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In Chapters 1 to 6, how does Dickens build up the characters of Pip, the convict, Mrs. Joe and Joe for us?

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Introduction

In Chapters 1 to 6, how does Dickens build up the characters of Pip, the convict, Mrs. Joe and Joe for us? During the first six chapters, many characters are introduced, and all of them are important throughout the rest of the book. However, the very first four characters we meet are probably the most important and the most interesting ones as the book progresses. However, Dickens does not necessarily just give the reader an open description of a character; the ideas are in how they react to certain instances, or how they talk and what they say. Pip, or Philip Pirrip, is the very first character we meet. We find out straight away from the text that he is an orphan. He describes where he lives as 'the dark, flat wilderness beyond the churchyard'; the marshes. We also find out that he spends quite a lot of his time down at this churchyard, just sitting on the wall, watching the gravestones of his parents. Pip's mind is very imaginative; from the tombstones alone, he has imagined a picture of his parents without even knowing them. ...read more.

Middle

He asks where his mother is, and when Pip replied, 'There, sir', the convict made a run, as he didn't want to be caught. After he realised it was a tombstone, he had a conversation with Pip about where he lived and with whom. The convict felt sorry for this boy on the inside, but wanted to still look tough on the outside by adding in a nasty comment once in a while. Instead of hurting him with the knife, he made up a story of the other horrible convict who would come for Pip. This shows he really didn't mean any harm, otherwise he would have attacked Pip there and then. He then asks Pip to bring him 'wittles' and a file, which Pip ends up stealing. As he left, Pip described him 'as if he were eluding the hands of the dead people'. This means that he was near enough dead, just holding onto life. After this encounter, we don't see this convict until when the police and Pip find him wrestling with the second convict on the marshes. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is shown when Pip hides his bread and butter down his leg for the convict; Joe thinks he had just bolted it down. Instead of getting angry, he laughs, and tells Pip how much he did that at Pip's age, whereas Mrs. Joe got very cross. Also, when Pip is asking about the Hulks, Joe is very patient with him, explaining as much as he could, whereas Mrs. Joe got very impatient very quickly. Joe also shows his uncommon kindness at the dinner table at the Gargery's small gathering; the adults were being mean and nasty to Pip, but instead of joining in, Joe offered Pip more gravy. This shows the strong bond between the two. When they were going to the marshes with the police, Joe also showed his kindness in two ways. The first was that he wished that they would not find the convicts. The second was that when Pip's convict confessed he had taken the pie, Joe did not mind, but was rather glad he did, as the convict would have died without it. Joe's friendship with Pip also continued as the story progressed. Oliver Clarke L5L ...read more.

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