September 17

“Do you want to be a gentleman, to spite her or to gain her over?”

Our classroom discussion was so interesting and productive today, let’s continue it online!  After you  read chapters 15-17, respond to any plot developments, characterizations, themes, literary elements or other ideas here.  One idea might be to look for other images that seem to recur in the text, but there are many other ideas as well.  I look forward to seeing how your thoughts develop over the course of the evening.

As always, please proofread your writing carefully for grammar, spelling, and punctuation and remember to reply to at least one other comment in this thread.

GE Blog #5

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Posted September 17, 2018 by equinson in category Great Expectations

46 thoughts on ““Do you want to be a gentleman, to spite her or to gain her over?”

  1. mylesn

    In chapter 15-16 we wind out that Ms. Joe was stuck in the head and and spine by an iron in which Pip believe’s it to be his convict’s iron. Joe states that the iron had been filled and this is what leads Pip to this conclusion.

    Pip also visits the Satis house again in hopes of finding Estella. When being confronted by Ms. Havisham he is asked if he was looking for Estella. Ms. Havisham has show increasing interest in Estella and Pip’s relationship. I think that she is testing them or just Pip in seeing who gets her fortune.

    I think in Pip’s life Estella and Biddy are exact opposites. Biddy is like Pip and Estella is on the other side of the spectrum. Estella is rich and has a negative influence on him and Biddy is poor and has a positive influence on him. After being with Estella he is ashamed of being home. He now starts talking to Biddy about these problems and he is not ashamed of his home.

    1. jaclynl

      I also think that Biddy and Estella are opposites. While Biddy seems to be helping Pip and guiding him in the right direction, Estella is making Pip’s self esteem worse

      1. Laila Sayegh

        I agree that Pip views Estella and Biddy as opposites. He must be so intrigued by Estella and not Biddy because she is the wealthy one of the two.

  2. Kate Ma.

    In these three chapters, we see Pip forcing himself to change instead of actually changing his outlook on his normal, common life. Biddy comes to live with Pip in order to help Mrs. Joe, who is ill from an attack from a unknown person. Pip decides to visit the Satis House, since he cannot seem to get over Estella. Pip comes to the conclusion that Estella is gone, and he’ll never see her again. Deep down Pip still is in love with Estella but he decides to overlook that love and force his love on Biddy. He hopes that Biddy will make him feel better and he will forget all about Estella. For example, “How could it be, then, that I did not like her much better of the two?” Pip refers to Biddy and Estella in this quote. I don’t think that Pip will ever get over Estella even if he tries to love Biddy, he will always end up loving Estella. Once a person has changed their outlook on their very own life it is difficult to come back and feel the same way you felt before. I think Pip understands this, he is just unsure what to do, so he resorts to trying loving Biddy.

    1. Brishti Sarkar

      I agree with you on Pip and how he will never stop loving Estella. I think Biddy will just remain a good friend of Pip.

    2. Hannah Pitkofsky

      I agree that Pip won’t stop thinking about Estella once he realizes she’s gone, but maybe that means that they might have a future together? Only time will tell!

    3. Hannah M.

      I agree that Pip is trying to change himself and is definetly developing a great relationship with Biddy. Also I agree that the attack was a tragedy.:(

  3. jaclynl

    There are a lot of plot developments in chapters 15-16 of “Great Expectations.” We begin to see that Pip is growing to miss Ms. Havisham’s, especially seeing Estella. He asks Joe for a half-holiday so he can go visit them and even though Joe doesn’t think it is the best idea, he lets him. When Pip arrives at Ms. Havisham’s, though, Estella is not there. This is upsetting, but Pip is invited back on every birthday of his. I think that the more time passes, the more Pip misses Estella. Even though she isn’t the nicest at times, he has grown to like her and believe everything she says, which is why I think that Pip is taking the “being common” thing so seriously.

    We also see in these few chapters that a few convicts have escaped and Mrs. Joe seems to be a victim of one of them. She was struck in the spine and head by a leg iron which Pip believes to be his convict’s. Now Mrs. Joe is unable to hear well, see well, or even speak, which Pip begins to feel guilty about if his theory is true about his convict.

