Chapter 36 (Volume 2, Chapter 17) (Instalment 22):

I have a word or two with my Guardian / My question remains unanswered

Synopsis of Chapter 36 (Volume 2, Chapter 17) (Instalment 22)

In London Pip and Herbert continue to spend, thoughtlessly and aimlessly, looking forward to learning more about Pip's expectations on his 21st birthday. He attends a meeting with Mr. Jaggers and finds that he is to receive no information about his benefactor, but is given a bank draft for £500, the amount he is to live on each year until his benefactor appears. Mr. Jaggers refuses to answer any questions, simply repeating that it might be years before the benefactor comes forward. When that happens, Mr. Jaggers' involvement will cease.

Pip interprets this to mean that Miss Havisham has said nothing to Mr. Jaggers about her plans for Pip and Estella. Pip has spent so long believing that she is his benefactor that he can conceive of no other possibility. Mr. Jaggers accepts Pip's invitation to dinner at Barnard's Inn, and, while waiting for him, Pip asks Wemmick to help him in a scheme to help a friend with some of his money. Herbert and Pip feel oppressed and depressed by Mr. Jaggers at dinner, and Pip's dislike of him is beginning to turn into moral judgement.

Commentary on Chapter 36 (Volume 2, Chapter 17) (Instalment 22)

Wemmick … rubbed the side of his nose … I liked the look of Pip is prepared to see almost any action as a hint that something important is happening. He is so focussed on himself that he interprets people's actions as referring to him.

I had looked into my affairs so often … of their bearings Pip's occasional ‘business-like' approach to money has resulted in complete confusion.

‘Ah! But answer the question,' said Mr. Jaggers Pip is now the focus of one of Mr. Jaggers's courtroom performances.

‘Walworth is one place, and this office is another' Mr. Wemmick's way of keeping his sanity is made clear: he has to be two people, one at work and one at home. See the last paragraph of Ch. 25; Vol. 2, Ch. 6 for the introduction of this idea.

Investigating Chapter 36 (Volume 2, Chapter 17) (Instalment 22)
  • Re-read the last paragraph of the chapter
    • What does it tell the reader about Pip's understanding of people and their motives?


Related material
Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.