Chapter 10 (Volume 1, Chapter 10) (Instalment 6):

Glasses round at the Jolly Bargeman / Two one-pound notes

Synopsis of Chapter 10 (Volume 1, Chapter 10) (Instalment 6)

Pip sees Biddy as more educated than himself, and, as he wants to become ‘uncommon', he decides to use Biddy to help him become more socially acceptable. Biddy, out of kindness, agrees, but although she is a determined teacher, she is not very effective and her evening classes do little to help Pip.

Returning home one evening, Pip calls for Joe at the pub, where a mysterious stranger seems interested in him. He makes Pip uneasy by using to stir his drink the file Pip had given the convict. He gives Pip a shilling wrapped in two £1 notes, which Joe tries in vain to return to the now vanished stranger. Pip is terrified at this reminder of his past misdeeds, and suffers nightmares, trying to comfort himself with thoughts of the next visit to Miss Havisham.

Commentary on Chapter 10 (Volume 1, Chapter 10) (Instalment 6)

the best step I could take towards getting myself uncommon Pip has made a decision that will have far-reaching effects, but his ‘best step' is unlikely to help him very much.

distributed three defaced Bibles The Bible would have been important in the education of the time, and are probably the only books available in the ‘school'.

The strange man … nodded to me again when I had taken my seat, and then rubbed his leg - in a very odd way, as it struck me The odd-looking stranger is making a series of mysterious attempts to contact Pip without Joe noticing. He also starts asking a series of questions about the church, the marshes and the convicts.

but some large-handed person took some such ophthalmic steps to patronize me Whenever someone said something patronising, they rumpled Pip's hair into his eyes (hence opthalmic). Pip can recognize - and hate - being patronized, but cannot see, for much of the novel, when he is being patronizing to other people.

Investigating Chapter 10 (Volume 1, Chapter 10) (Instalment 6)
  • What does Pip's behaviour towards Biddy tell us about the changes in him since his first visit to Miss Havisham?
  • Which of the novel's main themes so far are suggested by the appearance and behaviour of the mysterious stranger?
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