    Lastly, Pip and Biddy have a deep conversation about how he’s feeling and how he wants to be a gentleman. Biddy gives very wise advice to not listen to what Estella said because she is not worth it. Pip then goes on to say that he wishes he could fall in love with Biddy instead because of how she treats him. In my opinion, I think that Biddy is what Pip needs in his life. While he is feeling insecure and ashamed at times, Biddy is there to help him and guide him in the right direction, while Estella has only ever made him feel worse. I think that as the plot continues to develop, Pip will begin to realize this and start to slowly give up Estella as he spends more and more time away from her. Overall, there were some major plot developments and changes in these few chapters that will definitely affect Pip’s future.

    1. trinityt

      I agree with you. Pip was feeling guilty because he believes that maybe his theory was right about his convict. Also, I agree with Estella being the reason why Pip take the being “uncommon” thing so seriously. Another thing I agree with is that Estella and Biddy are opposites of each other. While Estella is mean and makes Pip feel horrible of himself, Biddy makes Pip happy, and supports and helps him.

  4. Emma Garbowitz

    Throughout chapters 15-17 Pip’s perspective of things changes greatly and many new events occurred in the novel. First of all, a new character Orlick is introduced to the reader and he works as Joe’s Journeyman. He has a very distinct attitude and always seems to be grumpy and unhappy. Furthermore, he seems resent Pip and believes that he is stealing his job. He always thinks that he should get exactly what Pip gets and no man has special privileges. In my opinion, I find Orlick a very suspicious character based on his attitude and the way he portrays himself.
    Also, a dreadful thing happens to Mrs. Joe in the novel that changed everything in Pip’s life. After coming home with Mr. Wopsle from reading an indulgent book, Pip hears the news that Mrs. Joe was injured very badly and will be in a very unstable, mentally ill condition. Mrs. Joe was no longer able to comprehend things well, her vision and hearing were corrupted, and she could no longer speak clearly. However, she did have a better attitude and her whole personality seemed to change. Even worse than this, two convicts have done this to Mrs. Joe and Pip has a very good feeling it was his convict. He thinks this because she was struck in the back of her head with the iron that was filed off a while ago. Pip knows that this had to be his fault and most definitely felt this on his conscience.
    This caused a drastic change in their household and made everything much more difficult until Biddy arrived. Biddy began to take care of Mrs. Joe almost as her caretaker. She is a great helping hand and is beginning to make a deep connection with Pip. On a Sunday, Biddy and Pip both go on a walk together and Pip just discusses what has been on his mind lately.
    I think Pip is contradicting himself whether he should be with Biddy or Estella. He knows that Estella makes him feel terribly about himself but she is just so pretty that he cannot resist liking her so much. However, Pip wishes he could love Biddy because she is always sweet, kind, and always tries to help him. Pip has to decide whether he wants to be happy with Biddy or like Estella but always be feeling pain being around her. Also, I think Pip resents his life and wishes he has done things differently in order to end up differently, in one case with Biddy. I think Pip wants more in his life and wants to live up to his upmost, full potential and be satisfied with what he had done. I think he wishes he could’ve warned himself possibly about the life he has now so he can change certain aspects to make it better. Finally, I think Pip is still obsessing over seeing Miss Havisham and Estella. This is because he wishes he still could see them more occasionally and not annually just when it is his birthday. He still wants to be living in a little fantasy in which time is stopped and he could just be at the Satis house again.
    However, one thing I questioned throughout these chapters is why does Mrs. Joe keep asking for Orlick after the incident in which she is mentally ill? It is very odd since before she lost her memory, she was bickering back and forth with him and they didn’t seem to have a very friendly relationship.
    In conclusion, these chapters were very important and played a huge role in changing Pip’s perspective of things and what is going on in his life.

    1. mikaylaf

      I agree with the fact that Pip resents his life. I also agree with how you stated that Pip needs to decide between liking Estella or being with Biddy. All the points you make to support both arguments are very good. Pip is facing an internal conflict here, and I wonder what decision he will come to.

