Great Expectations

Great Expectations


Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations: Book 3, Chapter 46 Summary & Analysis

That night, Pip goes to Clara's apartment and meets Herbert, who explains that the racket upstairs comes from Clara's father, Mr. Barley, who is drunken, gout-ridden, bellowing, and cruel. Herbert and Clara have confided their engagement only to Mrs. Whimple, Clara's "motherly" landlady.
Although Mr. Barley is Clara's parent by birth, her landlady is a far more nurturing guardian.
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Pip and Herbert go upstairs to Provis' rooms, rented under the name of "Mr. Campbell". When Provis hears about the spy, he agrees with Pip and Wemmick's plan that he must go abroad. Herbert suggests that he and Pip help Provis escape by rowing him up the river in Pip's boat. They resolve to begin rowing by Provis' window regularly, so as to establish a habit and prevent suspicion on the day they escape. In the meantime, Provis will signal his safety by drawing his window blind. Despite their plan, Pip worries for Provis' safety and constantly fears he is being watched.
In order to save Provis' life, Pip and Herbert must resort to illegal measures to get him out of the country. They can't trust the institutions of justice to actually provide justice. Just as Pip helped Provis by doing something illegal as a boy, he is now doing the same thing as an adult, though now he is doing it not out of simple generosity but also because he wants to hide his association with Provis.
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