Illustration of Pip visiting a graveyard

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens
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Chapters 28 and 29 Summary

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Last Updated on August 14, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 743

Chapter 28

Pip decides to visit Miss Havisham; however, he does not plan on staying at the forge with Joe, even though he feels guilty about how he treated him the other day. He decides to go to an inn instead, making up excuses for his refusal to stay with Joe by arguing that the inn is closer to Miss Havisham's and he should not like to be late or that he would inconvenience Joe should he ask to be put up for the night. He also decides to leave the Avenger behind.

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Pip takes the afternoon coach back to town. Herbert tells him beforehand that two convicts and their keeper will be in the coach with him, which startles Pip. However, he hides these feelings when talking with Herbert.

When boarding the coach, Pip notices that one of the two convicts is the man who gave him the money at the Three Jolly Bargemen all those years ago. The man does not recognize Pip. The convicts are placed behind Pip, and he is able to overhear their conversation.

The convicts discuss the two one-pound notes the stranger gave Pip that night. It turns out the convict Pip helped on the marshes personally had the stranger deliver Pip the money to express his gratitude for Pip's aid that night. The convict later got a life sentence for trying to escape prison.

Pip leaves the coach early, too frightened of the convict recognizing him to bother with the rest of the trip. When he arrives at the Blue Boar Inn, he reads a newspaper, where an article supposes that Pumblechook is Pip's mysterious benefactor.

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Latest answer posted July 30, 2010, 2:59 pm (UTC)

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Chapter 29

Before Pip goes to Miss Havisham's, he wonder about her plans for Estella and him. He assumes Miss Havisham's intentions are good and that she wants him to one day marry Estella and "admit sunshine into the dark rooms" of Satis House. He thinks of himself as a knight in shining armor and Estella as an imprisoned princess he must rescue from a dismal fate.

When Pip arrives at Satis House, he is shocked to find that Orlick has become the porter. When Pip asks Orlick why Miss Havisham now has need of a porter, Orlick claims that he is there in case any criminals try to break into the house, so he can be on hand for protection. He also encounters Sarah Pocket, who asks if her family has grown any wiser since she last saw them, before going inside to meet Miss Havisham and Estella.

Pip is astonished to find Estella, recently returned from Paris, more beautiful than ever now that she is a young lady. Her beauty stuns him so much that he once again feels like a common boy, totally unworthy of her. Miss Havisham still takes delight in Pip's discomfort, and Estella is amused by his attentions, still viewing him as a little boy rather than as a young man. Pip decides to stay the rest of the day and not return to the city until tomorrow. He learns Estella will soon be going to London.

Pip and Estella take a walk in the garden. They discuss Pip's fight with Herbert in the garden years ago and the kiss Estella gave Pip as a reward. Estella tells Pip that she has no heart and he must expect no sentiment out of her. Pip does not quite believe her, but she insists. He notices that she has since taken on some of Miss Havisham's mannerisms.

When they return inside the house, Miss Havisham draws Pip aside and tells him to love Estella, no matter how cruelly she treats him. She says her idea of love is one of obsessive devotion and "self-humiliation," since that is what became of her after her fiancé abandoned her at the altar. She says she bred Estella to be loved by other people.

Jaggers appears for dinner. Miss Havisham is not delighted to see him and sends them all off to dinner. Pip asks Jaggers if Estella shares Miss Havisham's last name, and Jagger replies in the affirmative. Pip, Jaggers, Sarah, and Estella eat without Miss Havisham, since she never eats in front of other people. Pip notices that Jaggers never looks at Estella when she speaks to him.

Pip agrees to meet Estella when she comes to London. He feels guilty about choosing to avoid Joe, but his snobbery and infatuation with Estella cause him to forgot Joe quickly enough.

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Chapters 26 and 27

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Chapters 30 and 31