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Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

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In Great Expectations, of what does Orlick accuse Pip? What does he admit he was responsible for? Explain.

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In "Great Expectations," Pip is lured to the marshes after he receives a mysterious letter which informs him that if he wants information regarding his uncle Provis, you must come alone, telling no one where he is going.  After reading this "epistle," Pip hurries a note to Herbert advising him that he is going to check on Miss Havisham.  He reasons that he must go; if it he does not, he will never forgive himself.

In Chapter 53, Pip reaches the marshes and walks to the sluice house, where he notices a candle light; however,  before he can react, a rope goes around him, pinning his burned arms painfully to his sides. Orlick covers Pip's mouth and ties him to a ladder, calling him "Oh you enemy, you enemy!"  He accuses Pip of causing him to lose his position as the doorman at Miss Havisham's.  He also accuses Pip of coming between him and a young woman he liked, "It was you as always give Old Orlick a bad name to her[Biddy]."

Threatening to kill Pip, Orlick reveals that it is he who did "harm" to Pip's sister, but he accuses Pip of having been involved, "I tell you it was your doing--I tell you it was done through you"  Because Orlick beat Mrs. Joe with the prisoner's leg iron, he attributes responsibility to Pip as the leg iron is the one which Magwitch filed from his leg.  Having learned this, Pip feels terrible guilt.

Orlick reveals that it is he who was on the stairs the night that Magwitch visited Pip in London; he has heard everything.  Pip struggles, but is knocked unconscious.  Fortunately, however, Pip accidentally dropped the letter from Orlick on his stairs and Herbert has found it.  As Orlick sets upon his dastardly deed, Trabb's boy, Startop, and Herber rush in.

Relinquishing all hopes of pursuing Orlick at this time, Pip falls ill from the ordeal of his encounter with the one character who has no redeeming qualities.

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