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Summary Chapter 22

 

CHAPTER 22

Mr. Pocket’s memory of the incident is different from Pip’s. He remembers getting more blows and being triumphant. Pip allows him to continue believing that.

Mr. Pocket asks Pip if he had just received his good fortune, and Pip confirms this. Herbert Pocket, the boy’s full name, says he had been seeking his fortune back then. Miss Havisham had invited him to visit to see if he would interest her. He didn’t. Had he been successful, he might have been betrothed to Estella and provided for. He is relieved, though, that it didn’t work out—for he doesn’t like Estella. Estella, Pip learns, is adopted and has been raised to take revenge on the opposite sex. Pip asks why, and Herbert says he’ll tell that story at dinner.

Herbert asks Pip how he came to know Miss Havisham, and Pip explains. Herbert tells him that Mr. Jaggers is the only person who has Miss Havisham’s trust. Jaggers knows Herbert’s father through Miss Havisham, though his father hasn’t associated with her in years.

Pip likes Herbert’s open, easy manner. He is a man full of hope, but Pip realizes he will never have a fortune. Pip gives a brief summary of his past since Herbert has been so frank with him, and he asks his help in improving his manners. Herbert agrees. He corrects Pip’s table etiquette as he tells the story of Miss Havisham. He manages these corrections tactfully so not to embarrass Pip.

Miss Havisham’s mother died when she was a baby, and her father spoiled her. He later married his cook in secret and had a son by her. When she died, this son came to live with him. The son was a bad sort. His father disinherited him, but on his death bed he changed his mind and left him a small fortune. Miss Havisham was his main heir. The brother went through his inheritance quickly. He resented his sister, who he blamed for making his father angry with him.

Miss Havisham was considered quite a catch. There was a man that was very showy, though he couldn’t be considered a gentleman, who courted her. She fell madly in love with him. He convinced her to give him a great deal of money and to buy out her brother’s share of the brewery. Matthew Pocket warned her that she was doing too much for this man and allowing him too much control over her. She accused him of resenting her fiancé because it interfered with him fawning on her. She ordered him from the house, and he hasn’t seen her since.

On her wedding day, she gets a letter from her fiancé, calling the marriage off. She stops the clocks. She falls ill, and when she recovers, she lets the house fall into decay. She never sees the sun again.

Herbert has pieced this story together over the years. His father refuses to speak about it. He knows that the fiancé had been in league with Miss Havisham’s brother. Pip wonders why the man didn’t marry her to get the property. Herbert points out that the man may have already been married, or maybe part of the brother’s scheme was to humiliate Miss Havisham. The two men fell into deeper degradation and ruin, but Herbert doesn't know how they ended up.

Herbert tells Pip about his employment in a counting house and his dreams of one day becoming a trader. He is looking for his opportunity.

Herbert takes Pip to his father’s house a few days later. The Pockets have seven children besides Herbert. 

Charles Dickens