1 Answer | Add Yours
The bombastic Pumblechook represents the new middle class of the Industrial Revolution who, with the attainment of money, aspired to become wealthy and rise to the level of what Charles Dickens perceived as a frivolous aristocracy. As such, Pumblechook is an object of Dickensian satire, and in Chapter XIX, his hypocrisy is illustrated as Pumblechook now compliments and acts affably toward Pip, whom in the past he has scolded and deprived of food.
Pip, too, has become hypocritical with his attainment of "great expectations." For, he tells Joe that he will change into his new clothes at Mr. Trabb's because showing himself dressed as a gentleman for the Hubbles and Mr. Wopsle at the Jolly Bargeman would be "coarse and common business."
After Pip goes to be measured by the tailor, Mr. Trabb, he heads towards Pumblechook's shop where he stands in the doorway, waiting for Pip with impatience. Unlike when Pip was a boy, Pumblechook has a meal for him, and orders his shopman out of the way.
“My dear friend,” said Mr. Pumblechook, taking me by both hands, when he and I and the collation were alone, “I give you joy of your good fortune. Well deserved, well deserved!....To think that I should have been the humble instrument of leading up to this...."
Pip begs him not to mention anything about his first visit to Miss havisham's. As the fauning Pumblechook talks and shakes Pip's hand, after eating and listening to Pumblechook state that he is Pip's "favorite fancy and ...chosen friend," Pip begins to feel that he has been mistaken in his previous opinion, "...and that he was a sensible, practical, good-hearted, prime fellow."
Swept up with "the joy of money," Pumblechook flatters Pip and wishes to be associated with him solely because Pip has now some money. Likewise, Pip has been adversely affected by his new wealth and is deluded by the sychophantic Pumblechook, finding him now a "good-hearted" fellow when heretofore he has perceived Pumblechook as a petty, critical, and selfish man--"a swindler." These hypocritical attitudes of both Pumblechook and Pip point to the dangers of wealth.
We’ve answered 319,863 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question