Great Expectations

Great Expectations


Charles Dickens

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on Great Expectations makes teaching easy.

Great Expectations: Book 1, Chapter 13 Summary & Analysis

Next day, Joe and Pip set off for Miss Havisham's. Mrs. Joe has insisted on walking to town with them in all her finest to visit Uncle Pumblechook. Upon being escorted into Miss Havisham's, Joe is speechless with discomfort and can only respond to Miss Havisham's questions indirectly by addressing his answers to Pip. Pip is mortified by Joe's awkwardness and uneducated speech. Miss Havisham asks Joe whether he expects a premium for Pip's apprenticeship and, when Joe tells Pip he doesn't, she hands Pip twenty-five guineas that she says is the premium Pip has earned at her house. She then dismisses them, telling Pip he need not return to her now that he is Joe's apprentice.
Though much of Joe's awkwardness must owe to the shock of seeing Miss Havisham's living conditions, part of it may owe to his inexperience interacting with the upper class. A premium is a sum of money that many craftsmen required from new apprentices as payment for being taken on as an apprentice. Though Pip has certainly earned his twenty-five guineas at Miss Havisham's, she is still generous to offer it even when Joe doesn't ask for one.
Social Class Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
Pip and Joe leave Miss Havisham's and walk to Uncle Pumblechook's where Mrs. Joe has been waiting for them in a sulk, still deeply hurt that she was not asked to visit. Joe lies to Mrs. Joe telling her that Miss Havisham sent her compliments to Mrs. Joe and only didn't invite her on the visit due to Miss Havisham's poor health. Mrs. Joe is greatly cheered up by this news, which she trusts as the truth. Joe makes a grand show of handing the premium Miss Havisham gave him to Mrs. Joe.
Joe's white lie restores Mrs. Joe's sense of her reputation. It is generous of him to tell it, especially considering how rattled he must be by his ordeal at Satis House.
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
Uncle Pumblechook, Joe, and Mrs. Joe hurry Pip to the Town Hall to be officially bound as Joe's apprentice, a procedure that must take place in front of a judge. Uncle Pumblechook pushes Pip around the Hall so quickly that other people in court think that Pip must have committed a crime. Pip notes the strange interior of the Hall and compares the pews with church pews.
Though Uncle Pumblechook should be a nurturing guardian to Pip, he treats Pip so roughly that strangers think he must be handling a criminal. Pip's likening of the court pews to church pews implicitly empowers legal justice by linking it to divine justice.
Parents Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Giddy with delight at the twenty-five guineas, Mrs. Joe insists that they celebrate it with a dinner at the Blue Boar, inviting Uncle Pumblechook, Mr. and Mrs. Hubble, and Mr. Wopsle to join them. The dinner is high-spirited and everyone is rowdy and happy except for Pip, who feels deeply melancholy even as the adults keep prodding him to enjoy himself. Inside, Pip feels "wretched" at the prospect of entering Joe's trade, thinking "I had liked it once, but once was not now."
Pip's own goals and standards have changed. He can no longer be satisfied by what made him happy in the days before he met Miss Havisham and Estella, before he decided that he wanted to be "uncommon."
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Get the entire Great Expectations LitChart as a printable PDF.
Great Expectations PDF