In Great Expectations, why does Orlick seek revenge?Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Orlick perceives Pip as a threat in Great Expectations.  When Pip is apprenticed to Joe, Orlick worries that Pip will take his place as journeyman.  Later on, Orlick imagines that Pip has come between him and a young woman.  In an effort at revenge in Chapter LIII, he writes a  letter and lures Orlick to the Old Sluice House where he tells Pip,

“You did that, and that would be enough, without more. How dared you to come betwixt me and a young woman I liked?”

Orlick informs Pip that he has always been in the way of him whether it be as journeyman or as preventor of his keeping his job at Miss Havisham.  He accuses Pip of interfering with his having a relationship with his "young woman," who is Biddy.  Further, he accuses Pip, "It was you as did for your shrew sister." It is apparent that Orlick believes that Pip has told his sister that Orlick is not one in whom she should be interested; in addition Pip has probably talked with Joe Gargery and dissuaded Joe from making Orlick a licensed blacksmith.  He feels that he has been beaten by Pip, "You was favored, and I was bullied and beat."

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Great Expectations

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