    2. mirandak

      I definitely agree with your point about Pip’s conflict between loving Biddy or Estella. He really needs to think thoroughly about the choice, and then make up his mind before someone gets hurt, or he makes a decision on a whim that he ends up not being happy with!

  5. mikaylaf

    In chapters 15-17, Pip’s character develops even more. For example, in the beginning of chapter 15 Pip is trying to learn more and more and to really gain a good education. He also says that he’s been trying to teach Joe what he’s been learning. I thought this was out of the kindness of Pip’s heart, but unfortunately, I was wrong. Pip tells the reader, “I wanted to make Joe less ignorant and common, that he might be worthier of my society and less open to Estella’s reproach.” (page 109) Therefore, Pip has not changed (yet) since the last chapters. Further into the chapter, Pip asks Joe if he can take half a day off to go see Miss Havisham. Pip makes it seem like he wants to visit to check on Miss Havisham, but the true reasoning behind his visit is that he wants to see Estella. However, when he goes he is met by Miss Sarah Pocket, not Estella. Pip is disappointed that Estella has gone away and he will not see her for a long time.
    In chapter 15 Dickens also introduces a new character, Orlick. Orlick works for Joe in the forge. He is surly and unfriendly and someone you would not want to spend your time with. In addition, Pip is convinced that Orlick doesn’t like him, for reasons such as “…he always beat his sparks in my direction, and that whenever I sang Old Clem, he came in out of time.” (page 113)
    In chapter 16, a horrible tragedy occurs. Mrs. Joe was severely injured by a mysterious convict (who may have been Pip’s convict), and now she is severely ill. To help Joe out, Biddy moves in. Biddy and Pip become even closer, and Pip even confides in Biddy. Pip tells her about how he wants to see Estella, and how he wants to have a wealthier way of life. But Biddy makes Pip see how he should be happy with his life. Pip realizes that he needs to get Estella out of his head, so that he can enjoy his life. I think Pip had a major change in character throughout these three chapters. In the beginning of chapter 15, he was still ashamed of his life and of Joe, but towards the end of chapter 17 he realizes how lucky he is and he starts to feel content. This change wouldn’t have happened without Biddy, and I am curious to see how she affects Pip in the future.

    1. Sophie

      I like how you said at the beginning how at first you thought Pip was teaching his lessons to Joe out of kindness, because I thought the same thing. I also agree with how you said you were curious to see how Biddy affects Pip’s future.

    2. emilyr6

      I agree with you that Pip is growing to be a selfish person. One of the first times we see how much he values himself over other people is when he taught Joe so that he wouldn’t be so “ignorant and common”.

      1. Emma Garbowitz

        I like how you stated your opinion throughout the whole paragraph and how you used evidence to support all of your thoughts to prove your point better. Also, I agree with you about how this change in Pip’s opinion wouldn’t have happened without Biddy. Therefore, I am also curious of how she will affect Pip in the future.

  6. emilyr6

    Chapters fifteen through seventeen are monumental in the development of Pip’s character. One of the most important events in these chapters is the vicious attack on Mrs. Joe. She was in the kitchen when someone tried to murder her with what Pip believes to be, the convicts file. He feels extremely guilty that he was the person who provided the weapon that nearly costed Mrs. Joe her life. Over the course of the next couple of months, Pip faces a lot of internal conflict on the topic of weather he should admit to providing the file. Ultimantly, he decides not to tell anyone, which is a reflection on his character, and how he was not strong enough to tell the truth.

    During the attack, Mrs. Joe was severely injured and now she needs to be watched at all times. Seeing as Joe and Pip are busy in the forge, they employed the help of Bitty to attend to Mrs. Joe. Biddy is a very caring person who would never try to make Pip feel bad about himself. Although she is not as beautiful as Estella, Biddy is still very pretty. In many ways, she is the complete opposite of Estella. In theory, Pip should like Bitty instead of Estella because she would be much nicer to him and she would not care if he was not rich. However, Pip is still drawn to the glamour of Estella’s lavish lifestyle and as a result he is denying himself the happiness that he could have had with Bitty. I predict that Pip will never realize that Bitty is a better choice than Estella, and he will spend so much time chasing after Estella and a life that he can not have.

