Drama & horror Essay
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Dickens gives more drama/horror to what the convict is saying by telling Pip he can ‘attempt to hide’ from the young man. He tells Pip he can ‘lock the door’, ‘be warm in bed’, ‘think himself comfortable and safe’, but the young man will find him and ‘tear him open’. Dickens uses words such as ‘safe’ and ‘warm’ to create a comforting mood to the reader and to Pip, which accentuates the drama and violence of the end ‘tear him open.
‘ This terrifies Pip as the convict makes it seem that the small boy cannot even be safe in his own home/familiar surroundings.
The phrase “I am keeping that man from harming you at the present moment, with great difficulty,” makes the atmosphere even more erie as it sounds as if the man is so vicious it is hard to hold him back. In the next part of the story Dickens describes Pip watching the convict leaving the churchyard. Again we see a description of this horrible bleak place (i. e. ‘Among the nettles’ – ugly, harmful plants and ‘among the brambles’ – thorns, sharp, portraying the landscape). However this time we see how the surrounding’s depression have had an effect on the convict.
For the first time we see a more hurt and vulnerable side of the convict. Pip describes him as hugging his ‘shuddering body’, ‘as if to hold himself together’, making the convict seem dishevelled and is if he is falling apart. He is also obviously feeling pain and loneliness, along with Pip and their environment. Next, dickens creates an extreme atmosphere of Pip being in a terrifying and hostile place with the description of ‘he looked in my young eyes as if he were eluding the hands of dead people, stretching up cautiously out of their graves, to get a twist upon his ankle and pull him in”.
This graphic and scary description coming from a young boy suggests Pip also has been affected by his hostile surroundings. It also gives a sense that the convict is close to death (being dragged into graves). In the last section of the chapter, dickens creates a very dramatic visual image of Pip looking out at his surroundings. Dickens creates a striking vision of hell by describing Pip seeing the marshes as ‘a long black horizontal line’, then the rivers as another, ‘yet not nearly so broad, yet not so black’ and then the sky as ‘just a row of long angry red lines and dense black lines intermixed.
‘ The descriptions of the colours red and black portray the vision of hell as the black represents death and the red blood/danger, these are colours often associated with pain, death and hell. Dickens describes the lines as ‘angry’, also suggesting the atmosphere is uneasy and volatile (like hell). Dickens adds to the drama of the description by adding the image of the gibbet (associated with death). We can see how Pip must be frightened as we can relate to the horror of this well-decorated/descripted image.
We also see Pip having a childlike imagination, when he pictures the convict being a dead pirate to which the chains on the gibbet ‘had once held’. The chapter ends on an uneasy note, with Pip announcing his fear (‘Now I was frightened again’), bringing a sense of reality to the chapter, then him ‘running home without stopping’. This leaves the chapter full of mystery and encourages readers to find out what happens to Pip.