What characteristic is associated with Mr. Matthew Pocket when he is described that relates to his situation at home? 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter XXII, after his arrival in London and establishment at Barnard's Inn, Pip is taken to Herbert Pocket's home where Mrs. Pocket sits reading, completely oblivious  to her tumbling children that the maid Flopson tries to catch. After begin introduced to Mr. Pocket, Pip narrates,

I was not much surprised to find that Mr. Pocket was a gentleman with a rather perplexed expression of face, and with his very gray hair disordered on his head, as if he didn't quite see his way to putting anything straight.

As Pip continues his visit, and then visits a second time, he witnesses Mr. Pocket's lack of parental or husbandry control.  All he can do is simply pull his hair. In Chapter XXIII, as Pip dines with the Pockets, it seems that the "cook had mislaid the beef." to Pip's surprise, he witnesses for the first time the "performance" of Mr. Pocket. Soon thereafter, he becomes accustomed to this act.Mr. Pocket relieves his mind by going through a performance

[in which] [He]....put his two hands into his disturbed hair, and appeared to make an extraordinary effort to lift himself up by it. When he had done this, and had not lifted himself up at all, he quietly went on with what he was about.

After witnessing this act, Pip understands why Mr. Pocket's hair was so disheveled the previous day. And, he is not surprised when he observes Mr. Pocket's hair in this condition other times, for the Pocket house is always in a state of confusion.

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Great Expectations

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