How is Pip's loneliness shown in Chapter 1 Great Expectations?The main title for my essay is Explain how Charles Dickens conveys setting, character and atmosphere in Great Expectations, referring...

How is Pip's loneliness shown in Chapter 1 Great Expectations?

The main title for my essay is Explain how Charles Dickens conveys setting, character and atmosphere in Great Expectations, referring to the language of the novel to support your ideas. If that kinda shows you what I'm looking for :) Thank you!

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The author establishes in the first few paragraphs of the book the fact that Pip is quite alone in the world. Pip, who narrates the story, says that he gives "Pirrip as (his) father's name, on the authority of his tombstone." Pip goes on to observe that he "never saw (his) father or (his) mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them." The only impression the boy has of his parents are those derived from the writing on their tombstones; he has the "odd idea that (his father) was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair," and that his mother "was freckeld and sickly." The picture that the author creates of Pip is of a small child completely alone in the world, denied the warmth and love of his parents, with only the cold, hard reality of their tombstones to remember them by. His one contact with any sort of family at all is with his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, but the author indicates through her name and a direct specification, that her primary loyalties belong to another, her husband, before the child with whose care she has been saddled.

The author goes on to intensify the impression of the absolute isolation of the child Pip by describing his siblings, who are also all dead. These young brothers exist in Pip's world as "five little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a half long...arranged in a neat row beside (their parents') graves." They are at least united with their parents in death, while Pip remains on earth, alone and unloved, first in the life of no one. Pip is a pathetic character, helpless and solitary, who has only the cold, hard tombstones of his parents and siblings to substitute for what should have been an environment in which he might have been surrounded with human warmth and love.

The author uses setting and atmosphere to emphasize the insignificance and helpless loneliness of the main character, Pip. The cemetery is a place of death and bereavement, and at night, in the fog, it is a cold and frightening place. The author uses language to create stark images of the lifelessness of Pip's parents and brothers, portraying them as tombstones, large and small. Even the name he gives his central character, "Pip," denotes a miniscule figure with little influence or power (Chapter 1).

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