What kind of host is Mr. Pumblechook in "Great Expectations"?

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Pumblechook is of a slightly higher social rank in the village, and so therefore respected and admired by Mrs. Joe since her status on the marsh is lower than his.  However, we know as readers that Mr. Pumblechook is a very stereotypical snob who is condescending to Pip and those like him who are of lower social status.  Only after Pip inherits money does Mr. Pumblechook attempt to become his friend.

Knowing this, it is no surprise that when Pip goes home with Mr. Pumblechook he is treated as a bother.  Pip is sent directly to bed without dinner.  In the morning Pip is given bread crumbs and diluted milk while Mr. Pumblechook drills him in logic and math so as not to be embarrassed in front of Miss Havisham.

Mr. Pumblechook, then, can not be said to be a real host at all.  He simply provides the boy a place to sleep until he can be delivered to the Havisham estate the next morning.

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Great Expectations

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