After explaining about Miss Havisham’s and Estella’s wish to see him, Pip suddenly realises how bad a host he has been towards Joe. However, by this time, the damage has been done and Joe says as much when he tells Pip that the two of them should not be together and that he should be working in the forge away from finery whilst Pip should be a gentleman making an honest living. Despite Pip’s best (and feeble) attempts to persuade Joe to stay for dinner, he leaves. In Chapter 27, both Herbert and Joe can be described as gentlemen who are true ‘at heart’.
Magwitch can also fit this category. Joe, whilst lacking social class and wealth, is a true gentleman at every other sense. He is honourable, chivalrous, comically presented at times and will always forgive others (exactly how a gentleman should behave). Magwitch, whilst not really a gentleman during the first stage of the novel, manages to evolve into one. He becomes honourable and chivalrous and learns to make a decent living in Australia. He is also capable of managing his finances properly so that he can send money to Pip.
Magwitch also serves as the catalyst for Pip’s thoughts, feelings and guilt during the final stage of the novel. Herbert, like Magwitch and Joe, is also honourable and chivalrous. He is also a person against whom moral values can be judged and he almost an ideal for others to strive towards. Herbert is also a person with a relatively high social rank and was profitably managing his finances until he became corrupted by Pip’s lifestyle. It is these characters which Pip tries to emulate and shows some of this goodness in his visit to Wemmick’s home in Walworth.
Pip is incredibly courteous when visiting Wemmick’s home and is quick to commend him on the beauty of the cottage and the idea of the flagstaff and bridge. “The bridge was a plank… but it was very pleasant to see the pride with which he hoisted it up”. He is polite with Wemmick’s old father (‘the Aged parent’) and shows a generous appreciation to the quality of the food that he consumed during dinner that night and at breakfast the following morning. During his stay in London, Pip’s interest in Miss Havisham and her past deepens considerably, although he remains obsessed with Estella.
On the day of his arrival (Chapters 21 ; 22), he forces Herbert to tell him all that he knows regarding the subject and Herbert agrees to do so over dinner that night. It is also during this meal that Pip rather comically learns proper table manners. Pip feels extremely embarrassed at having to do this and hence is constantly apologising to Herbert during the course of the meal. During his time in London, he makes two visits to Satis House. The first of these is just after Joe had come and told him that Miss Havisham wished to see him (Chapter 28).
After marvelling at Estella’s beauty, she forces Pip into saying that his ‘old company’ i. e. Joe and Biddy were not suitable for him after his change of fortunes. Pip also makes several moral compromises including completely ignoring the fact that he meant to pay Joe and Mrs. Joe Gargery a visit. This is a frequent promise of Pip’s which he constantly fails to keep during the entirety of the second stage of the novel. This doesn’t go entirely unnoticed by Joe and Biddy and at Mrs Joe’s funeral (Chapter 35), Biddy challenges Pip over his promise to visit them regularly.
The second of these visits is when Estella is summoned by Miss Havisham to return to Satis House for a day. Pip very chivalrously agrees to escort Estella to and from Satis House. At Satis House, he can do nothing but sit politely and watch as Miss Havisham and Estella argue fiercely with each other. Apart from occasional visits to the Pockets and to Wemmick (to draw money), Pip spends most of his time with Herbert. They become partners of a business and they regularly help each other out. As Herbert is really rich at the start of Pip’s stay in London, Pip rather nobly tries to help him by purchasing further purchases for their room.
As a result, Pip goes to Jaggers to draw the money (Chapter 24). Well! How much do you want? I said I didn’t know how much… ” It is here in the novel that Pip learns the value of money, as he is unable to tell Jaggers exactly how much money he will need to purchase the furnishings. To a Victorian gentleman, money was of the utmost importance as it helped define social status. As Pip has had very little experience of handling money, he has never really learnt its true value and consequently finds it challenging in London when he attempts to withdraw it.
In Victorian society, money meant power and even at the beginning of the second stage of the novel, Pip makes it quite clear that he wants to make a lot of profit from whatever business he undertook. However, possessing money would have also had its consequences as Pip finds out later on in the novel. At that time if you were unable to pay off any of your own personal debt, you could by sent to debtor’s prison. Charles Dickens himself did not have a perfect childhood after his own father was sent to the famous Marshalsea debtor’s prison in 1824 after running into serious debt.
Pip also explores the more social side of being a gentleman. One day he returns to Walworth with Wemmick where they dine together. Two days later, along with Drummle and Startop, Pip goes to dine at Mr. Jaggers’ home. It is here that the reader is introduced to Molly, Jaggers’ housemaid and unknown to Pip at that time, Estella’s mother. We also see Pip as he acquiesces to see Mr. Wopsle in a theatrical production of ‘Hamlet’ (Chapter 31). The production of Hamlet is actually a parody of Pip’s life. Both Pip and Mr. Wopsle come to London and they both change their names (Pip to Handel and Mr. Wopsle to Mr.
Waldengarver). Pip is forced to make several visits to Jaggers to withdraw money and often has to confess to Jaggers that he is in debt due to his lavish lifestyle. However, Pip never knows exactly how much he is in debt, which further illustrates his great unawareness of the value of money. Throughout the second stage of the novel except for the final chapter Pip lives under the belief that his unknown benefactor is actually Miss Havisham and hence during his visits to Satis House treats her like his ‘patroness’. Therefore, when Magwitch reveals himself to Pip in the final chapter of the stage, he is shocked.
At first, he rather harshly rejects Magwitch telling him to show his gratitude by mending his old ways, although he does offer Magwitch a drink. After Magwitch reveals the truth about Pip’s change of fortunes, the older narrator (Pip) is angry his younger self for repaying Joe’s and Biddy’s kindness by deserting them and he feels to ashamed and humiliated to ever return to his home. Pip is also horrified when he realises that Miss Havisham only wanted him at Satis House so that she could humiliate him and in doing so wreak her revenge on the male sex.
Does Pip really become a snob? On balance, I believe that the answer to this question is yes. However, there are moments during the second stage of the novel where this is not the case. Pip’s total preoccupation with his new life clearly reflects his rejection of his past although this is to a certain extent, conditional on his Expectations. In addition, his treatment of Joe during the visit to London and his constant failure to visit Joe does show a certain degree of snobbery.
Further examples of snobbery are Pip’s harsh rejection of Magwitch when they meet at the ‘Temple’ (Chapter 39), Pip’s reproach to Biddy following the death of his sister (Chapter 35) and his haphazard spending of money. However, at the end of Chapter 39, there has been a great change in Pip’s character. He realises the truth of how he has been treating Joe and Biddy and as a result, feels a great sense of remorse. The older narrator of Pip even scorns himself on reflection of his past which he believes is unacceptable and he is so ashamed of himself that he feels that he can never go back and see them again.
“I would not have gone back to Joe now, for any consideration… because my sense of my own worthless conduct to them was far greater than every consideration. ” Pip also admires Joe’s and Biddy’s simple lifestyle. This mood of Pip’s sets the scene for the final stage of the novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? Bharrathi Sarvananthan – 1 – ‘Great Expectations’ Coursework Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.