Chapter 3 (Volume 1, Chapter 3) (Instalment 2):

Another convict / I execute my trust

Synopsis of Chapter 3 (Volume 1, Chapter 3) (Instalment 2)

The weather and the setting reflect Pip's fears and bad conscience. He meets the second escaped convict, who tries to attack him and whom he assumes to be the terrible man with whomthe first convict has threatened him. He meets the first convict, gives him the food and watches sympathetically while he eats it. Pip mentions his meeting with the other convict, which disturbs the first convict, who questions him, and, as the terrified Pip runs away, starts filing the shackles off his leg.

Watch Chapter 3

Accompanying teaching resources

Commentary on Chapter 3 (Volume 1, Chapter 3) (Instalment 2)

A boy with Somebody-else's pork pie! … something of a clerical air The whole of nature seems to be accusing Pip, and his sense of guilt is so strong that even an ox reminds him of an accusing clergyman in white cravat. (Clergymen at this time did not wear dog collars).

‘I think you have got the ague,' I said An ague is a fever. Pip's sympathy for the convict's health overcomes his fears for a moment.

Something clicked in his throat … over his eyes Pip's help has an unexpected effect on the convict. The reference to something clicking in his throat is repeated when the convict is seen again later in the novel.

He was altogether too unsettled in his mind … making a chop with his jaws at the visitor The convict is likened to a dog, a recieved attitude that Dickens tries hard to change throughout the novel.

Investigating Chapter 3 (Volume 1, Chapter 3) (Instalment 2)
  • Re-read the paragraph beginning ‘'Why, see now!' said he. ‘When a man's alone... '
      • What is your reaction to the situation the convict describes?
      • How does the language used create this reaction?
  • How does Dickens make use of the setting and the weather to suggest tone and mood?
  • How does Dickens dramatize Pip's feelings towards the convict?
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