Great Expectations Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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What keeps Pip awake at night?

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Poor young Pip finds it hard to sleep at night, and there are two reasons for this, depending on which part of the story we're dealing with. First of all, Pip is kept awake by the thought of Abel Magwitch, the terrifying escaped convict he encountered at the cemetery. He remembers how Magwitch made blood-curdling threats on Pip's life if he didn't do what he was told.

And although Pip complied with Magwitch's demands to bring him food, drink, and some tools to help him remove his chains, he's still worried that this dangerous convict is wandering freely over the Romney Marshes and could come to him in the middle of the night. It's a scary thought that would keep anyone awake, especially a young boy.

Later on in the story, after Magwitch has been safely recaptured, Pip is kept awake by something a good deal more pleasant. After meeting Estella for the first time at Satis House, Pip becomes positively infatuated with her. Although she's incredibly rude toward him, regarding him as nothing more than a common laboring boy, she's nonetheless rather pretty, and it's Estella's beauty that captures Pip's imagination as he lies there in bed at night, unable to sleep.

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