Study Guide

Great Expectations Chapter 52

By Charles Dickens

Chapter 52

  • Pip goes straight to the shipyard guy Clarriker with his check, and arranges funding for Herbert's new job.
  • Clarriker tells Pip that he's planning to open a new business in the East (i.e., Middle East) which he hopes Herbert will run.
  • Pip is glad for his friend, but also really saddened by the thought that he will have to say goodbye to Herbert soon.
  • When Herbert discovers he's been offered a new position, he's totally psyched. He imagines what it will be like when he, Clara, and Pip are living in Cairo together, chilling with the pyramids.
  • Wemmick sends a cryptic message to Pip telling him that next Wednesday will be the ultimate day to escape with Magwitch.
  • Pip and Herbert lay down plans for their Mission Impossible. They decide to include Startop in the plan, since Pip can't use his arm anymore and won't be able to row.
  • When all of the details are set, down to who will bring the passports and what ships they will try to catch, Pip receives another cryptic note, but not a nice one.
  • It tells him that he'd better come to marshes tonight if he wants information about his "Uncle" "Provis."
  • Creepy. So, Pip has a decision to make. If he wants to obey the message, he's to go to the marshes tonight—but tomorrow is the Great Escape.
  • Pip catches the last carriage to the marshes, and decides to rest at a little inn where no one will know him. The innkeeper tells the story of a local boy who struck it rich by means of a mysterious benefactor and who spurned those who loved him most. Pip, not revealing that he's that same, local boy, plays along. He asks who the local boy has spurned, and the innkeeper tells him that Pumblechook is the victim.
  • This sends Pip over the edge, for he knows that Joe, the man he truly has mistreated, would never, ever complain. He sees Mr. Pumblechook as an imposter and as an absolute twerp.
  • Pip can't eat any of his dinner, so he heads out into the cold, dark, and windy marshes to meet the mysterious person.