Great Expectations Study Guide (Choose to Continue)


Great Expectations: Novel Summary: Volume 1, Chapter 16-Volume 1, Chapter 18

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Volume 1, Chapter 16: Nothing has been stolen from the house, and the only clue as to what happened to Mrs. Joe is the sawed off leg iron that they concluded came from the prison ship.  Mrs. Joe was still alive but she was very ill and confined to bed.  When she did begin to recover, her temper was greatly improved.  At this time, Biddy came to live with them and help with household duties and caring for Mrs. Joe.  Though she could not talk, Mrs. Joe used a slate to write messages to the family.  Though they tried very hard, there was one thing that she always asked for but no one could ever figure out what it was.  Finally Biddy solved the mystery and realized it was Orlick she wanted.  So he came and visited her.
Volume 1, Chapter 17: Pip grew older and every year on his birthday he went to visit Miss Havisham.  Each time he would come, she would give him a guinea.  All the while he was still apprenticing, and he spent his evening learning as much as he could from the books he would purchase with his pocket and birthday money.  Biddy was there learning with him the whole time.  Pip realizes that she is an extraordinary girl and thanks her for being his first real teacher.  They decide that on the following Sunday they would take a walk and talk as if they had when they were younger.  When that day arrived, they took their walk, and as they did, Pip tells Biddy his desire to be a gentleman, and of his love for Estella.  After more talks, and lots of understanding on Biddy's part, Pip proclaims that he wishes that he could just fall in love with Biddy.  She agrees and as they were walking home, they run into Orlick.  He begins to walk behind them and Biddy tells Pip that she thinks Orlick likes her.  Pip is not pleased with this idea, and kept an eye on Orlick after that whenever he was around her.  Pip after a while began to have more fights inside himself about his desire to be a gentleman and his desire to just be happy with Joe and Biddy.  However, he never comes to any definite conclusion.
Volume 1, Chapter 18: In his fourth year of his apprenticeship, Pip is sitting at the bar one night with Joe and Mr. Wopsle when their conversation is interrupted by Mr. Jaggers, the lawyer who was at Miss Havisham's place a long time before.  He asked to speak with Pip and Joe and proceeded to tell them that Pip had an anonymous benefactor who was going to make him a gentleman if he wanted it.  He would be given property and money and would move to London to better his education with the lawyer as his guardian.  Pip was thrilled by the idea, and it was agreed he would leave for London in seven days time.  They also agree that Matthew Pocket, the man talked about around Miss Havisham's table a long time previous, would be his tutor.  Mr. Jaggers offers Joe compensation for the loss of Pips services but he denies it.  They go home and spread the exciting news and they all sat around and talked of it.  Pip had mixed feelings about Biddy and Joe's reactions to his news and he went to bed anxious for his new life as a gentleman.


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