Free Study Guide for Great Expectations by Charles Dickens-Book Summary
In spite of his pangs of conscience, Pip does not reveal the truth to anyone, even to Joe. Upon returning to Mrs. Joe and the other guests, Joe tells the party about the fugitive’s confession, which arouses much excitement among the guests.
More than once the tenderness of Joe toward Pip moves the young boy to confess his involvement. But Pip is deeply ashamed of his deceit, and is afraid that a confession would mean eternal suspicion. He is sure that if he admits the truth to Joe, he will be suspect anytime something is misplaced. As for Mrs. Joe, Pip feels no guilt at having deceived her.
This chapter has a small but ironic moment when, as Pip trudges overcome with fatigue to his bed, he hears everyone giving his or her own version of how the convict must have broken into the house to steal the pork pie.
Till Pip is old enough to be apprenticed to Joe as a blacksmith, he attends school at Mr. Wopsle’s great aunt’s evening school. Here he meets Biddy, the old woman’s granddaughter. Biddy looks after the old woman and her little shop.
At home, Joe is very impressed with Pip’s progress in education, and Pip makes a special point to teach Joe everything he knows.
One evening, about a year after the incident with the convicts, Mrs. Joe returns from shopping radiating with happiness. She tells both Pip and Joe that a rich old lady, Miss Havisham, has asked Mr. Pumblechook to send her a boy to wait upon her and that Pumblechook had suggested Pip. Pip is cleaned and made presentable and Mr. Pumblechook takes Pip to meet Miss Havisham.
Joe’s paternal pride in Pip’s educational accomplishments is evident in this chapter, and Pip’s devotion to his best friend is exhibited in the way he calmly teaches Joe everything he has learned. Joe is happy to be taught by Pip, but asks his assistance in keeping the learning secret, since Mrs. Joe would not approve. Joe speaks highly of Mrs. Joe despite her cruelty, saying he prefers to be “inconvenienced” rather than assert his independence on his wife by being educated.
The monumentally important invitation from Miss Havisham is at this time a simple opportunity. Mrs. Joe is convinced the position will make Pip’s entire future and works to make him presentable. Pip, for his part, is nonplussed and a little confused about the entire ordeal, but he readily agrees.
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. 09 May 2017