Great Expectations

Discuss the beginning of the novel.Pip is seen at a graveyard trying to read and decipher his family lineage. How is it significant? What message is given with it?

from chapter 1

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The story opens with the narrator, Pip, who introduces himself and describes an image of himself as a boy, standing alone and crying in a churchyard near some marshes. Young Pip is staring at the gravestones of his parents, who died soon after his birth. This tiny, shivering bundle of a boy is suddenly terrified by the voice of large, bedraggled man who threatens to cut Pip's throat if he doesn't stop crying. I'm not sure what you mean about message, but the tombstone confirms Pip's family name.

I give Pirrip as my father’s family name, on the authority of his tombstone and my sister - Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith.


Great Expectations