Study Guide

Great Expectations Chapter 37

By Charles Dickens

Chapter 37

  • The following Sunday afternoon, Pip decides to visit Wemmick's castle. When he arrives, the Aged greets him and tells him that Wemmick is out. He lowers the drawbridge.
  • The Aged and Pip enjoy each other's company in the meantime, and Pip makes the Aged laugh really hard by saying something that was not that funny. A lot of nodding happens.
  • Then a little wooden flap in the living room goes flying. The name "John" is written on the flap, and the Aged proclaims that his son is home.
  • Pip meets Wemmick, who salutes at him—which is funny because (though the drawbridge is drawn) the moat is small enough for Pip to reach across and shake Wemmick's hand.
  • Wemmick has a lady friend with him... Her name is Miss Skiffins, and she seems nice even though she made the stylistically dubious decision to wear orange and green.
  • Now, Pip asks Wemmick for advice as to how best to finance Herbert's career without him ever knowing.
  • Turns out, there's a shipping merchant in town named Clarriker who is looking to expand his company.
  • The four have tea and sit around the fire, while Pip watches Wemmick try to sneak his arm around Miss Skiffins' waist, which is apparently the 19th century equivalent of feeling up a girl.
  • Pip goes home after a cozy night at Wemmick's, hopeful that his "expectations" might do some good after all.
  • Narrator Pip tells us that one of the turning points of his life was about to take place, but that he's going to first devote a chapter to Estella and to his relationship with that cold lady.

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