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Book Notes

Chapter 4: Joe and I Go to Church... Notes from Great Expectations

This section contains 431 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)

Great Expectations Chapter 4: Joe and I Go to Church...

Pip returns home from the marshes, happy that the police are not waiting to arrest him for robbing his sister's pantry. It's Christmas morning, and Mrs. Joe stays home to prepare the house for guests while Joe and Pip head off to church. Joe looks like a scarecrow in his holiday clothes, and Pip, who gets the worst of everything because Mrs. Joe refuses to indulge him, doesn't look any better. They make it through church, although Pip is still plagued with guilt due to his robbing the pantry. After,they return home for dinner. The guests include Mr. Wopsle, a bald man who is extremely fond of his own deep voice; Uncle Pumblechook, a middle-aged dullard who is Joe's uncle; old Mr. Hubble and his much younger wife, Mrs. Hubble.

Mrs. Joe puts on a show of good temperament for her guests, and Pip is miserable the whole time, annoyed that he gets prodded with condescending questions and advice. He can barely contain himself when Mr. Wopsle launches into a silly sermon on why Pip should be glad he wasn't born a pig, a bunch of nonsense seemingly designed to make Pip feel guilty about being such a burden on his sister. Mrs. Joe joins in, and as Pip says,

"I was always treated as if I had insisted on being born in opposition to the dictates of reason, religion, and morality, and against the arguments of my best friends." Chapter 4, pg. 25

Only Mr. Joe seems to feel sympathy for Pip, though he's too meek to articulate it and can only offer Pip extra gravy on his supper as consolation.

Topic Tracking: Love 1

Uncle Pumblechook is ready for his after-dinner constitutional, a bit of brandy. Pip nearly falls out of his seat in fear, for he's stolen much of the brandy for the shackled man and replaced what was missing with water, a fact he's sure Pumblechook will notice. Unfortunately, it's worse than Pip imagined, for he's mistakenly filled the brandy bottle with tar water instead of drinking water. Of course Uncle Pumblechook tastes the difference, but despite his spitting and wheezing, Mrs. Joe lets it pass for now. When it's announced that there'll be pork pie for desert, an item that Pip has also stolen for the shackled man, the fear is too much for him, and he makes a break for the door, where, right on cue, a party of soldiers with muskets is standing. One holds out a set of handcuffs, and it looks like Pip is about to be arrested.

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