Book Notes

Chapter 1: The Convict Frightens Me... Notes from Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Chapter 1: The Convict Frightens Me...

The novel opens in the marsh country of England, land raw and wet, where young Pip stands alone in a churchyard before seven gravestones, under which are buried Pip's mother, father and five younger brothers. The sight of these stones starts Pip crying, and then, to make matters worse, out from between the graves hobbles a growling, mean and ragged looking man. He's got an iron shackle on one leg, but two good arms, which he uses to turn Pip upside-down, shaking loose a crust of bread from his pocket. The man sets Pip on a gravestone and wolfs down the bread, demanding to know where Pip is from and with whom he lives. Pip points to his village and explains that he lives with his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, and Joe Gargery, a blacksmith. After one more tip upside down, the shackled man demands that Pip meet him at the Battery tomorrow morning, with a file and some "whittles" (food). He warns Pip that he's not alone, that he has a henchman, a vicious young boy that's hiding among the stones, listening, who will be eager to tear Pip to pieces if he doesn't procure the whittles and file. That said, the old man hobbles off and Pip watches him head toward the river, a figure spooky enough to turn even the cow's heads.

Topic Tracking: Identity 1

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