Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Chapters 10 and 11 Summary

Chapter 10

Still reeling from Estella's insults, Pip decides that the best way to advance himself is to get an education. He goes back to Biddy for help in learning as much as he can so he will be less ignorant and "common." He gets more out of Biddy's lessons than he does from the lessons imparted by Mr. Wopsle's great-aunt.

One night, Mrs. Joe demands Pip fetch Joe from a public-house called the Three Jolly Bargemen after he comes home from school. When Pip arrives at the tavern, he sees Joe smoking a pipe with two other men. One is Mr. Wopsle, and the other is someone Pip has never seen before. The stranger rubs his leg in an odd manner and orders rum for himself, Joe, and Mr. Wopsle.

The stranger seems particularly interested in Pip. He keeps looking at him, and when his drink arrives, he makes a show of drinking it and then using a file to stir it. Pip recognizes the file and wonders if the stranger knows of his helping the convict in the cemetery that night. Before they all leave, the stranger gives Pip a shilling and two one-pound notes.

That night, Pip has nightmares about the stranger and the file. His only comfort is to think of his next visit to Miss Havisham's.

Chapter 11

Pip goes back to Miss Havisham's house on her birthday. She is visited by several relatives who are only interested in her money. The relatives look at Pip with contempt as Estella has him walk past them.

When leading him down a dark passage, Estella asks Pip if she is pretty. He says yes. She asks if she is insulting. When he says she is less insulting this time than she was last time they met, she slaps him across the face. She urges him to cry, but he says he refuses to get upset over her, even though he...

(The entire section is 480 words.)