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Summary Chapter 9

 

CHAPTER 9

Mrs. Joe is very curious about Miss Havisham and asks Pip a lot of questions. She starts hitting Pip when he doesn’t answer them satisfactorily.

Pip often feels misunderstood and doesn’t believe his observations of Miss Havisham would be acceptable. He also feels a desire to protect Miss Havisham and Estella from the vulgar curiosity of their inferiors. Therefore, he says little and suffers getting smacked around for it.

Uncle Pumblechook also questions Pip, who becomes even more reticent. Pumblechook tries to establish a rapport by asking more math problems. Pip obstinately gives the wrong answers, getting boxed behind the ears by his sister for it.

Pip finally lies about what happened at Miss Havisham’s, particularly as he realizes that Mr. Pumblechook has never seen her. He describes having tea on gold plates and being surrounded by lavish things.

Uncle Pumblechook believes Pip. He says he only speaks to Miss Havisham through a door but has never laid eyes on her. Pip adds a few things that are true, like the house being lit with candles rather than day, which makes his lies more believable. He is in danger of betraying himself, but his sister and Uncle Pumblechook are satisfied and question him no further.

Uncle Pumblechook and Mrs. Joe have grand hopes that Miss Havisham will help Pip’s future in some way. Joe only thinks it is possible that she’ll give Pip a token gift, which angers his wife.

Pip admits to Joe later that he lied about everything. He can’t stand lying to Joe. Pip tells Joe how he felt cornered by Uncle Pumblechook and Mrs. Joe. He tells Joe about how Estella thinks he is common and how bad that makes him feel.

Joe tells Pip that he shouldn’t tell lies. It isn’t a good way to alter his situation. He tells Pip that everyone has a common start before they make something of themselves. A king learns the alphabet just the same as a commoner does. Joe warns Pip that it is a bad idea to start lying and becoming crooked to alter his situation. It is better to be honest and live a good life.

This day is memorable for Pip, for that is the day that he decides to make changes in his life. 

Charles Dickens