Study Guide

Great Expectations Chapter 4

By Charles Dickens

Chapter 4

  • Double whew, because no one suspects Pip has been up to no good when he returns home.
  • Everyone's getting ready for Christmas dinner with Mr. Wopsle (the clerk at church), Mr. Hubble (the wheelwright), Mrs. Hubble (the wheelwright's wife), and Mr. Pumblechook (Joe's uncle).
  • It's a nerve-wracking dinner. What will Mr. Pumblechook do when he tastes the watered-down brandy or when his sister discovers that the pork-pie is gone? (Hopefully celebrate, because pork-pie doesn't sound appetizing.)
  • Pip is too busy worry about what the Tickler will do to him to eat much.
  • Mr. Pumblechook tries the brandy, only to launch into a coughing fit. Pip accidentally filled the brandy bottle with tar water to make it seem like nothing had been stolen.
  • Everyone is totally confused as to how tar water could have possibly found its way into the bottle.
  • When Pip's sister goes to get the famous pork-pie, the crowning Christmas delight, Pip can't take it anymore. He bolts for the door in the hopes of escaping the Tickler's wrath ....
  • … and he runs right into a party of soldiers at the Gargery doorstep.
  • Uh-oh.