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Chapter 34: The Finches of the Grove... Notes from Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Chapter 34: The Finches of the Grove...

Pip knows it's impossible to return to his old way of life, but he still regrets that his simple life of good pleasure and companionship with Joe is gone. In fact, except with Estella, who Pip is certain he'd have no chance with without his newfound riches, Pip thinks his new money and expectations have had largely negative effects on the relationships and people whom he holds dear.

Herbert's life has been particularly complicated by his friendship with Pip. The two encourage each other to live far beyond their means--they still employ the little servant (the Avenger), and indulge in extravagances like a club called the Finches of the Grove--a group of boys who go out and have long, foolish talks over extravagantly expensive meals. Herbert and Pip have found one solace in this financial turmoil--the ritual of "looking into their affairs." When they get badly in debt, the two sit at the table and write out an elaborate report of their various debts, and then calculate their total debt. This highly organized process, plus their ritual of rounding their debt up (what they call "leaving a margin"), is oddly satisfying. It's a sort of busy-work that keeps their minds off of the reality that they're both falling into a dangerous financial state.

One night when the they are looking into their affairs, a letter is dropped through a slit in the door. It's for Pip: an announcement that his sister, Mrs. Joe, has died.

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