What are the conditions upon which Pip will receive his "great expectations" in Chapter 18?

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mrs-nelson's profile pic

mrs-nelson | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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This is the chapter where Pip received a message from the lawyer (Mr. Jaggers) that someone has "great expectations" for him.  The secret benefactor wants to make him a gentlemen by giving him an education and money.  He can receive this offer under 3 conditions:

1) His benefactors name must stay anonymous.

2) He must keep the name Pip.

3) Never ask or talk about who his benefactor is.

Pip then decides to leave for London to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.  However, he soon feels dissatisfied and guilty about leaving Joe and Biddy:

"... it [felt] very sorrowful and strange that this first night of my bright fortunes should be the loneliest I had ever known." Chapter 18, pg 169


thetall's profile pic

thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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Mr. Jaggers was a lawyer from London, sent by Pip’s benefactor to inform him and Joe on the offer made and the conditions of the said offer. The lawyer first informed Joe of the offer to relieve Pip from his apprenticeship. Joe was not to object to the offer, and he was further asked if he expected anything in return for the cancellation of Pip’s apprenticeship. Joe did not object, and he did not request anything in return.

The lawyer then turned to Pip and sought to communicate the arrangement for Pip’s "Great Expectations."

“Now, I return to this young fellow. And the communication I have got to make is, that he has Great Expectations.” Mr. Jaggers

The benefactor had instructed Mr. Jaggers to remove Pip from the place where he presently stayed and facilitate his training as a gentleman. However, the conditions from the benefactor for this arrangement were that:

  • He continued to bear the name Pip.
  • The name of the benefactor remained a secret until such a time as the person decided to disclose it.
  • Pip was prohibited from making inquiries about or referring to the said benefactor.

Pip did not object to any of the stipulated conditions, and so they proceeded to discuss the details of the arrangement as authorized by his benefactor.


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