What plans does Pip believe Miss Havisham has for him in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens? Why does he believe this?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Pip believes that Miss Havisham plans to help him become a gentleman.  There are several reasons for his assumption:  He has seen Mr. Jaggers, who now tells him that he will have "Great Expectations," coming and going at Miss Havisham's and he knows no one else who is rich enough to support him as a gentleman.  Also, Mr. Jaggers is sworn to secrecy not to reveal Pip's patron, and Miss Havisham is eccentric enought to do such a thing.  When Mr. Jaggers tells Pip that his education is to begin, Jaggers mentions that Mr. Matthew Pocket, whom Pip knows as a relative of Miss Havisham, is to be his tutor; therefore, Pip perceives another connection with Miss Havisham

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thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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Earlier on, Pip did not fully understand his role when he was sent to Miss Havisham's home. However, as he got comfortable, he thought that Miss Havisham would help him achieve what he desired.

I believed; and I enlarged upon my knowing nothing and wanting to know everything, in the hope that she might offer some help towards that desirable end. But she did not; on the contrary, she seemed to prefer my being ignorant.

Pip’s encounter with Miss Havisham and Estella forced him to have a different opinion of his life and what he wanted for his future. Pip was not satisfied with his calling as Joe’s apprentice and his future as a blacksmith. He wanted to be a gentleman and disclosed the secret to Biddy.

“Biddy,” said I, after binding her to secrecy, “I want to be a gentleman.”

Pip stated that he wanted to be a gentleman on Estella’s account and hoped Miss Havisham would change his fortunes. Pip assumed his trip to London to be trained as a gentleman was a plan by Miss Havisham because she knew Mr. Jaggers. Pip also found out that Miss Havisham had prior knowledge of his trip to London through the lawyer.

“This is a gay figure, Pip,” said she, making her crutch stick play round me, as if she, the fairy godmother who had changed me, were bestowing the finishing gift.

"Ay, ay!” said she, looking at the discomfited and envious Sarah, with delight. “I have seen Mr. Jaggers. I have heard about it, Pip. So you go to-morrow?”


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