Illustration of Pip visiting a graveyard

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens
Start Free Trial

In the novel Great Expectations, why does Pumblechook make Pip count? Is there one reason or is it open to how you want to interpret it?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

First of all, when you say "count," I think you are talking about the part in Chapter 8 where Mr. Pumblechook has Pip do math problems.  This is before Pumblechook brings Pip to Satis House for the first time.

I assume that Mr. Pumblechook is trying to make sure that...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

First of all, when you say "count," I think you are talking about the part in Chapter 8 where Mr. Pumblechook has Pip do math problems.  This is before Pumblechook brings Pip to Satis House for the first time.

I assume that Mr. Pumblechook is trying to make sure that Pip seems smart enough for him.  He is going to be bringing Pip up to Miss Havisham and he has hopes that Miss Havisham may have in mind to help Pip if he satisfies her.  Since Pumblechook is thinking in this way, he has Pip do math so he can be sure Pip won't embarrass them by being stupid.  This might make Miss Havisham not want to help him.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team