What did Pip do concerning the Porter at the gate in Great Expectations?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Pip returns to Miss Havisham's to spend time with Estella in Chapter 29, he is shocked to find Orlick working as the Porter at the old lady's door.  Orlick opens the gate and shuts it behind Pip, then precedes Pip to the house.  Pip, somewhat unnerved, makes small talk with Orlick, asking him how he came to be working for Miss Havisham, and how long it has been since he left Joe Gargery's forge.  Orlick answers Pip's queries with insolence, and Pip gets the feeling that he is up to no good.  Orlick takes Pip to his small quarters and stretches rudely.  He unceremoniously tells Pip that he has been instructed only to "give this here bell a rap with this here hammer" when a visitor arrives; Pip should then continue on along the passage alone until he meets someone.

After his visit at Miss Havisham's, Pip resolves "to tell (his) guardian that (he) doubted Orlick's being the right sort of man to fill a post of trust at Miss Havisham's".  His guardian is at first unconcerned, but when Pip tells him "what knowledge (he) had of Orlick", he says he will "go round presently, and pay (their) friend off".  Pip then becomes alarmed, fearing that Orlick will be angry at his sudden firing and "might be difficult to deal with".  His guardian, however, responds with perfect confidence, "I should like to see him argue the question with me" (Chapter 30).

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Great Expectations

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