Chapter 12 (Volume 1, Chapter 12) (Instalment 8):

The pale young gentleman's blood / Biddy, and my Prospects generally

Synopsis of Chapter 12 (Volume 1, Chapter 12) (Instalment 8)

Pip is terrified of the legal consequences of having beaten the young gentleman, and hides at home for several days. On his next visit to Satis House, he pictures all sorts of dangers awaiting him, but the young gentleman is not at the house and Pip hides all evidence of the fight.

Pip now visits Miss Havisham every other day, pushes her round in her wheelchair and talks to her about his intended apprenticeship to Joe and his desire for a better education. The visits become routine and Pip begins to feel more at home and also hopes that he will gain some benefit from his relationship with Miss Havisham. Eventually, Miss Havisham orders Joe to come with Pip to arrange his apprenticeship, an invitation that drives Mrs. Joe into a fury at being left out.

Commentary on Chapter 12 (Volume 1, Chapter 12) (Instalment 8)

I insensibly fall into a general mention of these journeys Here the narrative declares its intention of summarizing a long period of time for the reader.

rendering homage to a patron saint Old Clem is Saint Clement, an early Pope and the patron saint of blacksmiths.

What could I become with these surroundings? How could my character fail to be influenced by them? Pip as narrator makes the point that Pip is helpless to resist the effects of the visits to Miss Havisham. He cannot know that Miss Havisham and Estella are playing a cruel game with him.

I told poor Biddy everything … though I think I know now The handling of time in the narrative is made explicit here. This statement binds together the perceptions of Pip the boy and Pip the man. Pip the boyis too young and too wrapped up in himself to understand why Biddy might be interested.

Investigating Chapter 12 (Volume 1, Chapter 12) (Instalment 8)
  • Look in the description of Mr.Pumblechook's manhandling of Pip for signs that - in his mind at least - Pip is becoming more assertive and more critical about his treatment.
  • What are Pip's expectations at this point? Do they seem realistic to you?
  • This chapter tells the story in a different way to those that precede it:
    • Look at each paragraph in this chapter, and write ‘present' or ‘past' against each one, according to its point in time, paying particular attention to the tone of Pip‘s narrative.


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