Who was Miss Havisham's new porter in "Great Expectations"?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Orlick, who has worked at the forge with Joe and is jealous of Joe's fondness for Pip, is now the porter for Miss Havisham.  Pip is quite unnerved at seeing Orlick as he knows that Orlick looms "dark and heavy" wherever he goes.  Pip sees him as a type of "gate-porter" as in Paris.  His small, crowded little quarters where he watches the gate remind Pip of "a cage for a human dormouse." (Chap.29)

There seems little purpose to this character of Dickens other than the fact that he is an evil, lowly presence who seems to contrast with the dirty convict who accosts Pip in the graveyard.  It is interesting that Pip feels such antipathy toward Orlick while he was not repulsed by the first convict.  As the reader learns, Pip's judgments of the two men are accurate, yet his other character judgments of Estella, Joe, and Miss Havisham are colored by his desired perceptions.

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Great Expectations

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