In "Great Expectations", why does Miss Havisham wish to see Joe?  What does she give him?  Why?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After remarking to Pip, "You are growing tall, Pip!" Miss Havisham then asks Pip about Joe to whom he is to be apprenticed.  She then asks, "Would Gargery come here with you, and bring your indentures, do you think?"

When Joe arrives with the papers, oddly he speaks to Pip when addressed by Miss Havisham, as though he is not worthy to speak directly to her.  Pip is ashamed of Joe.  Then, Miss Havisham asks Joe, "You expected....no premium with the boy?" as she looks over the papers of indenture.  Joe replies that he expects nothing.  To this, Miss Havisham

glanced at him as if whe understood what he really was, better than I had though possible; and took up a little bag from the table beside her.

Miss Havish gives Joe twenty-five guineas [worth more than $5.00 at that time--a good amount] and tells Pip goodbye.  Disconcerted, Pip asks when he may return, but Miss Havisham tells him that Gargery is now his master.  This news dashes all Pip's hopes of becoming a gentleman:

...when I got into my little bedroom, I was truly wretched, and had a strong conviction on me that I should never like Joe's trade.  I had liked it once, but once was not now....It is a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home.

Having been introduced to what Pip perceives as a finer life, he is greatly disappointed at its loss and still ashamed of being "common."

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Great Expectations

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