Chapter 43 (Volume 3, Chapter 4) (Instalment 27):

I encounter Drummle

Synopsis of Chapter 43 (Volume 3, Chapter 4) (Instalment 27)

Pip feels that his association with Magwitch makes him even less worthy of Estella. He fears the contamination of criminality, and is also afraid of Compeyson learning of Magwitch's return, for he would certainly inform on him.

Pip decides to see both Estella and Miss Havisham before taking Magwitch abroad, and goes to Satis House, leaving Magwitch in the care of Herbert.

At the Blue Boar Pip meets Drummle who smugly tells him that he is to dine with Estella that evening. Drummle is again revealed as an unpleasant character who now seems to be trying to impress Estella, possibly because Pip has incautiously revealed the depth of his love for her.

Commentary on Chapter 43 (Volume 3, Chapter 4) (Instalment 27)

The plot has started to move much more quickly in this third part of the novel. The chapters are on average shorter and Pip's assumptions and wishes, which have previously driven the action, are increasingly supplanted by more active interventions from other characters, so that Pip feels much less in control of his life and is being forced to consider the needs of other people.

whether we should devise any pretence … under suspicious observation Pip has deceived himself in the past and now he is beginning to deceive others, even though in this case the intention is to save Magwitch's life.

It occurred to me then … or the like. Pip's dilemma also involves Herbert and they are in a situation where there is no single right thing to do and motives are mixed.

Next day … towards Joe or his name. In his dilemma, Pip does not think twice about using a fictional visit to Joe as an excuse.

Investigating Chapter 43 (Volume 3, Chapter 4) (Instalment 27)
  • What do you think are the issues involved for Pip's conflict with Drummle?


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