What are three incidents that reveal Pip as a truthful storyteller?Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That Pip's comments about his experiences are veritable is later evinced in the narrative by things that characters say and do. 

Pip's experiences with Uncle Pumblechook

Early in the novel, Pumblechook partakes of Christmas dinner with the Gargerys; while there the pompous man makes a toast after  instructing Pip repeatedly to be "grateful, boy, to them which brought you up by hand."  From these early experiences, Pip perceives that Uncle Pumblechook is "the basest of swindlers."  On the day before he is to go the Miss Havisham's in order to play with Estella, Pip is transported to Pumblechook's store where he observes early in the next morning that the corn chandler is petty and watches the other merchants to see who conducts more business than he: 

Mr. Pumblechook appeared to conduct his business by looking across the street at the saddler, who appeared to transact his business by keeping his eye on the coach-maker....

Later in the narrative, after Pip becomes apprenticed to Joe and Miss Havisham gives Pip a "premium," Pumblechook congratulates Pip, telling him "I wish you joy of the money!"  Then, when they go to the town hall, Pumblechook pushes Pip before him as though he is directly involved in the ceremony of apprenticeship. 

Further,Pip's depiction of Pumblechook as a hypocritical man who fawns before those who are wealthy such as Miss Havisham because he believes that money makes people more worthy than others proves to be accurate in Chapter XIX in which he flatters Pip now that he is a gentleman instead of browbeating him as he has done earlier.  In Chapter XXII when Pip stops into the tavern at the Blue Boar and is shown a newspaper in which Pumblechook records himself

as the Mentor of our young Telemachus,....the founder of the latter's fortunes.... 

Here Pumblechook's attempt to elevate himself is, perhaps, the greatest evidence of the truth of Pip's charge of the corn chandler's hypocrisy.

Pip's encounters with the relatives of Miss Havisham

As a boy, when Pip is called back to Miss Havisham's on her birthday, he notices sitting around the decaying wedding cake table, three ladies and one gentleman who appear to be "waiting someone's pleasure"; these people Pip describes as "toadies and humbugs."  As they await Miss Havisham's "pleasure," they gossip about Matthew Pocket who has not come for his relative's birthday.  The most talkative of these is Camilla who, though she utters repeatedly the exclamation "Poor dear soul!" about Matthew, stifles a yawn.  Joining in is Sarah Pocket, wife of Matthew.

As evidence of this superciliousness, Pip's visit to the Pocket home demonstrates how Sarah Pocket ignores her children and as she is engrossed in a book of titles.  Even when the baby's life is threatened by Mrs. Pocket's handing it the nutcracker and the maid has to rescue it, the woman continues to discuss the importance of names and social class while the other children "tumble" everywhere.

Pip's evaluations of Estella's cruelty and coldness

When Pip first plays cards with Estella, she ridicules his coarse hands and boots, as well as his calling the knaves "jacks."   Pip's later recordings of Estella's coldness--"her calm face was like a statue's"--prove to be true when Pip later visits Miss Havisham who is desolated by Estella's lack of affection: "to be proud and hard to me!"   Estella replies coldly, "I am what you have made me."




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Great Expectations

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