Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Chapters 32 and 33 Summary

Chapter 32

Pip receives a letter from Estella informing him that she will be visiting London. She tells him to meet her at the stage. The ecstatic Pip arrives at the stage office several hours early, too excited to wait. As he is waiting, he runs into Mr. Wemmick, who suggests that the two men visit Newgate Prison.

Pip is disturbed the chaos of the prison and the neglect of the prisoners. Wemmick knows all of them, at least in passing, and he is popular among them. He stops to speak briefly with them, and he introduces Pip to a colonel who is soon to be hanged. The experience leaves Pip feeling dirty and uneasy. He returns to the stage office, and Estella arrives.

Chapter 33

When Estella arrives, Pip finds her more beautiful than ever, and he detects a few subtle changes in her attitude. She instructs Pip to order a carriage to take her and her possessions on to Richmond. In Richmond, Estella is to live with a well-connected woman who will supervise her entry into society. As they wait, they discuss Miss Havisham’s intentions, Estella notes that her guardian’s relatives hate Pip. She, in turn, despises them because of their deceitful, sycophantic behavior.

While Estella and Pip take tea in a less-than-elegant private sitting room, she asks about the developments in Pip’s life. He thinks to himself that he would be happy to stay there with her forever. They continue to talk as they take the carriage to Richmond, where she assures him that he may call on her. Safely delivering her to an old house in an old neighborhood, he again thinks how happy he would be to stay with her.

Back in London, Pip goes to visit Mr. Pocket but learns that is he has gone to give a lecture. He speaks with Mrs. Pocket, who is distressed because she had used a packet of needles to the calm the fussy baby and she has realized that several needles are missing. Attempting to reconcile this error with her husband’s expertise in family and household management, Pip concludes that he should not confide in Mr. and Mrs. Pocket.