Chapter 22 (Volume 2, Chapter 3) (Instalment 14):

Herbert and I exchange confidences / Herbert tells me Miss Havisham's story / Herbert's prospects in life / Mr. Pocket and the Little Pockets

Synopsis of Chapter 22 (Volume 2, Chapter 3) (Instalment 14)

Copyright to Stephen Richards available through Creative CommonsHerbert tells Pip the background story of Miss Havisham and Estella and Jaggers' part in it. Hebert will be Pip's guide in his new life, and at dinner he begins to advise Pip on his table manners.

Herbert's vague professional ambitions impress Pip, though he suspects that Herbert will never be rich. They go to the theatre and to church at Westminster Abbey; Pip is both impressed by London and homesick.

The next day, having visited Herbert's counting-house and 'Change (the Royal Exchange, where Lloyd's Insurance was once housed), they go to Matthew Pocket's chaotic household in Hammersmith, where Mrs. Pocket is oblivious to the needs of her seven children. Pip will study with Mr. Pocket.

Commentary on Chapter 22 (Volume 2, Chapter 3) (Instalment 14)

a charming piece of music by Handel, called the Harmonious Blacksmith George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) was a German composer who settled in England when he was 27 and eventually became a naturalized Englishman. Herbert's suggestion for a nickname is characteristic of his ease and tact.

while the table … a comparatively pastureless and shifty character Herbert ekes out a precarious existence, but his social status as a gentleman is undeniable; this is another dimension of the novel's debate about what constitutes true gentlemanliness.

you cannot possibly be genteel and bake, you may be as genteel as ever was and brew Herbert's reflections on the oddities of the British class system are part of Pip's education. The Pocket family includes brewers.

a true gentleman at heart … a true gentleman in manner Mr. Pocket's views on what it takes to be a gentleman are further developed; he makes a clear distinction between the outward signs of signs of social status and the quality of individual behaviour.

Somehow, that pursuit seemed more in keeping with Barnard's Inn Pip already has a perception about the sense of failure that surround the Inn.

I wondered who shod all the horses there, and wished Joe did Pip's homesickness suddenly comes over him. It is little more than 24 hours since he left the forge.

It appeared to me … incubated in dust and heat The counting-house seems to Pip to be an unpleasant place and an unlikely source of wealth for Herbert.

whom I took to be great merchants … out of spirits Dickens presents Pip's observations ironically.

Mr. and Mrs. Pocket's children … were tumbling up This upbringing is in contrast to Pip's own upbringing by hand.

Investigating Chapter 22 (Volume 2, Chapter 3) (Instalment 14)
  • How does Pip's assessment of Herbert begin to emerge in this chapter?
  • What can we learn about Herbert from his behaviour towards Pip?
  • Compare the language in this chapter describing the Pocket family with the language describing Mr. Jaggers and his business in the previous two chapters
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