Great Expectations

Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Book 1, Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Pip rises the next morning in a brighter mood and, after church, takes a farewell walk through the marshes, feeling a condescending compassion for the village people ("poor creatures") and resolving to send them charitable gifts in the future. He dismisses memories of the convict. As he walks, Pip imagines that the cows on the marsh "wear a more respectful air now...in order that they might stare as long as long as possible at the possessor of such great expectations."
Pip's new snobbery reaches ridiculous heights. His generosity towards the villagers is transparently false, conceived purely to enhance the gentlemanly reputation he craves. His perspective on the cows is comical. Compare this journey on the marshes with that to meet the convict in Chapter 3.
Themes
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
Pip lies down at the battery and falls asleep, daydreaming of Estella. Pip is awakened by Joe, who has followed him. Pip tells Joe he will never forget him and, when Joe responds that he is sure of that and that he only needed a night to adjust to Pip's departure, Pip is secretly disappointed in "Joe's being so mightily secure of me."
Pip is hungry for external validation of his new status and reputation. Pip wants everyone, even Joe, to feel intimidated and insecure around him, in order to make himself feel important.
Themes
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Pip regrets that Joe didn't get a chance to learn more in their lessons. Joe disagrees, saying he was always "so awful dull" and that he is a master only of his own trade. Pip, wanting to "do something" for Joe thinks it would be easier to do if Joe were "better qualified for a rise in station." After tea, he takes Biddy out for a walk and asks her to teach Joe manners so that Pip might take him into a "higher sphere" when he comes into his fortune. Biddy protests and warns Pip to consider Joe's pride. Pip is annoyed. Biddy explains that there are many different kinds of pride and that Joe is proud of his place in life and of his skills. Pip accuses Biddy of being envious of him, of possessing "a bad side of human nature." Biddy tells him he can think what he wants, she will still do all she can for him and for the forge. She reminds him "a gentleman should not be unjust." Afterwards, Pip sulks outside, confused by his dissatisfaction and loneliness in the wake of such good news.
Pip confuses integrity with reputation. Pip's understanding of pride relies on comparing himself to other people. He is more proud when he considers himself better than more people. He suggests Joe improve himself according to these standards, learning the sorts of manners that would help him raise himself higher in the class system. Yet Biddy tries to explain Joe's different sense of pride, a pride that relies on integrity and self-worth rather than on others' opinions. Pip, unable to understand, attributes his own confusion to Biddy's jealousy of him. He is upset without knowing exactly why.
Themes
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Next day, Pip goes to the tailor, Mr. Trabb, to have clothes made. Upon hearing that Pip has come into money, Mr. Trabb immediately begins to treat Pip with exaggerated deference while all along verbally abusing his assistant, Trabb's Boy. Pip notes that "my first decided experience of the stupendous power of money was that it had morally laid upon his back, Trabb's boy."
This is Pip's first experience parading his new status in town, and he discovers that there are those, like Mr. Trabb, who will fawn over Pip solely because of Pip's money. But at the same time Mr. Trabb is cruel to his assistant, revealing his kindness to Pip as solely being the result of Pip's money.
Themes
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
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After completing his shopping, Pip goes to see Mr. Pumblechook, who, to Pip's great pleasure, tells Pip how deserved Pip's fortune is. Pumblechook's flatters Pip over and over, and continually asks permission to shake Pip's hand. He feeds Pip a lavish meal. He reminisces about his long friendship with Pip, how he has been Pip's favorite since childhood. Though Pip knows this is a lie, he is won over by Pumblechook's manner and thinks he must have been mistaken not to like him in the past. Pumblechook asks Pip's business advice (obviously implying that he'd like Pip's investment) and delights in it even when Pip does not offer to invest. Pumblechook reiterates that Pip is "no common boy."
Mr. Pumblechook has already shown himself to be a class-obsessed, greedy toady and this scene only provides further evidence. Though he has abused and neglected Pip for years—at a time when Pip most needed love and support—he now pretends as if they have always been friends and fawns over Pip. Pip sees through Pumblechook but nevertheless enjoys his flattery. Pumblechook's request for Pip's business advice is a thinly veiled plea for money.
Themes
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
The day before leaving for London, Pip visits Miss Havisham to say goodbye. He is escorted inside by Sarah Pocket. Miss Havisham keeps Sarah Pocket in the room while she and Pip recount his change in fortune (she has already heard the news from Mr. Jaggers), relishing Sarah Pocket's "jealous dismay." In parting, Pip kneels and kisses Miss Havisham's hand.
Sarah Pocket's dismay stems from her belief that Miss Havisham must be Pip's anonymous patron (meaning she won't get any money out of Havisham). Pip assumes genteel manners to bid Miss Havisham goodbye.
Themes
Social Class Theme Icon
Joe, Biddy, and Pip are all sad at Pip's departure. Pip has asked Joe not to walk with him to the coach, fearing the contrast in their appearances. Though he thinks better of it and wants to invite Joe to walk him after all, he does not. Joe and Biddy each throw an old shoe at Pip as he leaves. Pip tries to be happy as he leaves but soon begins sobbing. After his tears, he feels his own ingratitude more keenly and wishes Joe were with him. On the coach, he debates at each stop whether to get down and walk back home for one last night, but does not. Mist has risen over the landscape.
Pip's first priority is protecting his reputation and he fears Joe's company might tarnish his image. He prioritizes reputation even at the expense of his own happiness, not changing his mind even after he sobs. Throwing an old shoe is a peasant custom and mark Joe and Biddy as members of the lower class.
Themes
Social Class Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon