Study Guide

Great Expectations Chapter 35

By Charles Dickens

Chapter 35

  • Pip is rocked by his sister's death. It's the first death that he's encountered in his grown-up life, and he can't stop thinking about Mrs. Joe in her rocking chair by the fire.
  • She may have been a mean old snake, but he still feels like he should hunt down Orlick, who he believes is the cause of her death.
  • The funeral turns out to be a big, old spectacle. Joe is very sad. Trabb is arranging the funeral, and makes the pall bearers (Pip included), carry Mrs. Joe's casket across town. Trabb throws a black sheath over the casket, and it covers the pall bearers' heads so they look like a giant, many-legged monster-bug.
  • Mr. Pumblechook is being uber annoying, as usual. He keeps drinking all the alcohol, preening Pip, and taking credit for Pip's rise to fame and fortune.
  • After the funeral, Joe and Pip chat about old times. At night, it's time for Pip and Biddy to do the same thing.
  • When he asks what she'll do with her life now. Biddy sassily responds that she's going to be a schoolmistress and will be just fine, thank you very much.
  • Biddy says that one day around tea-time, Mrs. Joe asked for Joe. Joe came to her and she simply said, "Joe," "Pardon," and "Pip." And then she just died.
  • Also, Orlick has been hanging around Biddy, watching her, and being up to no good. Pip is enraged. He wants to hunt Orlick down, but Biddy tells him to simmer down.
  • Then the conversation turns a bit awkward as Pip promises Biddy he will come home often to take care of Joe. Biddy just doesn't believe him, and she conveys this through silence.
  • Pip is annoyed, heartbroken, and altogether sad that Biddy would think that, even though, come on, she's totally right.
  • Pip sleeps in his old room that night and is proud of himself for doing so rather than sleeping at the fancier Blue Boar inn. Good job, Pip. Gold star for you.
  • The next morning, he watches Joe in the window of the forge. Joe looks young, strong, and sunshiny.
  • Biddy gives Pip milk and bread for the road and tells him she's sorry if she hurt his feelings.
  • Pip leaves the forge, promising to return soon.
  • Guess what? The mists are rising. We know—shocking.
  • The mists are like Pip's crystal ball and, in them, on this particular day, he sees that he will not be coming home soon at all. Liar, liar, pants on fire.