Great Expectations

Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Book 3, Chapter 51 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Pip goes to Mr. Jagger's office and collects Miss Havisham's money for Herbert. Pip tells Mr. Jaggers' that he not only knows who Estella's mother is, but who her father is too. Pip can tell from Mr. Jaggers' surprise that he hadn't known about Provis. Still, Mr. Jaggers' tries to ignore Pip's news and goes right back to work with Wemmick, Pip makes a "passionate, almost an indignant appeal to him" to confide in Pip as Pip has in him, to honor Pip's love for Estella. Pip then entreats Wemmick to side with him, calling on Wemmick's "gentle heart" and "cheerful playful ways" at home. Mr. Jaggers is shocked to hear about Wemmick's home life. He consents to share his knowledge with Pip.
As usual, Mr. Jaggers' tries to avoid any interaction with human emotion. Yet, this time, Pip won't let him get away with it, calling on Mr. Jaggers' to honor his honesty as a matter of dignity and calling on Wemmick's Walworth personality for support. And Pip wins out, his own integrity overcoming Jagger's dedication to cold, hard business.
Themes
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Parents Theme Icon
Mr. Jaggers insists on describing "the case" entirely hypothetically, and says he admits "nothing." Without naming names, he describes the possibility of having given the child of a murderer to a rich woman to save the child from the rough world the mother lived in, telling her that her child would be saved regardless of the mother's fate, and that he had used the mother's concern for her child to keep her docile and calm, that the mother knew nothing of her husband. Mr. Jaggers' then asks Pip who he would hypothetically benefit by revealing his news, as it could only bring harm and disgrace to mother, father, and daughter. Mr. Jaggers then restores his professional persona and gets back to business.
Mr. Jaggers' makes a distinction between acting honestly and acting with integrity. He argues that telling the whole truth may not be the most generous course of action in this case.
Themes
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon