Great Expectations

Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Book 3, Chapter 55 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Back in London, Pip retains Mr. Jaggers for Provis' defense. Mr. Jaggers is mightily disappointed in Pip for not securing Provis' fortune ahead of time from confiscation, but Pip is unconcerned. Compeyson's corpse is found on the river with notes indicating he had hoped to be rewarded money from Provis' fortune. Provis' trial is set for a date one month away.
Mr. Jaggers' and Compeyson may have been concerned with Provis' fortune, but Pip is able to rise above financial concerns.
Themes
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Herbert reveals that he is being transferred to a branch of his merchant's house in Cairo (which Pip, of course, already secretly knows, since he arranged it). Herbert invites Pip to come and live with him and Clara and work at the counting house as a clerk (a position Herbert offers sheepishly). Pip is grateful, but says he needs several months to decide—to continue to keep Provis company and to tend to "a vague something lingering in my thoughts."
Herbert hesitates in offering Pip a clerk position because taking it would mean a decline in status for Pip, and Pip has until now cared a lot about status. At the same time, the offer shows how Pip's own generosity to Herbert has, without Herbert even knowing it, come back to potentially repay Pip. Pip refuses the offer for now not out of any care of his reputation, but because he wants to help Provis and better understand his own thoughts, i.e. relearn about himself.
Themes
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Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
Herbert says he will soon marry Clara Ð Clara's father is nearly dead—and is delighted by her lack of not just a title but any family at all, joking, "What a fortune for the son of my mother!"
Herbert's comment is sarcastic: Mrs. Pocket would unhappy, to say the least, to hear about the marriage.
Themes
Social Class Theme Icon
Parents Theme Icon
Later that week, Wemmick visits Pip to apologize for the failure of his escape plan—he realizes that Compeyson must have planted rumors that he was out of London so that Wemmick would overhear and advise Pip to enact his plan.
Compeyson is a savvy schemer, which helps account for his past success as a criminal.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
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Wemmick asks Pip to join him for a walk that Monday. The walk, it turns out, leads to Wemmick's wedding to Miss Skiffins, which he has planned to seem completely spontaneous. Pip is the best man and the Aged gives Miss Skiffins away. Wemmick asks Pip not to mention the wedding in Little Britain.
Perhaps the most extreme example of Wemmick's rigidly divided work and home lives. He doesn't even hint to Pip that the walk will lead to his wedding, or want anyone at work to even know about it.
Themes
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Parents Theme Icon