Study Guide

Great Expectations Chapter 32

By Charles Dickens

Chapter 32

  • Estella is coming to town! Yeehaw! Pip gets a note that has neither a greeting nor a signature. It just says, basically, "Pip, come pick me up day after tomorrow. Noonish."
  • There's not enough time to order new clothes, which is a bummer. Also, Pip can't sleep or eat. He spends his time hanging around the carriage house for fear that Estella arrives early.
  • On the day of her arrival, he shows up at the carriage house five hours early. Does this man have a day job, or what?
  • Fortunately, he runs into Wemmick who invites Pip to accompany him on a short visit to Newgate prison. Fun!
  • When in the prison, Pip notices how Wemmick is like Elvis to the prison guards and to the prisoners themselves. They adore him, and they see him as their ticket to freedom and greatness.
  • Wemmick introduces Pip to a colonel who is a little loco. Wemmick tells the man that he doesn't think his trial is going to turn out very well. The colonel thanks Wemmick and shakes his hand. Oh, but could the crazy man get him some pigeons? Sure? Great! Wemmick is going to be a pigeon-owner!
  • The prison guards ask Wemmick lots of questions about Jaggers' various cases, but Wemmick dusts them off. He and Pip leave the prison, and Wemmick discusses how feared and magnanimous Jaggers is to the criminals of London and to London itself. The boys say goodbye to each other.
  • Pip feels weird. He thinks about how Estella is the antithesis of Newgate prison. He wonders why criminals always find their way into his life, ever since he was a little boy. He wishes he had never gone to the prison, and feels like he smells like a prison instead of Polo Sport.
  • But at least all this has made time go by. Pretty soon, Estella is waving at him from the carriage window.