Great Expectations Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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In Great Expectations, why does Mrs. Havisham fail to correct Pip when he thanks her for his fortune?

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After Pip takes leave of Joe and Biddy at the forge, he goes to town and the tailor shop where Mr. Trabb has made clothes for Pip that will be appropriate for his new station in life as he soon moves to London in order to be a gentleman.  However, before his departure, Pip visits Miss Havisham; at the gate he met by Sarah Pocket, one of the "toadies," who "positively reeled back when she saw me so changed," Pip narrates.  As she escorts Pip us the stairs, she stares at him the entire way.

When Pip enters, Miss Havisham orders Sarah Pocket to remain in the room; she asks Pip his reason for visiting.  Pip cautiously tells her that he is on his way to London and wishes to take his leave of her.  Then, Miss Havisham, who seems to be enjoying herself, makes "her crutch stick play" around Pip as though she were a fairy godmother, "bestowing the finishing gift."

"I have come into such good fortune since I saw you last, Miss Havisham," I murmured.  "And I am so grateful for it, Miss Havisham!"

"Aye, aye!" said she, looking at the envious Sarah with delight.  "I have seen Mr. Jaggers.  I have heard about it Pip...."

Questioning Pip further as though she knows the answers already--"And you are adopted by a rich person?"  "And Mr. Jaggers is made your guardian?"--Miss Havisham gloats on her questions and the answers as she keenly watches Sarah Pocket's "jealous dismay." And, as Pip leaves, Miss Havisham looks at Sarah Pocket "with triumph in her weird eyes." When Pip leaves, Mrs. Pocket continues to stare at him and does not say good-bye.

Clearly, Miss Havisham delights in misleading Sarah Pocket, who just waits for Miss Havisham to die, into believing that part of Miss Havisham's fortune is being spent on Pip, causing the "toady" to becomes envious of Pip's procurement of money from the old woman when she, a relative by way of Matthew Pocket, her husband, has not seen the first shilling.  Also, believing Miss Havisham is Pip's benefactor dismays Sarah Pocket even further as she calculates that whatever inheritance Matthew may receive will now be greatly reduced. 

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