    1. Casey

      I think you make a good point about Pip’s character being revealed from this point in the story. The fact that he continues to lie really shows a lot. He needs to find a way to tell the truth.

  7. Casey

    In the chapters I read tonight, the weight of Pip’s lies continue to grow. Ever since he helped the convict, he has been lying to his sister and Joe Gargery. His lies start to have consequences when his sister is brutally attacked by who Pip believes was the convict. He also thinks the weapon used to hurt his sister was the iron from the convict’s leg, and Pip stole the file used to remove it. Pip’s guilt increased as his sister is left without being able to move or speak. All she can do is write on a slate. I predict that Pips guilt and lies will only strengthen from this point on. I think he is too deep in to confess without ruining his relationship with Mrs. Joe Gargery and Joe. I hope Pip finds a way to resolve all the problems he caused.

  8. janem

    After reading chapters 15-17, I became interested in Pip’s relationship with Biddy. He has great trust in her, and has told her about his debacle with him liking Estella. I found it to be very interesting that Biddy was able to quickly understand exactly what Pip was feeling, “‘if it is to spite her,’…’I should think but you know best – that might be better and more independently done by caring nothing for her words. And if it is to gain her over, I should think – but you know best – she was not worth gaining over.'” (Page 129) Pip has been seen going back and forth with feeling miserable for how much he likes Estella, and then miserable about how harsh (and true) her words were. In many ways, I feel that Biddy balances out Estella because she is so different from her. For instance, Estella is very beautiful and uncommon, but her words are harsh and cold. Biddy on the other hand, is common and not exceptionally attractive, but is very clever, and kind to Pip. Estella made Pip feel so discontent with his simple lifestyle and commonality for months, but Biddy was able to make Pip realize that he will never be a gentleman, because thats just not who he is. She let him know that he can still have a happy and content life as a blacksmith, and also showed him that he could never be with Estella.

    I also noticed that in chapter 17, Biddy made Pip feel significantly different about his desires to be uncommon, and I think that Pip is beginning to have feelings for Biddy. I think hee is starting to fall for Biddy because of how kind and clever she is. Pip got very hot when Biddy brought up the thought of Orlick having feelings for her, which one can infer is because Pip likes her. He also felt very ill when Biddy said she was always just going to be his friend. Despite Biddy’s thoughts, is clear to say that Pip is much better suited for Biddy than Estella, and Pip is beginning to see that. Yet he is finding it very hard to let go of Estella’s words and her beauty, so whether he will settle on Biddy or Estella is undetermined.

  9. Sophie

    In chapters 15-17, lots of events happen. Pip gets used to live as Joe’s apprentice, Pip tries to visit Miss Havisham to see Estella, Mrs Joe gets attacked and looses her hearing and some sight, and Biddy moves in. One of the two things that stood out for me was Pips relationship with Biddy. He really trusts her, unlike anybody else except Joe. One night they take a walk, and Pip tells her all of his feelings including the ones towards Estella. Pip says, “She’s more beautiful than anybody ever was, and I admire her dreadfully, and I want to be a gentleman on her account.” (Pg 129). Biddy then gives him some advice, and they have some nice bonding time. The other thing that stood out for me was the way Pip reacted after Mrs Joe’s attack. Usually with people, their true personalities come out when they are in not so good situations. Pip was in a bad situation with Mrs Joe, because although nobody knew it, he was responsible for the person having the weapon. But, instead of telling anybody and even clearing up future confusion, he keeps it to himself and doesn’t tell anybody. This really shows that within Pips personality there are many lies. This also worries me because maybe in the future he could be put in a situation where he has to tell the truth, and he may not be so good at doing it.

