Chapter 11 (Volume 1, Chapter 11) (Instalment 7):

I first meet a man whom I shall often meet / Family Felicities / Beggar my Neighbour

Synopsis of Chapter 11 (Volume 1, Chapter 11) (Instalment 7)

Pip's welcome from Estella at Satis House is as cold as before. He sees more of the house and meets some of Miss Havisham's relatives, who fawn on her in the hope of receiving legacies. When Estella takes Pip upstairs she taunts him with her looks and with his interest in her, and makes it clear, by her words and behaviour, that she has no interest in him other than to humiliate him. The reader learns that Pip has fallen hopelessly in love with Estella.

They meet another man on the stairs, who interrogates Pip and tells him to behave himself. Miss Havisham sends him to the room where her ruined wedding feast is decaying, and tells him that she will be laid out on the table when she is dead.

They are joined by her relatives, who start a gushing conversation with Miss Havisham. The confusion is seen from Pip's point of view - the others clearly understand more of the conversation than he does. He does understand some insincere talk about love and suffering, and their hostility towards Matthew, an absent relative.

Miss Havisham tells Pip it is her birthday (hence the visits from the relatives), and that she hopes this will be the day she dies. She watches Estella again beat Pip at cards, all the time drawing attention to Estella's beauty. Estella shows Pip the garden, where he meets and fights an unknown young man, who is polite and pleasant even when Pip beats him. As he leaves, Estella invites Pip to kiss her, but her behaviour is no less contemptuous.

Commentary on Chapter 11 (Volume 1, Chapter 11) (Instalment 7)

a detached dwelling house, that looked as if it had belonged to the manager Pip is no doubt impressed by the building, but this may be a perception that belongs to the mature Pip rather than the boy describing it here.

and him I understood to be Mr.Camilla Pip is unfamiliar with such names and thinks of ‘Camilla' as a family name. His perceptions are still socially uninformed.

Miss Havisham watched us all the time … Estella's breast and hair Miss Havisham often does this, suggesting to Estella and to Pip that the jewels not only suit her beauty, but will one day be hers.

and which will be the finished curse upon him We are being introduced to the mysteries of Miss Havisham's life, although we have no more understanding of them than Pip does.

Investigating Chapter 11 (Volume 1, Chapter 11) (Instalment 7)
  • Look for evidence of Pip's confusion in relation to the various characters he meets on this visit
  • Look for evidence of the social attitudes of Miss Havisham's relatives
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