Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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In Great Expectations chapter 28, why does Pumblechook take credit for Pip's fortune? Is he justified?

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I entertain a conviction, based upon large experience, that if in the days of my prosperity I had gone to the North Pole, I should have met somebody there, wandering Esquimaux or civilised man, who would have told me that Pumblechook was my earliest patron and the founder of my fortunes.

Pip reminisces with these words at the end of Chapter 28. He tells us that he realises that Pumblechook's main aim is self-publicity. It is Mr Jaggers who manages Pip's inheritance, and it is as convenient and socially acceptable to Pumblechook to believe that Miss Havisham rather than the convict Magwitch is responsible for Pip's improved fortune and social status. Pumblechook exemplifies some of the worst features of polite society in that he is only kind to Pip when he has money - he enjoyed teasing him as a poor blacksmith's boy.


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