© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Great Expectations

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations Chapter 18 Summary

  • Pip has been apprenticing for four years when, one Saturday night at the Three Jolly Bargemen, something happens.
  • Pip and the boys are sitting around the fire listening to Mr. Wopsle give a dramatic reading about a recent murder when a mysterious man butts in and asks the group who they believe to be the murderer.
  • After some very lawyerly cross-examination, the man says that he wants to speak with a blacksmith named Joe Gargery and his apprentice, Pip. Whaaaa?
  • Pip, Joe, and the strange man walk home, where we find out that Mr. Mystery #2 is Mr. Jaggers, a London lawyer, who has come to tell Pip about his "great expectations."
  • He's about to inherit a huge fortune and will be made into a London gentleman.
  • !!!
  • Mr. Jaggers offers Joe money to compensate for losing an apprentice, but he refuses—and he's not too happy about being offered it, either.
  • Pip's benefactor will remain unknown to him until he/she chooses to reveal himself/herself, but in the meantime, Pip needs an education. How about Mr. Matthew Pocket, Miss Havisham's estranged relative, as a potential tutor?
  • Pip accepts.
  • Pip and Joe are speechless throughout this entire encounter.
  • Mr. Jaggers gives Pip twenty pounds to buy new clothes, offers Joe money again, gets rejected—quite violently—again, and then heads off.
  • Everyone is kind of blown away by this whole thing, but they try to be happy for Pip.
  • In bed, he overhears Joe and Biddy saying nice things about him, and, for some reason, he's lonelier than he's ever been before in his entire life.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement