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
Pip runs out onto the marshes in the mist of Christmas dawn to meet the convict, terrified that he'll be caught and feeling as... (full context)
...convict who swears at Pip and tries to strike him, then stumbles off into the mist. Pip assumes this must be the young man the first convict threatened him with. Pip... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 5
Mr. Wopsle, Joe, and Pip follow the soldiers out into the wet, cold, misty marshes while Pip, confessing to Joe that he hopes the convicts aren't found, wonders anxiously... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 15
On the misty walk back to the village late that night, Mr. Wopsle and Pip discover Orlick under... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 19
...whether to get down and walk back home for one last night, but does not. Mist has risen over the landscape. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 59
...and separated from Drummle, who has since died. Pip walks to the site in the misty dusk and finds only the garden wall still standing. He is stunned to find Estella... (full context)