Great Expectations Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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In Great Expectations, how is Pip ambivalent about his sister's death?

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In Chapter XXXIV of Great Expectations, Pip begins to realize that his "great expectations" have been delusionary.  In moments of increasing maturity, Pip reflects that he may have had a happier life if he had never met Miss Havisham, for then he would have been content with being apprenticed to Joe and living on the forge. As he sits in the evening gazing into his fire, Pip feels that there was "no fire like the forge fire and the kitchen fire at home."

With this realization of the illusionary properties of his new life in London, Pip learns in the following chapter, Chapter XXXV, that Mrs. Joe has "departed this world."  Pip's reaction to this sad news is a "shock of regret without tenderness." That is, he feels rue that he has lost his sister and wishes that he could have pursued Orlick, whom he suspects...

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