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Chapter 35: My Sister's Funeral... Notes from Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Chapter 35: My Sister's Funeral...

Though so many of Pip's relatives are dead, this is the first death he's lived through. He returns to his hometown for the funeral and finds that his mind is haunted by memories of his sister, and that memory has a way of softening the less pleasant aspects of their relationship.

The funeral is a showy affair run by Trabb and Company, and its orchestrations are designed mainly for the benefit of the townspeople. Joe is sad and not at all interested in the fancy funeral accoutrements; while Pumblechook and the Hubbles strut in the procession like proud peacocks. When Trabb and Co. are gone, the house feels wholesomer to Pip, and he asks to spend the night in his childhood room.

That evening, Pip and Biddy talk about what Biddy will do now that she doesn't have Mrs. Joe to care for (she thinks she'll get a job teaching at the new school in the village), how Mrs. Joe died (quietly, saying "Joe" and then "Pardon" and then "Pip"), and what's become of Orlick (he's still lurking about, and still following Biddy). Pip tells Biddy that he'll be around much more often now, to keep Joe company, but Biddy doesn't seem to believe him. This sentiment, along with the formal way she calls her old childhood pal "Mr. Pip" irritates Pip, and when he confronts Biddy, she doesn't have much to say. The next morning, Pip tells Biddy he's been hurt by her unkindness and again she mumbles a response he feels is inadequate. Then Pip sets off for London, leaving Biddy and Joe with only the promise that he'll return.

Topic Tracking: Class 9

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