Great Expectations Chapter 27 & 28 notes

  1. Joe calls Pip sir in recognition of his ‘gentleman’ status. It also suggests the disconnect between Joe and Pip that now exists because Pip has become a snob.

  2. Pip’s snobbish nature is horrible. He has become disdainful towards people who he now deems beneath him. He sucks up to most people who are above him. He has a strange attitude that has developed from his fear of ‘being found out’ as his money is new money and he is not an established gentleman nor has he been brought up as one.

  3. Biddy finds the phrase ‘what larks’ confusing as she has never heard the expression before. The phrase is one special to Joe and Pip, and it was used between them to refer to them having a good time.

  4. Joe has come to London to see Wopsle and to tell Pip that Miss Havisham wishes to see him as Estella has returned home.

  5. Pip is embarrassed for Joe to see how he has spent his wealth. He acknowledges that he has bought a lot of frivolous, unnecessary things. He is
    also embarrassed about the boy he employs as a house servant for their small set of rooms.

  6. Joe tells Pip that Wopsle has left the church to become an actor. It is debateable whether he will be any good as his speech is broken all the time with him saying ‘Amen’.

  7. The metaphor ‘life is made of ever so many partings welded together’ is in reference to the fact that life is shaped by the relationships we have
    with the people we meet. The idea of different smiths – black, white, gold, – refers to the different ways relationships are formed. Joe acknowledges that not all relationships last forever, and that we have to accept this.

  8. Pip is unable to recognise Joe’s intelligence at this point because he doesn’t see the common sense in Joe’s words. He only wants to recognise ‘book smartness’ at this point.

  9. Mr Pumblechook is often seen as comical. However, he does have a darker side to him. For example he always tries to take the glory when something works out well. He is also very interested in making money and networking to better himself, even if it means letting others down or abusing others.

  10. When Pip says ‘all other swindlers on earth are nothing to the self-swindlers’ he is really saying that those who cheat or lie to themselves are the worst because they can’t see what they are doing to themselves. Pip is referring to himself here because he cannot see that he is lying ot himself about Estella’s love for him, or Miss Havisham’s involvement in his money. He is also lying to himself about his connection and love for Joe and his enjoyment of London.

  11. On Pip’s way back to Kent he is put in a coach with two convicts. One of the convicts turns out to be the one who gave Joe the money in the pub all those years ago. Pip overhears him tell the other convict that Pip’s convict from the start of the book gave him the money in Australia to give to Pip.

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