Chapter 9 (Volume 1, Chapter 9) (Instalment 6):

I describe Miss Havisham's / One memorable day

Synopsis of Chapter 9 (Volume 1, Chapter 9) (Instalment 6)

Mrs. Joe questions Pip about his visit, but Pip is unable to give a full account and feels that he would be misunderstood if he tried. Mr.Pumblechook also turns up, and soon Pip realizes that he has never seen Miss Havisham. He begins to weave fantastic stories about her and her house, which satisfy the adults For the first time in his life, Pip has some hold over his elders since he has been where they have not. Pip only feels remorse for his fantasies when Joe comes in and is told the story.

Mrs. Joe and Mr.Pumblechook speculate about Pip's expectations from Miss Havisham, clearly hoping that they will also benefit. Pip confesses to Joe about his lies about the visit, and tries to explain that he felt miserable, common and inferior at Satis House. Joe cannot see anything other than the wrong in lying; he does not understand Pip‘s social agony, and gives him earnest moral advice. Pip falls asleep comforted by thoughts of his next visit.

Commentary on Chapter 9 (Volume 1, Chapter 9) (Instalment 6)

Whitewash on the forehead hardens the brain into a state of obstinacy perhaps Mrs. Joe's attempts to get Pip to talk by forcing his head against the wall are making him determined not to talk.

And although my sister instantly boxed my ears … brought him to a dead stop Pip is learning how to deal with adults and Mr. Pumblechook's reaction encourages him in his flights of fancy.

Now when I saw Joe open his blue eyes … not in the least as regarded the other two Pip's conscience is understandably selective. Perhaps his memories of the talk about Joe's boyhood affect him here, and he certainly does not want to make a fool of Joe. His wish to make fools of the other two is perhaps only to be expected after their abuse of him.

My sister stood out for ‘property' Mrs. Joe is thinking of land that would give her some advantage, as well as helping Pip.

Mr. Pumblechook was in favour of a handsome premium for binding me apprentice to some genteel trade - say the corn and seed trade … A premium was the sum charged by a tradesman for taking on an apprentice to teach him the trade. This would not onlyrepresent money in his pocket, butalso would gain an extra unpaid worker.

Joe fell into the deepest disgrace … the veal cutlets Joe's suggestion is the only one that is not self-seeking. It is also based on one of Pip's inventions - there were no dogs.

‘Lies is lies … the father of lies ‘The father of lies' is the Devil (who lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden). Lying is forbidden by the Ten Commandments. Joe consistently upholds and demonstrates Christian teaching and behaviour.

If you can't get to be uncommon through going straight, you'll never get to do it through going crooked Joe admires Pip's abilities greatly and does not understand his use of the word ‘common' - Pip means it socially, but Joe understands it to mean ‘gifted' as well as socially distinguished.

Investigating Chapter 9 (Volume 1, Chapter 9) (Instalment 6)
  • How are social ambitions and snobbery being implanted into Pip here?
  • Look at the final paragraph
    • Who is speaking here?
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