In the first extract we learn that Pip is a seven year old boy who lives with Mr. & Mrs. Joe Gargery in Kent. Pip was being looked after by his sister Mrs. Joe as both of his parents had died and he was more misfortunate as he hadn’t ever seen them and his five younger brothers had also died “exceedingly early in that universal struggle”. Pip also assumes how his parents would have looked like while sits near their graves in the churchyard. The setting makes the audience feel sorry for Pip.
The location where their town was situated was “marsh country, down by the river… twenty miles of the sea” and it didn’t have a large population. Pip used to go to the churchyard where his parents were buried. The churchyard was “a bleak place, overgrown with nettles” and the surrounding was “dark flat wilderness” it was “intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it was the marshes”. It was the churchyard where the audience comes across the character of Magwitch, the runaway convict who in the beginning threaten to cut Pip’s throat.
All in a grey course, he had a “great iron” between his legs which suggest that he had been imprisoned. He shoes were broken and with an old rag tied round his head. Magwitch was “soaked” in water, “smothered” by mud, “lamed” by stones, “cut” by flints, “stung” by nettles and “torn” by briars. His appearance and his threat to kill Pip surely made the audience take Pip’s side and feel deeply for him. The settings are in a sense parallel to the character of Magwitch.
For instance, the surrounding where Magwitch appears is the church yard overlooking the marshes and the marshes are said to be “intersected with dykes and mounds and gates” these are quite similar to Magwitch’s state, as he has been smothered in mud, lamed by stones and stung by nettles, these were just the physical features which were similar, furthermore the churchyard and the marshes were bleak and uncivilized places with dark flat wilderness. While Magwitch was a criminal, cruel, barbaric and vicious character.