Great Expectations Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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In Great Expectations, what is Pip's reaction to the convict's return at the end of chapter 39? How does the imagery sell this reaction?

Pip reacts with shock and horror to the convict's return at the end of chapter 39. Some of the imagery that expresses Pip's reaction includes his shortness of breath, his beginning to faint, his shuddering, his blood running cold, and his sense that he in experiencing a shipwreck.

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Pip is horrified when Magwitch shows up in chapter 39. He is shocked and upset, first, that he owes his wealth to a man he regards as a criminal lowlife. (We might feel the same if we found our wealth came from someone running a pornography site.) Second, he realizes all his dreams are dashed, because his benefactor is not Miss Havisham. This means that she is not grooming him as Estella's husband. Third, Pip realizes he has been horribly snobbish and superior to Joe and Biddy for no reason. It was one thing when he thought his wealth was coming from a lady who, though very strange, was upper class and had inherited her money honestly. Now,...

(The entire section contains 376 words.)

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