After describing the weather Dickens goes back to emphasising how alone Pip is ‘it has not now so lonely a character as it’ Pip is in a very isolated setting. To add more suspense to the scene Dickens relates back to chapter one when the convict escapes ‘like discharges of cannon’ this is a good simile that describes the cannons. Pip is looking out of the windows and how the wind was making them rock, he thinks to himself about living in a light house which would be a very isolated place to live just like he is feeling now. The way Dickens has been describing the weather no one would want to go outside unless they really had to.
When Pip looks down the staircase he sees that the lamps have been blown out by the wind, this adds to more suspense because he is now in a dark, eerie house in the middle of a gigantic storm. Dickens uses very long sentences, broken up with a lot of punctuation like commas, brackets and the use of ‘and’ Pip then sees that the lamps on the bridges and in the court had been blown out and the shore was shuddering, this adds to more tension because now its not just the lamps in Pip’s house that have gone out, its outside as well. Also this description is a good use of personification because people shudder.
At exactly eleven o’clock Pip shuts his book and at the very same time all of the church-clocks in the city chimed, this adds suspense because of the timing and it would of made him jump. He stops and listens to the wind but then suddenly he hears a footstep on one of the stairs. In such appalling weather no one would be outside so the suspense increases. In the last few lines of the paragraph Dickens starts to write in shorter sentences that aren’t as detailed as the ones before about the lights being blown out, this is a contrast so that the speed would increase which would also increase on the amount of suspense.
As soon as Pip hears the footstep he immediately thinks that it is his dead sister coming back ‘with the footstep of my dead sister’ but that thought soon leaves him ‘it was past in a moment’ he then hears the footstep again but this time it stumbles which makes the person sound clumsy. Whenever Pip moves the person stops, this increases the amount of suspense because you don’t know who it is and it looks like they don’t want Pip to find out because they are mirroring Pip’s movements.
Pip eventually talks to them and says ‘There is some one down there, is there not?’ and the person just replies with the simple one word answer ‘yes’ Dickens only writes that it is from a voice so we still don’t know who it is. Pip simply asks him what floor he would like, probably still thinking that he is not there to see him, but the person replies ‘the top. Mr Pip’ this made the suspense go up a lot because the person knows Pip’s name. Pip is obviously shocked that he knows his name and asks if anything is wrong and when the person says no the man walks on.
Pip now knows that it is a man but because of the lack of light it is hard for him to see exactly who it is. He has a small lamp and he uses that to try and see who it is but he only manages to get a quick glimpse of him. Dickens uses a good contrast between light and dark using words such as ‘shaded,’ ‘circle of light,’ and ‘very contracted.’ He manages to see the face of the person but he doesn’t recognise him. But to confuse Pip even more the man looks pleased to see him. As the man moves Pip is able to see that he is ‘substantially dressed, but roughly’ He has ‘long iron-grey hair’ and he is about 60, he is ‘a muscular man, strong to his legs,’ so he obviously isn’t a gentleman like Pip. The use of the colour grey makes the man sound dull. He is a working class man, this increases tension because readers would want to know why a working class man would want to see Pip at eleven o’clock at night in the middle of a horrific storm.
Pip addresses the man like a gentleman and as if he is talking to a gentleman by saying ‘Pray what is your business?’ he then goes on to ask him if he would like to come in ‘D o you wish to come in’ remaining a gentleman in the way that he talks. The man returns the politeness when he replies ‘Yes, I wish to come in Master.’ Pip is only 33 and the man is about 60 so it is odd for an older man to call Pip master. Pip tries to remain civil but he finds it hard because he doesn’t like the man ‘I had asked him the question inhospitably enough, for I resented the sort of bright and gratified recognition that still shone in his face.’ Dickens then makes a repetition of the mans appearance ‘rough,’ ‘long iron grey’
When the man says ‘there is no one nigh? Is there?’ this makes the suspense increase because the readers would want to know why the man would want to be on his own with Pip and make sure that there is no one else around. Pip asks out front why he would want to know something like that ‘Why do you, a stranger coming into my rooms at this time of night, ask that question?’ Pip has obviously got a lot of thoughts going through his head and wants to exactly why this man has come to his house in the middle of the night. ‘I’m glad you’ve grow’d up, a game one,’ is the man’s reply, this answer would increase the amount of tension because it sounds as if this man knew Pip when he was younger.
The next paragraph is a very long one with very long sentences; the use of commas builds up suspense because they are able to build up a lot of details. Pip suddenly realises that he knows the man that has come to his house. ‘for I knew him!’ Dickens makes repetition of the phase ‘I knew him!’ followed by exclamation marks to add shock to Pip’s surprise. Suddenly everything from Pip’s childhood and the meeting of the convict in the graveyard comes back to him. Dickens shows this because he uses very long sentences with lots of punctuation to show Pip’s thoughts this would build up suspense because the readers would also remember when Pip met the convict and they would want to know why he is coming back to see Pip after all these years.
Pip is in a lot of shock and cant believe that Magwich has come back to see him after all this time. At this part in the chapter the rise in tension has slowed down by still going up. There is still abit of suspense though because we still don’t know why Magwich has come back and what he wants with Pip. Pip is repulsed by Magwich and wants to stay as far away from his as possible by pushing him away and telling him to stay away. ‘Stay! Keep off’ he is saying that it wasn’t necessary for Magwich to come and find him and thank him for helping him years ago. He is still desperate to get rid of him ‘Will you have something to drink before you go?’