Great Expectations

Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Book 3, Chapter 40 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next morning, Pip decides to tell his maids and the Temple watchman that the convict is his uncle. On his way out, he stumbles over an unidentified man crouching in the dark hall outside his apartment. When Pip and the watchman return with a light to search the hall, the stranger has disappeared, but the watchman informs Pip that Pip's "uncle" entered the Temple followed by another man.
The mysterious man is suspicious and suggests someone is spying on Pip. This is especially disconcerting, considering the convict's criminal record and illegal status in England.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Over breakfast, Pip is disgusted by the convict's crude table manners. He asks the convict about the man in grey clothes but the convict didn't notice him and doesn't know who the man might be. After breakfast, he tosses Pip a fat pocketbook of money, proclaiming that he'll make Pip into a gentleman to show up all of the colonists and judges who have crossed him. He wants the money to be spent on more lavish, gentlemanly accoutrements.
The convict is under the impression that money alone makes a gentleman. But based on his behavior, he is not familiar with genteel manners and behaviors, and no amount of money could hide this fact.
Themes
Social Class Theme Icon
Pip is distressed and demands to know the convict's plans. The convict explains he plans to stay with Pip in London for good. He will disguise himself and be called Provis, though his real name is Abel Magwitch. He calls Pip "dear boy" and watches him "with an air of admiring proprietorship." Pip resolves to call him "Mr. Provis."
The convict feels paternal towards Pip—he feels that his generosity has made Pip into what he is—but Pip rebuffs his tenderness, addressing him with "Mr." as he would any stranger.
Themes
Parents Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
Pip stops by Mr. Jaggers office to ask if the news he's heard is true. Mr. Jaggers confirms the fact, though insists that Pip describe "Magwitch" as a man still living in New South Wales and "Provis" as a separate person in England conveying information on Magwitch's behalf.
Mr. Jaggers protects himself by ensuring he is legally ignorant of Provis' presence in London, preventing Pip from stating it outright. Still, the reader can see that Mr. Jaggers' is aware of the fact.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
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Pip buys Provis new clothes to wear but observes that Provis' past "gave him a savage air that no dress could tame." He spends five miserable days loathing Provis' manners, wondering about Provis' crimes, and dreaming of ways to escape. Then, Herbert returns from the trip he's been on.
Though Provis has the money of a high class gentleman, his behavior is still shaped by his lower class, criminal background.
Themes
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon