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Summary Chapter 11



Pip goes to Miss Havisham’s. Estella takes him to a different part of the house. The room she takes him to has other guests—three ladies and a gentleman. Pip feels embarrassed as they stare at him. Pip judges them as toadies and humbugs. The guests are waiting for Miss Havisham and seem bored. A bell rings, and Estella summons Pip—who receives contemptuous looks by the other guests.

Estella asks Pip if he still thinks she is pretty and insulting. Pip admits she is very pretty, but not as insulting as last time. Estella slaps him and asks what he thinks of her now. He refuses to say. She accuses him of planning to tattle to Miss Havisham. He says he won’t. She asks why he doesn’t cry. He tells her he won’t ever cry for her again, though this is a lie—for he feels like crying then.

They encounter another gentleman on the stairs. He asks who Pip is and scrutinizes him. Estella says he is just a boy. Pip doesn’t realize that one day this gentleman will mean something to him. The man tells Pip to behave himself.

Since Pip is not willing to play, Miss Havisham asks if he is willing to work. Pip says yes. She orders Pip to wait in another room until she comes.

The room is covered in mold and dust. There is a centerpiece on the table covered in cobwebs and dust. Spiders are crawling out of it. He hears mice in the walls. Beetles are scurrying on the floor.

Miss Havisham enters and tells him this is where people will view her when she is dead. She asks Pip what he thinks the centerpiece on the table is. He has no idea. She tells him it is her bride cake. With Pip’s assistance, she walks around the room. She orders him to call Estella.

Estella brings the visitors. Camilla tells Miss Havisham she often thinks of her. Miss Havisham doesn’t believe her. Camilla insists that her concern affects her health and nerves. Nobody has ever thanked her for it. She isn’t like Matthew, who never comes to visit Miss Havisham.

Miss Havisham replies that Matthew will come to see her when she is dead. She assigns their sitting places around her corpse. Camilla decides she has done her obligatory visit and can put her mind at ease.

The guests leave. Miss Havisham tells Pip it is her birthday. She warns him not to refer to it. Her bride cake was brought on her birthday. She hopes she dies on her birthday. She hopes to be the finished curse upon some man. She then orders Pip and Estella to play some cards. She tries on jewels against Estella, making Pip notice her beauty more.

When Pip is wandering the property later, he encounters another boy around his age. The boy wants him to fight with him. Pip easily knocks him down again and again, but the other boy keeps getting up. Finally, the boy declares Pip the winner. Pip admires the boy’s spirit.

When Estella meets him at the gate, she is looking flushed. She allows him to kiss her. Though he wants to, the kiss seems to be given in charity, and it doesn’t feel the same. 

Charles Dickens