Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Great Expectations Book 2, Chapter 23 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Pip learns that Mrs. Pocket is the only daughter of a deceased knight who, though poor, was pompously proud of his title, had ordered that his daughter be raised without learning any practical domestic skills, and that she "must marry a title." She eloped with Mr. Pocket. Her father had no dowry to give her but his blessing. Mrs. Pocket is pitied by Mrs. Coiler and others "because she had not married a title." Mr. Pocket is blamed for never getting a title.
Mrs. Pocket was raised to value titles and to believe in a birthright to nobility—ideas that are now antiquated in Victorian England where the rigid hereditary class system is a thing of the past. Note how the title was more important than the person—Mrs. Pocket was not to marry a man with a title, it was just the "title" that mattered.
Themes
Social Class Theme Icon
Parents Theme Icon
A harried but unaffected Mr. Pocket shows Pip his room and introduces him to fellow students Bentley Drummle, an heir to a baronetcy, and Startop. At dinner, Pip observes that the Pockets' servants wield greater power in the household than the Pockets' themselves. Mrs. Pocket reveals that the book she was reading so avidly is a book on titles.
Drummle has been born into the upper class and therefore has a hold in the antiquated title system that Mrs. Pocket values. The Pocket household is highly dysfunctional. Authority that should be possessed by the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Pocket, has passed to the servants.
Themes
Parents Theme Icon
When the children are brought in after dinner, Mrs. Pocket allows the baby to play with nutcrackers while she discusses baronetcies with Bentley Drummle and scolds her older child, Jane, for suggesting the baby might be in danger. An exasperated Mr. Pocket protests his wife's negligence to no avail and falls silent.
Mrs. Pocket is more concerned with her own social class and status than she is with parenting her children. Her daughter Jane is a better mother to her baby than she is. Mr. Pocket recognizes her incompetence but can do nothing.
Themes
Social Class Theme Icon
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Parents Theme Icon
After dinner (lunch), Bentley Drummle and Startop go rowing and Pip, wanting to be trained in this genteel sport, hires someone to train him, though he is deeply offended when the trainer praises him for having "the arm of a blacksmith."
Pip is offended by the trainer's praise because he doesn't want to be associated with working class trades, even by mere comparison.
Themes
Social Class Theme Icon
Get the entire Great Expectations LitChart as a printable PDF.
Great expectations.pdf.medium