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Describe the Aged Parent and Miss Skiffins in Chapter 37 of "Great...

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kitty006 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 7, 2008 at 5:26 AM via web

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Describe the Aged Parent and Miss Skiffins in Chapter 37 of "Great Expectations".

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 7, 2008 at 8:34 AM (Answer #1)

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John Wemmick's Aged Parent is a humorous, stereotypical character, a garrulous, good-natured old man who enjoys operating the drawbridge and reading the news aloud to an appreciative audience.  The Aged, as he is affectionately called, is very hard of hearing, and the frequently nonsensical comments and replies he makes to statements he has misheard contribute a light-hearted sense of comic relief to the story.

Miss Skiffins is described as having "a wooden appearance", and is perhaps "two or three years younger" than Wemmick.  The cut of her dress from the waist upward reminds Pip of "a boy's kite"; she is interestingly attired, in a dress "a little too decidedly orange, and her gloves a little too intensely green".  Despite her odd appearance, she seems to be "a good sort of fellow", working busily around the house where she is a frequent visitor, and showing herself to be quite fond of the Aged Parent.  Wemmick is obviously quite taken with Miss Skiffins, and through the length of the Aged's ritual reading of the news, repeatedly tries, to no avail, to hold her in his embrace (Chapter 37).

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