Free Study Guide for Great Expectations by Charles Dickens-Book Summary
On Pipís twenty-first birthday he is called to Mr. Jaggersí office and given five hundred pounds. Jaggers tells Pip he will receive that amount annually from this point on until a time when his benefactor chooses to be revealed. Pip will be responsible for managing his own money.
The five hundred pounds come as a great relief to Pip, whose debt has become of grave concern. However, he had expected the birthday visit to reveal that he might be allowed to marry Estella, whom he continues to believe is being set aside for marriage to him. He still believes Miss Havisham to be his bountiful patron. He is sure that her generosity has a lot to do with her plans for he and Estella.
Pip approaches Wemmick with his plans to help Herbert succeed in business. Wemmick assists Pip by calling on Clarriker, a young shipping merchant, and giving him money to hire Herbert. Clarriker gives Herbert employment as well as the promise of the bright future he has always dreamed of. As well, he promises to keep Pipís involvement in the whole affair a secret. Pip is very happy that he has at last been able to do something good for somebody with his new station in life.
Though in the previous chapters, Pipís snobbery and selfishness gets the better of him, this chapter re-establishes Pipís unselfish and once-generous nature when he helps Herbert. Pipís maturity is evident when he asks his identity to be kept secret. He knows that Herbertís dignity would be hurt if Pip gave him financial help. It is the only good thing that comes of Pipís new position.
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. 09 May 2017