Chapter 13 (Volume 1, Chapter 13) (Instalment 8):

Joe at Miss Havisham's / Joe's account of the Proceedings

Synopsis of Chapter 13 (Volume 1, Chapter 13) (Instalment 8)

Pip and Joe set out for the interview, and at Satis House all Joe's social and intellectual insecurities rise to the surface and Pip suffers agonies of embarrassment, as the two parts of his life come together. Joe tells Miss Havisham that he does not expect a premium for taking Pip on as an apprentice, but Miss Havisham says he has earned one. As they are seen out by Estella, Pip is told not to return to Satis House now that he is Joe's apprentice. This is to be the end of his acquaintanceship with Miss Havisham.

When Joe gives an account of the interview to his wife he tactfully invents compliments made to her and hands over the premium as if it had been intended for her. Mr.Pumblechook takes the credit for Pip's success, claiming it as the result of his own efforts to raise the boy. They go to the Magistrates' Court to bind Pip apprentice to Joe, and the proceedings there are assumed by the onlookers (and felt by Pip) to be more like a criminal trial than a procedure in civil law. They then go for a celebratory meal at a pub, which Pip does not enjoy, largely because of the hypocrisy and malevolence of Mr.Pumblechook. There is a hint at the end of the chapter that Pip's discontents will grow and that he will feel less and less at home in his new circumstances.

Commentary on Chapter 13 (Volume 1, Chapter 13) (Instalment 8)

I am not quite clear whether … exhibit her wealth in a pageant or procession Notice that this sentence is in the present tense - it is the older Pip talking. He cannot make up his mind about Mrs. Joe's social motives for setting out equipped like this. Perhaps Joe would understand her feelings better than Pip does.

the indentures the written contract that sets out the terms of the apprenticeship.

Classical Numismatic Groupfive-and-twenty guineas A guinea was one pound plus one shilling - £1.05 in today's decimal currency; 25 guineas was £26.25, a significant amount in the early nineteenth century.

Miss Havisham glanced at him … seeing what he was there Pip reports Miss Havisham's unexpected perception; she is more secure in her social position and therefore less troubled by Joe's behaviour than Pip is.

I heard her say to Joe … you will expect no other and no more.' Miss Havisham has recognized Joe's moral qualities, and she has appreciated Pip's company and efforts. This episode should tell Pip that he is wrong in thinking that she has any further plans for him.

that detested seedsman Pip's feelings about Mr.Pumblechook are being steadily more firmly expressed. Later in the chapter, he calls him ‘That swindling Pumblechook'.

‘and it's no more than your merits (as I said when my opinion was asked)' Mr.Pumblechook even suggests to Mrs. Joe that he was part of the conversation with Miss Havisham

The Justices were sitting … we went back to Pumblechook's The onlookers assume that Pip is there to answer a criminal charge.

Investigating Chapter 13 (Volume 1, Chapter 13) (Instalment 8)
  • Look at the opening paragraph
    • Is Pip's anxiety, that Joe might make a poor impression on Joe's behalf or his own? (Notice that he is less worried (further on in the chapter) about the impression that Mrs. Joe might make.)
  • Look for further evidence throughout the chapter of Pip's observations and judgements of Joe's behaviour
  • Look for indications that the dinner party gets out of hand
  • Are we amused by Pumblechook's hypocrisy or do we share Pip's anger?
  • In this chapter, Dickens writes of significant events in Pip's life, and describes his tangled feelings. He does this partly by presenting the unwelcome parts in a chapter of remarkable humour.
    • Look back over the chapter and note the ways in which he uses humour to make a serious point.
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