Study Guide

Great Expectations Chapter 10

By Charles Dickens

Chapter 10

  • Pip gets the notion in his head that he needs some schooling in order to become uncommon.
  • The only problem is that Pip's narcoleptic school teacher, Mr. Wopsle's great aunt, can't teach a thing to anybody, because she's too busy sleeping in her room/grocery store/schoolhouse.
  • Fortunately, Biddy comes to the rescue. Biddy not only agrees to teach Pip everything she knows about reading, writing, and arithmetic, but she also takes on the task of teaching all the children in town.
  • One night after school, Pip stops at the Three Jolly Bargeman pub to collect Joe. He finds Joe, Mr. Wopsle, and a strange man next to the roaring fire, drinking rum and smoking pipes.
  • The strange man looks at Pip through squinty eyes and seems to recognize him. Creepy.
  • Pip decides to sit next to Joe, even though El Weirdo summons him to sit with him.
  • This mystery man is very curious about Pip and about how Pip is related to Joe.
  • Mr. Wopsle is tanked and reciting lines from Shakespeare's play, Richard III.
  • The mystery man keeps rubbing his leg, and, suddenly, he pulls out a file and starts stirring his drink with it. Pip's little heart is atwitter, because he recognizes that file to be the very same file he stole out of Joe's smithy to give to the escaped convict.
  • The mystery man watches Pip the whole time knowingly.
  • As the men get up to leave, the mystery man gives Pip some change wrapped in a piece of paper. Pip is stoked about the money, but still freaked out about Mr. International Man of Mystery.
  • When he unwraps the paper at home, he realizes that the paper is actually money itself—a lot of money.
  • Joe runs back to the pub to return it, but the mystery man is gone, so Mrs. Joe stuffs the money in a tea pot to keep it safe.
  • Pip has wild dreams all night long.