Great Expectations Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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Why did Pip thank Ms. Havisham when he was leaving for London?

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Pip, a poor boy with few aspirations beyond becoming a village blacksmith like his older sister's husband, Joe, suddenly discovers he has a secret benefactor. Someone wealthy is financing him to move to London and become a gentleman. He is in the position, if this were set in modern America, of a poor boy from the rust belt who suddenly finds that someone is financing him to study at Harvard and giving him a large allowance so that he can hang out with the rich kids.

Pip doesn't know anyone wealthy outside of Miss Havisham, so he assumes she is his benefactor. This is why he thanks her before he leaves.

While Pip couldn't be more wrong about who is bankrolling him, his surmise makes logical sense. Miss Havisham has been having him come to her creepy mansion for some time. Pip assumes she wants him to marry her ward, Estella, a proud and cold young woman he is very attracted to. To fashion him into a fit husband for Estella, it would make sense that Miss Havisham would want to help him become a gentleman. The least Pip can do as he leaves is to thank the woman he believes is responsible for changing his life.

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