Illustration of Pip visiting a graveyard

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

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What news does Mr. Jaggers bring in Great Expectations?

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Mr. Jagger, a lawyer, brings with him the news that Pip has great expectations. As he explains to Pip and Joe—as he joins them in their parlor lit with only one candle—a secret benefactor is giving Pip a large fortune.

This news makes both Pip and Joe gasp. Up until this point, Pip has been apprenticed to Joe and has had no greater expectation than to become a humble blacksmith. Now he is told he is to be set up immediately as a gentleman of fortune. As Mr. Jaggers put its:

"I am instructed to communicate to him," said Mr. Jaggers, throwing his finger at me sideways, "that he will come into a handsome property. Further, that it is the desire of the present possessor of that property, that he be immediately removed from his present sphere of life and from this place, and be brought up as a gentleman,—in a word, as a young fellow of great expectations."

Pip's heart beats very quickly at this news. He is told that he will receive the fortune on the condition that the benefactor is to be kept a secret until they choose to reveal themselves. Pip immediately jumps to the conclusion that his benefactor is none other than Miss Havisham.

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In Great Expectations, what news does Mr. Jaggers bring Pip and what are the conditions, etc. of this news?

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It is Mr. Jaggers who utters the words of the title.  For, he approaches Joe one evening at the Three Jolly Bargemen and suggests that they discuss an important matter at Joe's house.  In the parlor, then, Jaggers states that he is there as a "confidential agent of another."  He goes on to say,"And the communication I have got to make is that he [Pip] has Great Expectations"; Pip will come into

a handsome property...and be immediately removed from his present sphere of life and from this pace and be brought up as a gentleman--in a word, as a young fellow of great expectations.

However, there are conditions attached.  He must bear the name of Pip and the name of the benefactor is to remain a secret until this person chooses to reveal it firsthand to Pip, and he must never make inquiries as to who this person is.  Of course, Pip thinks, "Miss Havisham was going to make my fortune on a grand scale."

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