Study Guide

Great Expectations Chapter 12

By Charles Dickens

Chapter 12

  • Pip is pretty sure that he's either going to be thrown in prison for life or be pummeled to a pulp by a gang of rich kids for having hit (twice) the random, pale little boy in Miss Havisham's garden.
  • But nothing happens!
  • When he returns to Miss Havisham's, Pip visits the scene of the fight. He covers up some dried blood on the pavement with some leaves and calls it a day.
  • Pip starts a new ritual at Satis House—he pushes Miss Havisham in a garden-chair-on-wheels (you know, a wheelchair) around and around her dressing room and wedding feast room. For almost three hours.
  • During one of these indoor adventures, Miss Havisham notices that Pip is tall, and she asks him what he's going to do with his life. He tells her he intends to apprentice with Joe.
  • The ritual continues over the course of many months.
  • Estella remains frosty, and Miss Havisham continues to give her jewels and to coach her in the ways of breaking men's hearts.
  • One day, Miss Havisham tells Pip to bring Joe with him the next time he visits.
  • When Pip relays the message at home, Mrs. Joe is furious that she isn't invited. Her method of coping is to tear up the entire house and subject everything to a deep cleaning, which is at least better than some we can think of.