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On Pip's twenty-first birthday, he is summoned to Mr. Jaggers's offcie where he is given the sum of five hundred pounds.
As I sat down, I felt at a disadvantage which reminded me of that old time when I had been put upon a tombstone.
These lines express the chains of guilt that drag behind Pip, and they foreshadow the reappearance of the old convict, Magwitch. As Pip mistakenly believes that Miss Havisham is his secret benefactor, he asks Mr. Jaggers if it is likely that his patron will soon come to London. Jaggers's response is portentous:
Mr. Jaggers shook his head—not in negativing the question, but in altogether negativing the notion that he could anyhow be got to answer it—and the two horrible casts of the twitched faces looked, when my eyes strayed up to them, as if they had come to a crisis in their suspended attention, and were going to sneeze.
Pip's guilt and feelings of betrayal on his part and on the part of others run through the novel. In this chapter, Pip's guilt over having run Herbert into debt leads him to ask Wemmick to secure Herbert a position at Clarriker's bank. When he successfully does so, Herbert thinks he has obtained the position on his own merits. Pip narrates,
I never shall forget the radiant face with which he came home one afternoon, and told me, as a mighty piece of news, of his having fallen in with one Clarriker (the young merchant's name), and of Clarriker's having shown an extraordinary inclination towards him, and of his belief that the opening had come at last. Day by day as his hopes grew stronger and his face brighter, he must have thought me a more and more affectionate friend, for I had the greatest difficulty in restraining my tears of triumph when I saw him so happy.
At this point in the novel, Pip is maturing and appreciating his relationships with people such as Herbert.
After Magwitch appears at Pip's apartment, Pip learns with abhorrence that it is he, not Miss Havisham, who is his benefactor. Pip now considers
...how the ship in which I had sailed was gone to pieces.
I would not have gone back to Joe now, I would not have gone back to Biddy now, for any consideration: simply, I suppose, because my sense of my own worthless conduct to them was greater than every consideration. No wisdom on earth could have given me the comfort that I should have derived from their simplicity and fidelity; but I could never, never, undo what I had done.
Pip feels that his world has shattered; he is ridden with both disappointment at his fortunes and shame ar his past behavior.
Pip visits Miss Havisham for the last time in this chapter. Finally she and Pip put aside their pretences as Miss Havisham realizes the harm that she has done Pip by raising Estella to be so cruel. She cires,
"What have I done! What have I done!....My dear! Believe this: when she first came to me, I meant to save her from misery like my own. At first I meant no more. But as she grew, and prmised to be very beautiful, I gradully did worse...I stole her heart away and put ice in its place."
She begs forgiveness from Pip,
"take the pencil and write under my name, 'I forgive her'!
Pip does forgive the poor woman, but she dies when her decrepit wedding dress burn, killing her.
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