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Book Notes Chapter 18: The Strange Gentleman... Notes from Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Chapter 18: The Strange Gentleman...

One Saturday night, four years into his apprenticeship, Pip is at the Three Jolly Bargemen listening to another affected reading by Mr. Wopsle when suddenly a stranger makes himself known. Well-dressed and insistent about badgering Mr. Wopsle about legal details in the story he's just read, the man soon reveals himself to be a lawyer. He announces that he has business with Pip and Joe, who step forward and head back toward their house with the lawyer. By this point, Pip has recognized the man as the same one he ran into on the steps on his second visit to Miss Havisham's.

The man is named Mr. Jaggers, and his news is that Pip has "great expectations." He has come into a great fortune and is to be educated as a gentleman. Jaggers offers Joe a sort of severance payment, as he'll lose his apprentice, but Joe refuses. When pressed, Joe gets near-belligerent in his refusal. The only two conditions are that Pip must always call himself by the name Pip and that his benefactor shall remain a secret until he or she chooses to announce his or her identity. When Jaggers goes on to suggest Matthew Pocket as a tutor for Pip (a name Pip heard mentioned at Manor House), Pip is almost certain that his benefactor is Miss Havisham. It is decided that Pip will leave for London in a week, where his gentlemanly education will begin.

Topic Tracking: Identity 4

Strangely enough, Pip is still nagged by a feeling of dissatisfaction. He feels odd around Biddy and Joe, and thinks that:

"... it [felt] very sorrowful and strange that this first night of my bright fortunes should be the loneliest I had ever known." Chapter 18, pg. 169

Topic Tracking: Expectations 4

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