Who is the Avenger in Great Expectations?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rules state you are only allowed to ask one question, so I will respond to the first question only.

We are first introduced to ¨The Avenger¨ in Chapter 27 before Joe´s first visit to see Pip in London. Pip talks about how he has changed his quarters and tells us how he has taken on a manservant:

I had got on so fast of late, that I had even started a boy in boots - top  boots - in bondage and slavery to whom I might be said to pass my days. For, after I had made this monster (out of the refuse of my washerwoman´s family) and had clothed him with a blue coat, canary waist-coat, white cravat, creamy breaches, and the boots already mentioned, I had to find him a little to do and a great deal to eat, and with both of these horrible requirements he haunted my existence.

This not only paints a humourous picture of how Pip is uncomfortable to adjusting to his "Great Expectations" by his inability to handle servants, it also emphasises his spendthrift ways, an impression that is augmented in Chapter 34, when, in spite of the debt that Pip is getting into, he still maintains "The Avenger". This shows us how Pip has become a prisoner of his own sense of snobbishness - he has "created" the Avenger and it shows how literally Pip is entrapped and constrained by his "Great Expectataions", which foreshadows us for his meeting with Joe.

 

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Great Expectations

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