  10. Sunna

    In chapters, 15, 16, and 17, the plot continued to develop. We meet a new characters named Orlick, Joe’s Journeyman. He feels that Pip is stealing his job and resents him for it. He always seems to be angry and I think that he will play a big part in the book later on. He seems to have something to hide and is extremely suspicious. In addition, Mrs. Joe is attacked, leaving her in bad shape, both physically and mentally. Her personality seems to change, and she becomes much more patient. Pip realizes that she was hit with an iron that was filed off. He feels very guilty, and thinks that his convict has something to do about it. Biddy also moves in to help Mrs. Joe, and grows closer to Pip. Pip is also debating between Biddy and Estella. He visits Ms. Havisham again, and is disappointed when Estella isn’t there. He wishes that he could fall in love with Biddy, who is kind and helpful. But he cannot stop thinking about Estella, no matter what he does. He is also still conflicted about wanting a better life. Pip still wants to live like Ms. Havisham and Estella do, and is still ashamed of himself for that. I think that Biddy would be so much better for Pip. Estella has done nothing but hurt Pip, but he will most likely continue to love her. He also needs to learn that money isn’t the only thing that matters. I hope that he tells Joe soon, who may talk some sense into him.

  11. Brishti Sarkar

    Throughout chapter 15-17, several significant changes in Pip’s life have been made that will most likely change the course of the story. In chapter 15, we are introduced to a new character, Orlick, who is also an apprentice under Joe and is not fond of Pip. One day, Pip and Orlick are released early, and Pip goes to Miss Havisham’s house, but Estella is not there and he leaves feeling even more depressed than when he arrived. Later that day, he had to rush home with Mr. Wopsle and Orlick to find that Mrs. Joe is unconscious in the kitchen and has been hit hard in the back of her head, and near her is a leg iron that has been sawed using a file. This makes Pip feel extremely guilty, because he feels that he might have played a part in the brutal attack on his sister. Mrs. Joe has trouble with hearing, seeing, and speaking, so she is given a chalkboard to help her communicate with them. Meanwhile, Biddy comes to live with the Gargerys and helps with Mrs. Joe’s disabilities. Every day, she asks for Orlick by drawing a hammer.

    In chapter 17, Biddy is shown to have had great development as a character. She often picks what Pip is learning, while also taking care of housework, chores, and errands. One summer’s day, Pip and Biddy take a stroll along the marshes and he confides in her about his longing to become a gentleman. He also tells her about Estella’s harsh words, and she provides thoughtful insight about his feelings. She says, “If it is to spite her… I should think – but you know best – that might be better and more independently done by caring nothing for her words. And if it is to gain her over, I should think, – but you know best, she was not worth gaining over.” (p. 129) She is perhaps one of the most wisest characters that we have seen so far, and acts like a mirror of Estella. Biddy guides Pip, builds him up, and respects him while talking to him in a gentle and soft manner. On the other hand, Estella often brings Pip down with harsh words that shatter his self confidence, and frequently takes active part in Pip’s misery to enjoy herself. All in all, Biddy seems like a wonderful character and I cannot wait to see her character develop further.

  12. Hannah M.

    In these chapters I read this evening, I noticed that Pip’s lies are increasing more and more. Ever since he met the convict and stole from the cupboard he has been telling lots of tall tales! There begins to be consequences along with these lies. First what surprised me was Pip’s sister, Mrs.Joe Gargery was attacked by strange man, who Pip believes is the convict, with what Pip believes was his iron from the convicts leg. Mrs.Joe Gargery was left with no ability to speak nor move. She was only able to write on a slate.

    What also intrigued me was Pip’s relationship with Biddy. He to trust her much more than anyone else with the exception of Joe. Joe tells Biddy about his feelings towards Etella and his feelings in general. Biddy gives Pip some advice and they continue to bond nicely. Biddy moves in and that makes Pip a little more excited to be home.
    I hope Pip finds the courage to confess to Mrs.Joe Gargery and his trust with Biddy continues throughout the novel. These chapters have me eager and ready to read more of this novel!

