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Of course this is seen with Magwitch but more so in the presence of Pip’s sister, Mrs. She boasts that she has “brought me [Pip] up ‘by hand’ ” (Dickens 6).Her character is so sour during the first few chapters of the book and her display of brutality toward Pip and Joe is such that gives us reason not to pity Mrs. She is described as “not a good looking woman” and having a habit of going “on the Ram-page” (Dickens 6-7).
Furthermore, Pip describes her doing things in a very violent way; e.g.
“a trenchant way of cutting our bread and butter”, “her housekeeping of the strictest kind”, among many other violent and abusive examples (Dickens 8).
But as one reads this novel, one would certainly agree with the great essayist and thinker G. Chesterton when he called it “a novel without a hero” (464).
He makes his pronouncement clearer, “I mean that it is a novel which aims chiefly at showing that the hero is unheroic” (Chesterton 464).
This period can be labeled the first during the course of Pip’s development.
Each period in Pip’s development is marked by an event and new influencing character.Pip’s character, for the most part at the beginning of the novel, is replete with fear and cowardice.At the same time, one might say that these characteristics are the result of his exposure to certain overbearing and threatening persons.The first scene in the book is such a moment in the life of Pip Pirrip.In the first scene Pip meets Abel Magwitch, an escaped convict.Pip promised Magwitch he would get him food and a file; Pip does fulfill his promise, despite the threats of Mrs.Joe, and therefore shows some good “heroic” qualities of honesty and bravery in the midst of threats.His own experience in the squalor of Victorian England renders his knowledge authoritative on such darkness.While most of his novels exemplify such filth and cruelty, is probably the best example since one seems to feel the darkness clouding their senses once they read the book.As we find out later in the novel, the events that follow this meeting are the basis for the book’s title since Magwitch eventually becomes Pip’s benefactor and the provider of his “great expectations”.Pip at first is a small boy, without parents, who has the bad misfortune of meeting a convict.