Chapter 19 (Volume 1, Chapter 19) (Instalment 12):

For London Ho! / Mr. Trabb and his boy / Servility of Pumblechook / I bid Miss Havisham goodbye / I make the journey to London

Synopsis of Chapter 19 (Volume 1, Chapter 19) (Instalment 12)

Pip spends his final week at home saying goodbye to the marshes, to Miss Havisham and to Joe and Biddy. He orders new clothes and again stays with the ever more obsequious Pumblechook. His feelings are confused and he is awkward with the loving Joe and Biddy. He leaves the village with regret, but with the sense of possibility and the promise of a new life.

Commentary on Chapter 19 (Volume 1, Chapter 19) (Instalment 12)

the rich man and the kingdom of Heaven See Luke 18:18-27 Christ tells the young man that he must give his wealth to the poor if he wishes to go to Heaven, saying that it is more difficult for the rich to enter Heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Ironically, Pip does not understand that the text is applicable to him.

My comfort was … that he was dead to me Pip remembers the convict but is comfortably rid of all the unpleasant feelings associated with him. This is shown to be wrong later in the novel. Pip's thoughts here also help steer the reader's suspicions about Pip's benefactor in the direction of Miss Havisham.

‘Oh! there are many kinds of pride … pride is not all of one kind - -' Pip's self-obsession allows him to miss Biddy's gently expressed meaning.

I felt that no suit of clothes could possibly remunerate him for his pains Pip's pride and inexperience leave him wide open to those who want to exploit him in some way. Compare Mr.Trabb's cynical approach with Biddy's.

the stupendous power of money Pip seems detached in his account, and seems unable to imagine the effects of Mr.Trabb's behaviour on the young assistant.

and if I had turned myself upside down This recalls the convict's assault on Pip in chapter 1.

‘you will always keep the name of Pip, you know.' Miss Havisham's statement echoes one of Mr.Jaggers' conditions about keeping his name, and confirms in Pip's mind the identity of his benefactor. It also constitutes a warning that he should always stay true to the self he was as a child.

Investigating Chapter 19 (Volume 1, Chapter 19) (Instalment 12)
  • Look for further evidence of Biddy's subtle reproaches to Pip and his confusion about his forthcoming departure
  • What are the reactions of other characters to Pip's news?
  • How does Dickens create humour in this chapter?
    • What is its purpose?


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