  13. Laila Sayegh

    In chapters 15 through 17 of Great Expectations, Pip’s character continues to grow.
    Starting with chapter 15, we learn that Pip is trying to obtain as much knowledge as he can from Mr. Wopsle’s great-aunt and with all of the information he gathers, he shares with Joe. He does this so Joe can seem uncommon and more wealthy and sophisticated. Pip is gradually forcing himself to be uncommon and to the best of his ability, trying to change his reputation. At this point, Pip is constantly thinking of Miss Havisham and especially Estella. He suggests to Joe that he should go visit Miss Havisham in the Satis House. Eventually, Joe gives him a half a day from his work as an apprentice and after a long argument between Mrs. Joe and Orlick, Pip visits Miss Havisham. When he sees Miss Havisham, she immediately has an aggressive tone with Pip, but all Pip wanted to do was see Estella. Havisham realizes this and tells him that Estella is learning French and isn’t available to become beautiful and sophisticated. In my opinion, Miss Havisham probably wants Estella to break Pip’s heart because Havisham’s heart was broken as well, hence the wedding dress and talk about Matthew.
    In chapter 16, we see Mrs. Joe has been beaten with a large piece of iron and the culprit is unknown. Pip has two suspects, Orlick or the convict. It could be Orlick because of him and Mrs. Joe had just been in a heated argument and it could be the convict because they found his iron leg where Mrs. Joe had been hit. With a few hints from an ill Mrs. Joe, we find out Orlick was the culprit, but this does show me that the convict’s story isn’t over. I hope to see more of him as we continue to read.
    In chapter 17, Biddy and Pip have a conversation in which Pip tells Biddy that he wanted to be uncommon. Pip opened up to Biddy and shared all of his feelings. Biddy was very doubtful of Pip’s aspirations. Although I hope Pip ends up liking Biddy more than Estella, it is not probable that that will happen because Pip is so obsessed with Estella’s wealth and luxuries that he is constantly thinking about her.
    Overall, Pip, his feelings, thoughts, and emotions have been all over the place and I hope he eventually is able to come to his senses and becomes grateful for what he has. His expectations for everything are becoming too high and he expects to have more than he already has, but that must be why the book is called, “Great Expectations”.

    1. Rcey Ortega

      I agree, Pip’s expectation are getting too high because in tonight’s reading, he was still ashamed of his home. He even thought of becoming a gentleman just for Estella.

  14. Hannah Pitkofsky

    Pip’s actions from last night’s chapters (12-14) and tonight’s chapters (15-17) greatly confused me. In chapter 14, he was ashamed of his home, his family, and his life. But then in chapters 15-17, he is helping his family more than he said he was going to and might accept Joe’s apprenticeship. That sounds good, but later on, he wants to go BACK to Ms. Havisham’s house and go back to the problems that he was stuck in in the first place. Also, when his sister got sick, he wanted to help Joe and the family make her feel better. Pip, also, in these chapters, tried to help find the culprit of the fire in his house (that he was ashamed of 2 chapters ago). His actions make me think many different and confusing thoughts about what he will do next. I know that this is the ending of the first third of the novel, so we shall see in future chapters what Pip decides to do, either be ashamed of his life and long for the lap of luxury or be grateful for what he has, and maybe be a contributor when those who need him will need him most. Maybe the book is called “Great Expectations” because Pip is setting lots of expectations and predictions for us and we have to figure it out. Maybe all will be revealed in the second and third parts of the story…

