In Chapter 41 what is Pip's predicament, what is unspoken between Pip and Herbert, and what is ironic about their discussion?Charles Dickens's "Great Expectations"    Please help!!!

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 41 of "Great Expectations," Magwitch has come to visit him and reveals that he is Pip's benefactor; then Herbert steps into the apartment.  Pip informs Herbert and they must decide how they must secure some lodging for the old convict.  After Magwitch leaves, Pip and Herbert both shudder at the repugnance of the man; for instance, when Herbert sits in the chair that Magwitch has just occupied, he "next moment started out of it, pushed it away, and took another." Of course, Pip is appalled that such a disreputable person is his benefactor when he has believed all along that Miss Havisham has been this person.

In the course of their discussion, Pip bemoans that he has "no expectations" now, and is "bred for no calling for nothing."  Herbert argues that Pip should not say this; he "would be infinitely better at Clarikker's house" where he is working toward a partnership.  Ironically, Herbert does not know that it is Pip's money (Magwitch's) which has been supporting him:  "Poor fellow he little suspected with whose money."

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Great Expectations

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