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Great Expectations


The Author
Chapters 1-6
Chapters 7-12
Chapters 13-17
Chapters 18-19
Chapters 20-24
Chapters 25-28
Chapters 29-39
Chapters 40-45
Chapters 46-51
Chapters 52-59



Expectations Great

(Chapters 18 and 19)


It is now four year’s into Pip’s apprenticeship.

One night in the Jolly Bargeman Inn, Pip and Joe engage in discussions with Wopsle. Pip notices a man that he has seen at Miss Havisham’s being the one that had the scent of soap.  He comes over to them and introduces himself as a lawyer from London called Jaggers and he has news for Pip.  Pip is to receive a handsome property and, therefore, has great expectations.  Pip views this news as a dream come true and thinks this is Miss Havisham’s gift because Jaggers is her lawyer. 

However, there are two conditions that come with this gift.

Firstly, Pip must not ask who the benefactor is. This will be made clear to him at some time in the future.

Secondly, he must keep the name of Pip.

Jaggers also suggests that Pip should study to become a gentleman and that he has arranged for him to lodge with Matthew Pocket, a relative of Miss Havisham’s in London. Jaggers goes on to say that he has been paid for doing this task, otherwise he would not be here. Jaggers then presses Joe regarding financial compensation for the loss of his apprentice in the forge.  Joe is indignant that Pip can be thought of as a commodity to be bought and sold, and is ready to fight Jaggers. 

That evening, Joe is distraught at the thought of losing Pip to the big city and Pip is angry with him for being so morose.

The next day Pip heads towards town in order to obtain some new clothes. Trabb, the tailor, falls over himself in being helpful and yells at his assistant for not being respectful enough to Pip.

Pumblechook comes into the scene and shakes Pip’s hand vigorously pretending that they have always been the best of friends from when Pip was a child.

Pip wears his clothes to Miss Havisham’s and she goes along with Pip’s assumption that she is his secret benefactor.

On the day of his departure, he does not wish Joe and Biddy to come with him to the stagecoach, as he is ashamed to be seen with them. On the coach he feels guilty about the way he left Joe and Biddy and considers getting off the coach and returning to make amends.  However, he cannot make a firm decision and after a bit, the coach has gone too far for him to return back.



There is a wealth of tags surrounding the characters in these two chapters. 

Jaggers, who was previously known as the soap-scented man, has additional tags such as bushy eyebrows, biting his forefinger, and his watch chain.

Pumblechook has the tag of ‘May I?’ every time he shakes Pip’s hand.

Jaggers is an honest man and quite straightforward in his dealings with Pip and Joe. He seems to be an honorable person.

Joe shows the depth of his love for Pip in these chapters, being both overjoyed at Pip’s good fortune, but distraught at his departure.  This is illustrated in the quotation ‘Joe laid his hand upon my shoulder with the touch of a woman.  I have often thought of him since, like the steam hammer that can crush a man or pat an eggshell, in his combination of strength and gentleness.’  His intense feelings for Pip are demonstrated when he is ready to accost Jaggers for suggesting that any amount of money could ever replace Pip.

It is difficult to decide who is the more pompous, Pip or Pumblechook, and these two characters are very much alike in this part of the story.  Pumblechook is smarmy in his dealings with the wealthy Pip, shaking his hand and saying ‘May I?’ all the time. He reminds Pip that he is ‘the humble instrument’ of Pip’s good fortune (through introducing Pip to Miss Havisham) and he never misses a moment to take credit for this turn of affairs.

Pip has become pompous and snobbish and has noticed how much nicer everybody is to him e.g. the tailor.

He is annoyed at Biddy and Joe for their sadness at his departure and also because they are happy for his good fortune. There is no pleasing him.  Biddy shows true dignity and composure when she defends Joe and apologizes to Pip and tells Pip her feelings towards him will always be the same.

There is a conflict between good and evil within Pip towards the end of Chapter 19.  This revolves round his final farewells to Joe and Biddy. On the coach he has second thoughts about his behavior and considers getting out and returning to make a proper farewell. However, he shows that he is quite a shallow person by waiting until it is too late before deciding he was wrong.

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