Great Expectations

What are the comical passages in chapter 1-2? Why does the author include so many funny lines of dialog, most of them frightening, even in the first chapter?

I really do not understand this

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It is Christmas Eve, and Pip is forced to stir the holiday pudding all evening. His sister, whom Pip calls Mrs. Joe, thunders about. She threatens Pip and Joe with her cane, which she has named Tickler, and with a foul-tasting concoction called tar-water. I think amidst the poverty, there is some comical irony with the "tickler" stick and the clever dialogue.

Dicken's novels are always dark, but they are also equally filled with irony. In the first few chapters we are introduced to Pip. The boy is an orphan and the story opens in a graveyard, but a short time later when faced with the convict, something that brings tension to the reader....... Pip recites what is written on his parent's tombstones as their names. These short quips are meant to lessen the tension and make a young boy a little more real.


Great Expectations