Book Notes

Chapter 46: Old Barley... Notes from Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Chapter 46: Old Barley...

That evening, Pip sets off to visit Magwitch at Chink's Basin, the house on the river. Herbert is at the house, and he introduces Pip to his fiancé, Clara. This is their first meeting, and Pip finds the woman a sweet and good match for his friend. Clara's father, on the other hand, is a raging drunk named Old Barley, who spends all day in bed with a bottle, making a loud, moaning ruckus. Comparatively, Magwitch seems quite a bit more dignified and tolerable. Magwitch, or Provis, has a third name now, too, to hide his identity at Chink's Basin. Here, he has become Mr. Campbell.

The final decision Pip and Herbert make that day, is that Pip should buy a boat and begin rowing every day, to give any watchful eyes the impression that he's taken up rowing as a sport. This way he can, without arousing suspicion, keep a boat handy to smuggle Magwitch from the house should the need arise. This Pip sets to immediately, every day rowing a little circuit up or down the river. The welfare of Magwitch is Pip's big responsibility now.

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