In chapter 19, why does pumblechook tell pip that his fortune was "well deserved" and what evidence supports that he is insincere?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As a child, Pip of Great Expectations describes Uncle Pumblechook as "wretched company" as he gives Pip little to eat the day that he is to go play at Miss Havisham's.  As he drops Pip off, he scolds him,

"Boy Let our behavior her be a credit unto them which brought you up by hand!"

But, in Chapter XIX in which Pip prepares to go to London, having been informed by Mr. Jaggers that he has "great expectations," Pumblechook congratulates Pip and in a fawning manner, repeatedly asks to shake his hand, congratulating himself and flattering Pip,

"to think that I may have been the humble think that I .....My dear young friend,...if you will allow me to call you so...."

He wishes to feel that he has made a valuable contribution to Pip's good fortune from Miss Havisham, as he believes.

Like Trabb, the tailor, who becomes very interested in Pip after Pip shows him the money from his pocket, Pumblechook hopes that in cajoling Pip, who is coming into a fortune, he, too, may partake of some of the money, as well.  In this chapter, Pip learns that people treat those who have wealth differently.

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Great Expectations

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