Even then Pip had change to a great extent that he rejected his benefactor through snobbery. (He was ashamed classing his money as. Charles Dickens through Magwitch’s revelation made Pip comprehend that as well as his money, his upper class status was derived from a lowly source.)
However Pip changed greatly within the previous section out of this three-tiered novel. Pip was put across as a thoughtful and matured character compared to who he was in the middle section of the Bildungsroman. “I would go to Biddy that I would show her humbled and repentant I came back”. Pip was planning to the future as this would help him become more successful. He was willing to give up his dream of pursuing Estella’s love to grant Biddy’s wish and marry her. The reformation of Pip is further emphasized by the word ‘humbled’. It was very doubtful for upper-class gentlemen to show humbleness to working class women. Also he was willing to repent to Biddy which was a huge variation to that snobbish character that Pip was before the illness.
It was common in the genre of Victorian literature to reform a character after an illness or an event, this technique applied to Pip in this narrative. Charles Dickens used this technique many times. A good example is of ‘Scrooge’ in ‘A Christmas Carol’.