The mist clouding the landscape around Pip's village symbolizes psychological uncertainty. As it obscures the view, it represents a lack of clarity, insight, or knowledge. Pip's four most formative experiences all take place in the mist. Early in the novel, Pip runs terrified through the mist to bring stolen food and a file to the convict. Not only is Pip uncertain and afraid of the convict's threats, he is completely unaware of the immense generosity his actions will inspire in the convict over the next twenty years. Likewise, Pip moves through heavy mist as he first leaves his village for London, not knowing how different his life there will be from the grand, genteel life he has fantasized about. Later, Pip walks through the mist on his way to meet his anonymous informant, who turns out to be Orlick lying in wait to kill him. Finally, Pip passes through mist to visit the razed site of Satis House where he is surprised to find Estella and the promise of a new life.
Mist Symbol Timeline in Great Expectations
The timeline below shows where the symbol Mist appears in Great Expectations. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 3
Book 1, Chapter 5
Book 1, Chapter 15
Book 1, Chapter 19
Book 3, Chapter 59