Great Expectations

Great Expectations


Charles Dickens

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

Great Expectations: Book 2, Chapter 24 Summary & Analysis

Several days later, Mr. Pocket tells Pip that he's been told by Mr. Jaggers that Pip is not to be trained for any particular profession but to be educated as a young man of wealth. Pip accepts the plan. He and Mr. Pocket get along well and Pip finds him "serious, honest, and good."
Gentlemen do not engage in practical trades and professions but instead live genteel lives of leisure. Pip will be educated for such a life. Though you could also make a case that he will then be educated in doing nothing.
Social Class Theme Icon
Ambition and Self-Improvement Theme Icon
Pip decides to rent one of Herbert's rooms in Barnard's Inn for variety and for the pleasure of Herbert's company. When he asks Mr. Jaggers for money to furnish the room, Mr. Jaggers hassles Pip about the sum, making Pip uncomfortable. When he confides his discomfort to Wemmick, Wemmick assures him that Mr. Jaggers' intends that reaction but that "it's not personal....only professional."
Mr. Jaggers' sense of professionalism does not only require him to be rational, calculating, and dispassionate—he must also intimidate everyone around him.
Integrity and Reputation Theme Icon
After dispensing his money, Wemmick gives Pip a tour of Mr. Jaggers office and Pip sees four other shabby clerks and learns that the plaster casts are death masks of "famous clients" that earned the practice credit: one a murderer, the other a forger. Wemmick describes them fondly and explains that all of his mourning accessories are gifts from Mr. Jaggers' clients who were killed for their crimes. He tells Pip that he always takes these mementoes when offered as his motto is "get hold of portable property."
Wemmick's cheerfulness around matters of death show how inured he's become to the grizzly justice system. Further, the firm celebrates the criminals it defends, as they are the foundation of its success. The firm seems not so much to be focused on justice, as finding ways to profit from the law. It's all business. Wemmick's cheerful acceptance of the "personal property" that was the last gifts of condemned criminals further underscores this "all business" ethos.
Justice Theme Icon
Generosity Theme Icon
Wemmick invites Pip to visit him at home in Walworth. He also warns Pip that, if he ever goes to Mr. Jaggers house, he should look out for his housekeeper, who is "a wild beast tamed."
Wemmick's invitation to Pip is generous, not professionally required of him.
Generosity Theme Icon
Get the entire Great Expectations LitChart as a printable PDF.
Great Expectations PDF