Great Expectations Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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Who killed Pip's sister?

The person who kills Pip's sister in Great Expectations is Dolge Orlick. He attacks her, and she later dies from the injuries she sustained when he struck her head.

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Pip is raised by his older sister (Mrs. Joe) and her husband (Joe Gargery) after Pip’s parents die. Although one might think it admirable that a family member chose to raise Pip, his sister is far from a nice mother figure. She is often emotionally, physically, and verbally abusive to Pip. Therefore, it is ironic that Mrs. Joe ultimately dies from the effects of a physical attack herself.

Dolge Orlick is the man who attacks Mrs. Joe and causes her eventual death. Orlick, a dark character in the book, is an employee of Joe Gargery. The two men are complete opposites; Orlick is intentionally cruel to others, while Gargery is kind to all. Orlick despises Mrs. Joe.

One night when Joe and Pip are gone, Orlick and Mrs. Joe have an argument in her home, and Orlick attacks her. He strikes a blow to her head, leaving her so badly injured that she is forever altered. The attack leaves Pip’s sister unable to speak, and she communicates with a type of chalkboard. She also becomes far less angry. In an interesting twist, there is actually some peace in their household after the attack on Mrs. Joe; she later dies from the injuries she sustained from Orlick.

Although Orlick is initially investigated as a possible suspect for the attack upon Mrs. Joe, he is not arrested. Years later when he attacks Pip, Orlick confesses that he was the one who attacked Mrs. Joe; he is eventually captured and arrested.

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