Great Expectations Chapters 26 and 27
by Charles Dickens

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Chapters 26 and 27 Summary

Chapter 26

Pip, Drummle, Startop, and Herbert are invited to a dinner by Jaggers. This dinner will take place the following evening. Jaggers entertains himself by provoking his guests into arguing over topics like money and rowing. He focuses a lot of his attention on Drummle, who possesses many traits that he enjoys observing, though he does not deem these traits admirable. In fact, during dinner, he advises Pip not to associate with Drummle. Pip studies Molly, Jaggers’s servant, at the urging of Mr. Wemmick. Molly’s appearance is described as “witch-like.” Jaggers encourages the boys to argue over who is the strongest and then tells the boys that Molly, whose wrists have many scars, has the strongest wrists he has ever seen.

Chapter 27

After receiving a letter from Biddy, Pip discovers that Joe will be visiting London with Mr. Wopsle. He does not want to see Joe and is upset by the news of his upcoming visit, but he is relieved that Drummle will not be around to see Joe.

Pip has spent a great deal of money decorating his apartment. He has also hired a servant, whom he has no use for, and outfitted him in fancy clothing, nicknaming him “the Avenger.” Pip is very conscious of Joe’s behavior, speech, and dress when he arrives.

Joe gives Pip a program for Mr. Wopsle’s first play. Mr. Wopsle has recently come to London to be an actor. After Herbert leaves, Joe explains the reason he has come to visit: Miss Havisham has said that Estella has come home and would like to see Pip. Joe says that since he and Pip are now in different classes, they should no longer be meeting in public. He apologizes for the visit but explains that Biddy insisted that he deliver the news to Pip in person. Pip, who is impressed by Joe’s humility, attempts to find Joe outside, but he has already disappeared from sight.