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Octave Hamelin

Chapter Thirty-One

Herbert accompanies Pip to the theater, where they watch Wopsle portray Hamlet. Wopsle’s performance, however, is more comedic than dramatic. Pip notes that they try to applaud him in the beginning, but just can’t keep up the charade. Wopsle talks to Pip and Herbert after the play. Pip remains miserable.

Chapter Thirty-Two

Pip receives a note, but he does not immediately recognize the handwriting. He is pleased to find that the note is from Estella, and she wishes to meet him. He is so anxious to meet Estella that he can hardly eat. First, Pip meets Wemmick. Wemmick tells him that his “Aged Parent” is doing well; he will soon turn 82, and Wemmick wishes to fire his cannon 82 times in celebration. Wemmick takes Pip on a tour of the neglected Newgate Prison. The prison is uncomfortable and frightening to Pip. While at the prison, Wemmick introduces Pip to a man who is soon to be hanged.

Chapter Thirty-Three

When he meets Estella, Pip finds her more beautiful than ever. As Estella tells Pip that she is going to live in Richmond with a woman who has the power to show her to people, Pip is certain that Estella reminds him of someone. However, he cannot place the resemblance. Estella tells him how strange it was to grow up in Satis House. She mentions that they have “instructions,” which makes Pip believe that they are to be married. Pip walks Estella to her current residence and returns to Pockets’ house.

Chapter Thirty-Four

Finally, Pip begins to experience guilt for his treatment of Joe and Biddy. However, Pip cannot stop thinking about Estella and how much he wants to be with her. Pip feels that his behavior may have had a negative effect on Herbert. Pip discusses the Finches of the Grove, a club of which Drummle is a member. Pip receives another letter, but this one does not carry happy news. Mrs. Joe has died, and he needs to return home for her interment.

Chapter Thirty-Five

Pip discusses how the image of his sister haunts him. Pip returns home to find Joe obviously saddened by his wife’s death. Biddy is composed, but also distraught by the death. Pumblechook is at the house, and he annoys Pip with his attention. Biddy tells Pip that she is leaving the house to try to become a mistress at the new school. Pip asks Biddy about Orlick. Pip infers that Orlick is still pursuing Biddy, which angers him. There is obvious tension between Pip and Biddy. He promises to visit, but she does not believe him.

Chapter Thirty-Six

Herbert “comes of age” eight months before Pip. Due to their careless lifestyle, their debts have increased. Pip, however, is excited to turn 21 and be responsible for his own money. He will no longer have to consult Jaggers before accessing his money. Pip believes that Jaggers will reveal Pip’s benefactor, but he will not. Jaggers hands Pip a banknote for five hundred pounds. Pip will be receiving five hundred pounds per year. Jaggers is noticeably cold toward Pip, and he refuses to take any responsibility for what happens to Pip. Pip is disappointed that Jaggers does not tell him that Miss Havisham is his benefactor; Pip still wishes to marry Estella. Wemmick advises Pip to not invest his money in a friend. Despite his interaction with Jaggers reminding him of his experience with the prisoner in the graveyard years earlier, Pip invites Jaggers to his birthday dinner. However, Jaggers’ presence weighs heavily on Pip throughout the evening.

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Pip goes to Wemmick’s castle, where he encounters the “Aged Parent.” While at the castle, Pip also meets Miss Skiffins, who is Wemmick’s girlfriend. As Pip and Wemmick go for a walk, Pip expresses to Wemmick that he wishes to help his friend Herbert with his money. Pip desires to anonymously buy Herbert a share in a small partnership. This time, Wemmick agrees with Pip.

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Pip is allowed to spend much time with Estella at the house where she is staying. However, instead of being considered a serious suitor, it is clear to everyone (except him) that he is not in the running. Pip feels tortured by Estella. Many other men court Estella, but she acts coolly toward them. Pip is confused as to why Miss Havisham has not taken the time to announce his engagement to Estella. Pip accompanies Estella back to Satis House. Pip realizes that Estella is wreaking “Miss Havisham's revenge on men.” At Satis House, Miss Havisham fawns over Estella. Pip notes that Miss Havisham seems to consume Estella. However, Miss Havisham and Estella verbally spar during the visit. Pip and Estella walk in the ruined garden. Pip is saddened and horrified to learn that Drummle is one of Estella’s suitors. When Pip tells Estella of his disappointment, she compares Drummle to a moth, noting that he can’t help but be attracted to a flame. She asks Pip if, like the other suitors, he wants to be “deceived” and “entrapped,” but this does not help him feel better about his circumstance.

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Pip is now 23, but his “expectations” of being engaged to Estella have not been met. He grows impatient. A thunderstorm at midnight brings an old sailor into Pip’s residence. Although it takes him a moment, Pip finally recognizes the sailor as the convict he met on the marshes when he was young. Pip is deeply disappointed to learn that after their meeting, the convict traveled to Australia, where he earned a fortune as a sheep rancher. To return Pip’s kindness, the convict arranged to sponsor Pip and make him a gentleman.

Instead of being thankful, Pip is disappointed that his benefactor is not Miss Havisham. To worsen the situation, Pip learns that the convict is on the lam. If found, he will be put to death. Pip feels sympathy for the convict and allows him to sleep in Herbert’s bed. The convict sleeps with a gun on his pillow. Pip is scared, and the weather does not help: The dark, rainy sky does not instill any hope in Pip.

Chapter Forty

In the morning, Pip is surprised to find himself still alive. He considers how to hide the convict, whose name he learns is Abel Magwitch. To conceal him from the servants, Pip decides to call Magwitch “Uncle Provis.” Magwitch created the alias for himself while on the ship from Australia back to England. Pip wants to ask Magwitch what he was tried for, but he does not. Jaggers confirms that Magwitch is Pip’s benefactor.

Analysis of Chapters Thirty-One to Forty

These chapters show how Pip is finally beginning to realize that he should not have treated his family as poorly as he has. As he remains in London, Pip’s misery grows. Magwitch’s appearance in his bedroom does little to soothe Pip. Although Pip has been in London to increase his gentlemanly manners, Magwitch’s behavior is quite the opposite. However, Magwitch’s appearance softens Pip. Pip finds himself sympathetic toward Magwitch’s desperate situation.

Still, Pip cannot hide his disappointment that Miss Havisham is not his benefactor. As he grapples with the fact that Magwitch—and not Miss Havisham—is his benefactor, Pip surprises himself with his feelings toward Magwitch. Although he is distressed that perhaps he and Estella are not meant to be together, Pip is shocked by the kindness of a supposed criminal. It is this experience that shows Pip that people should not be judged by their appearance, their label, or even their social class.

The news of his true benefactor further deflates his hope that Estella could possibly love him. When he receives word that Drummle has been courting Estella, Pip must come to terms with the notion that he has been fooling himself all along. Despite his gentlemanly training and tutorship, Pip would never be good enough to marry Estella.

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