What is surprising about Pip's first impression of his new home and new roommate?include textual support. Chapter 21 of Great Expectations

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When Pip is taken to Barnard's Inn by Mr. Wemmick, he is shocked when he sees it:

I had supposed that establishment to be an hotel kept by Mr. Barnard, to which the Blue Boar in our town was a mere public-house. Whereas I now found Barnard to be a disembodied spirit, or a fiction, and his inn the dingiest collection of shabby buildings ever squeezed together in a rank corner as a club for Tom-cats.

There are broken shutters, broken flowerpots, broken glass. A musty and rank odor emanates from from the cloud of soot and smoke that hovers over the Inn. There is rot on the neglected roof and in the cellar.  All in all, the place is very run-down; it is far from Pip first "great expectations."  Pip is so dismayed by the decrepit conditions that Wemmick must lead him up the stairs that threaten to turn to sawdust.  At the top are Pip's and Herbert Pocket's rooms. After Pip leaves, he opens a window, but it is so rotted that it nearly comes down upon Pip's neck "like a guillotine."

After this escape, I was content to take a foggy view of the Inn through the window's encrusting dirt, and to stand dolefully looking out, saying to myself that London was decidedly overrated.

Finally, Pip's new roommate arrives, apologizing for the condition of the rooms, saying that he has to "earn [his] own bread," but if there is anything Pip wants, he will run out for it.  Ironically, the young gentleman tells Pip they will not fight, and, then, Pip recognizes him as none other than the pale young gentleman with whom he did fight as a boy.  They laugh at this recognition.

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