Chapter 14 (Volume 1, Chapter 14) (Instalment 9):

I am ill at ease in my mind

Synopsis of Chapter 14 (Volume 1, Chapter 14) (Instalment 9)

This is a short reflective chapter in which the adult Pip describes - and regrets - his outlook at this stage of his development. He does not apportion blame to himself, his sister or Miss Havisham, but makes clear that his earlier contentment with his station in life has gone, now that he has seen something different at Satis House. Being a blacksmith is now hateful to him, but he never hints at this to Joe, and, although he cannot change, he feels ashamed of himself for thinking like this. All the while, he is afraid that Estella might see him in what he now regards as a degraded state.

Commentary on Chapter 14 (Volume 1, Chapter 14) (Instalment 9)

But Joe had sanctified it, and I believed in it Joe is seen more and more as a moral and spiritual presence in Pip's life. He becomes something of a Christ-like figure during the course of the novel, his love, innocence and moral strength showing others the way to live. Pip here acknowledges this moral authority.

For, though it includes … what I proceed to add was Joe's Pip is aware that he works grudgingly as Joe's apprentice. It is not the life he now wants, and he continues with it because he has no choice and because he respects Joe.

Never has that curtain dropped so heavy … road of apprenticeship to Joe Pip enters a period of great unhappiness about which he cannot talk. The irony is that, although he is apprenticed to Joe in a professional sense, he fails to understand that, if he were to regard himself as Joe's spiritual apprentice, he would be much happier.

I was haunted by the fear that she … would exult over me and despise me Pip's anxieties are based upon his fear of Estella's scorn.

Investigating Chapter 14 (Volume 1, Chapter 14) (Instalment 9)
    • Look for evidence in this chapter of Pip's mental and moral isolation
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