In chapter 40, how does Pip's discussion with Jaggers disabuse him of the notion that Miss Havisham has been his patron?     (Great Expectations)Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This chapter in Great Expectations is a pivotal one to the theme of Appearances vs. Reality.  For, after Magwitch appears at the residence of Pip and Herbert and explains his history, Pip realizes that he has been disillusioned all along about the identity of his benefactor. With this new knowledge, he goes to Mr. Jaggers. 

First of all, Jaggers is very wary when Pip appears and cautions him,

Don't commit yourself' said Mr. Jaggers, 'and don't commit anyone.  You understand--anyone.

When Pip says that he has been informed by a person named Abel Magwitch that "he is the benefactor so long unknown to me," Mr. Jaggers makes only the comment, "That is the man...--in New South Wales."  He does not acknowledge to Pip, however, that he is aware that Provis/Magwitch is in London because, by law, he would have to report Magwitch:  "Don't commit yourself."

Mr. Jaggers, instead, declares,

I communicated to Magwitch in--New South Wales--when he first wrote to me--from New South Wales--the cation that he was not at all likely to obtain a pardon, that he was pexpatriated for the term of his natural life, and that his presenting himself in this country would be an act of felony, rendering him liable to the extreme penalty of the law.

So, while Jaggers confirms for Pip that Magwitch is the true benefactor, he entertains no more conversation about Magwitch.  Jaggers also gives Pip no consolation for his disappointment and disillusionment:

Not a particle of evidence, Pip...ake nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence.  There's no better rule.



pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Chapter 39, Magwitch had come to Pip and told Pip that he was Pip's benefactor.  He told Pip that no one else had been giving Pip money -- all of the money had come from him.

But Pip does not really believe him and he goes to talk to Mr. Jaggers, who had been the one actually giving him the money.  Mr. Jaggers tells Pip straight out (in response to Pip's questions) that Magwitch has been the only one giving him money.  He tells Pip that Miss Havisham had nothing to do with the money.  This disabuses Pip of the notion (takes away the idea) that Miss Havisham has been the source of the money.

"I have been informed by a person named Abel Magwitch, that he is the benefactor so long unknown to me."

"That is the man," said Mr. Jaggers, "in New South Wales."

"And only he?" said I.

"And only he," said Mr. Jaggers.

"I am not so unreasonable, sir, as to think you at all responsible for my mistakes and wrong conclusions; but I always supposed it was Miss Havisham."

"As you say, Pip," returned Mr. Jaggers, turning his eyes upon me coolly, and taking a bite at his forefinger, "I am not at all responsible for that."

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