Chapter 34 (Volume 2, Chapter 15) (Instalment 21):

The Finches of the Grove / Herbert and I look our affairs in the face

Synopsis of Chapter 34 (Volume 2, Chapter 15) (Instalment 21)

Pip begins to reflect on the effects of acquiring wealth. He feels sorry for his treatment of Joe and Biddy, and acknowledges that he would have been happier if he had never known Miss Havisham and had worked contentedly in the forge. He is aware that his expectations do no good to anyone else, particularly not to Herbert, whose ‘easy nature' leads him to follow Pip in spending, and thus into debt.

Pip spends half the week at Hammersmith, although much of the time he spent hanging around in Richmond waiting for a sight of Estella. His life with Herbert at Barnard's Inn consists of wasting large quantities of money. Occasionally they sit down to examine their affairs, feeling that if they reckon up their debts they are doing something useful. This chapter and chapter 33 show Pip's living a life for which he is entirely unprepared. He receives a note from Mr. Trabb to say that his sister has died.

Commentary on Chapter 34 (Volume 2, Chapter 15) (Instalment 21)

My lavish habits … anxieties and regrets Pip's extravagant habits are beginning to affect the much less affluent Herbert.

At Startop's suggestion … the Finches of the Grove The Finches (a gentleman's dining club) are a good example of Pip's wasteful and pointless life.

Investigating Chapter 34 (Volume 2, Chapter 15) (Instalment 21)
  • How far would you say that Pip is living a life of self-deception at this point?
  • Look at the narrative and find the indications that the older Pip intervenes in the narrative


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