What is the blacksmith's trade, and why do the eyes of the man widen when Pip says he lives with a blacksmith?

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In the opening chapter of Dickens's classic novel Great Expectations , Pip is visiting his parents' grave in a marshy area near his house when he meets a terrifying escaped convict wearing heavy iron shackles around his legs. The escaped convict proceeds to threaten Pip's life and asks him where...

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In the opening chapter of Dickens's classic novel Great Expectations, Pip is visiting his parents' grave in a marshy area near his house when he meets a terrifying escaped convict wearing heavy iron shackles around his legs. The escaped convict proceeds to threaten Pip's life and asks him where he lives. Pip responds by telling the convict that he lives with his sister and Joe Gargery, the blacksmith. As soon as Pip mentions that he lives with a blacksmith, the convict looks down at his shackles and back into Pip's eyes with an intense gaze. The escaped convict recognizes that he has an opportunity to attain the tools he needs to remove the cumbersome iron shackles.

Since a blacksmith is a metal worker, who uses tools to hammer, bend, and cut iron for a living, the escaped convict knows that Joe Gargery will have a tool capable of cutting the iron shackles off his leg. The convict proceeds to grab Pip by the arms and instructs him to bring back a file and some whittles from his sister's home or he will cut out Pip's heart and liver. Pip is terrified of the convict's threats and proceeds to steal a file, some brandy, and a pork pie from his sister's house to bring to the convict hiding in the marshes. The convict ends up repaying Pip for his benevolence and charity by secretly becoming his wealthy benefactor later in life.

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