Discovering Dickens - A Community Reading Project

Discovering Dickens

Community Reading Project

Charles Dickens

Great Expectations

Historical Context



<i>Great Expectations</i>

Notes on the Novel

• Maps and Illustrations
• Key to Allusions
• Glossary of Historical Things and Conditions

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Previously, in Great Expectations...

Last time, Pip commenced his tutorial with Matthew Pocket, and we became acquainted with the rather disorderly Pocket household in Hammersmith -- the absent-minded Mrs. Pocket, who fancies that she married below her station, and is continually absorbed by a book about the gentry; the nurses and servants, who have the run of the place; a number of children, all in a state of general neglect; and Matthew Pocket himself, given -- as a result of the preceding circumstances -- to the gesture of lifting himself up by the hair. We were also introduced to two of Pip's fellow students -- the amiable Startop, and the sulky Drummle. Pip took to boating at Hammersmith and offered a share of his boat to Herbert. (Herbert and Pip have become close friends, and intend to lodge together permanently.)

Also in the last issue, Pip had two dinner engagements: The first was with Wemmick, who has a pleasant home -- a sort of "castle" in Walworth, with a moat, a drawbridge, and an Aged Parent. Wemmick distinguishes between office and home -- between his professional sentiments and those of his "private and personal capacity" -- and Jaggers knows nothing of the Walworth Wemmick. Pip's second dinner was with Jaggers himself; Herbert, Startop and Drummle went with him. It was a disconcerting occasion: Jaggers introduced his housekeeper to the young men, making her display the scars on her wrists at the dinner table.


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