  15. mirandak

    Over the course of chapters 15 through 17, numerous momentous events occurred, new characters were introduced, and themes were being poked at through its entirety. Personally, I think these were some of the most compelling chapters within the novel so far, and they left me with such questions and curiosity that I didn’t want to put the book down.
    Firstly, towards the beginning of chapter 15, a moment that I almost overlooked, but now I find rather significant to point out is when Pip speaks of educating Joe. At first, this really warmed my heart to think about, as it shows just how deep of a bond the two share, and how Pip is so considerate about Joe and his traumatic childhood in which he wasn’t able to learn. However, as I continued to read, I quickly became horrified with Pip’s real reason for wanting to educate Joe. It wasn’t out of the goodness of his heart, but rather for his own benefit. Essentially, he was mortified and embarrassed of Joe, as he was “too common,” and so it was more of an effort to change or “improve” Joe’s image to other people (and therefore the rest of the household’s -Pip’s- as well). He tries to play it off as if it was in Joe’s best interest, but he’s honestly lying to himself so that he might not think about who he has become personality-wise. For instance, this is shown in the text when it states, “Whatever I acquired, I tried to impart to Joe. This statement sounds so well, that I cannot in my conscience let it pass unexplained. I wanted to make Joe less ignorant and common, that he might be worthier of my society and less open to Estella’s reproach. (p.109). This particular occurrence really opened my eyes to just how enormous the change of Pip’s disposition really was. Hopefully, later into the novel, someone (perhaps Biddy?) will waken Pip up from this horrible nightmare-like mentality that he has to be wealthy or “uncommon” to lead a good life.
    Furthermore, another certain event in chapter 15 that really caught my attention was when Pip asked Joe for a half-holiday so that he may visit Miss Havisham and Estella at Satis House. Soon into the conversation, Joe begins to go on a rant about giving Miss Havisham a gift, and eventually mentions a gridiron. Now, this might just seem like an ordinary conversation to anyone else, but how Joe describes the gridiron sounds like a major theme in the entire novel. For instance, in the text it states, “‘And the oncommonest workman can’t show himself oncommon in a gridiron – for a gridiron IS a gridiron,’ said Joe, steadfastly impressing it upon me, as if he were endeavouring to rouse me from a fixed delusion, ‘and you may haim at what you like, but a gridiron it will come out, either by your leave or again your leave, and you can’t help yourself–‘” (p.111) Essentially, what I took from this quote is that the gridiron kind of symbolizes Pip! Joe says that no matter how you try to change it or “fix it up,” or alter it will always be a gridiron. Although this might not have been the intention of Joe, I feel as if this was a prod at Pip and his desire for a luxurious lifestyle. He can gain money, an education, live in a fancy house, associate himself with the likes of Miss Havisham and Estella, but no matter what, he will really still be plain-old Pip (perhaps his reputation or “prestige” in accordance to the people of his town will improve, but his “true” image of who he really is will never change).
    Also, throughout these chapters, a new character referred to as Orlick is introduced. He works under his master, Joe, in the forge, and is quite moody most of the time. He seems very lazy, mannerless, rude, and defiant. He even insulted Mrs. Joe! For instance, this is shown when in the text it states, “‘You’re a foul shrew, Mother Gargery,’ growled the journeyman. ‘If that makes a judge of rogues, you ought to be a good’un.'” (p.114) He is quite an interesting character, but he still gives me the vibes of a villainous or evil character , and who could possibly commit a terrible crime later in the novel (because he is not confirmed to be the cause of the attack on Mrs. Joe, I can’t accuse him for certain of crimes).
    Moreover, a very massive occurrence within these chapters is that Mrs. Joe got brutally and fatally attacked when both Pip and Joe had not been at home! Although I had never liked her as a character, I still felt awful and such pity for her, as she was so physically and mentally wounded. After the attack, it was said that she laid very ill in bed, her vision and hearing debilitated, her strength lacking, and her speech impaired. But, the search for the criminal was not completely blind, as evidence was found that suggests certain themes. Firstly, on the scene there was found the leg-iron of a convict, that had been filed apart! This raised even more questions within me. Was the attacker the convict? If not, how did they gain access to this particular iron? Was it placed there purposely as a distraction? This also led me to believe that the convict will surely arise later on in the novel once again.
    Lastly, after Mrs. Joe is wounded and falls ill, Biddy comes to live with them and helps the household stay upright as there is such chaos with having to take care of Mrs. Joe. Biddy’s appearance delighted me quite a bit, as my prediction had come true! She was indeed becoming a bigger part of the novel! In addition, she began to get closer to Pip, and eventually, he ends up contemplating which of the two girls, Estella or Biddy, he liked more! He had admired Estella’s beauty from the very start, but at the same time, he knew that she could never treat him well, and the better person to love would be Biddy (so basically, he tries to force himself to love her, but rather he has always seen Biddy as a close friend, not a potential lover). I believe that Pip really needs to make up his mind, as he can’t be torn forever (for example, if he loved Estella more, he shouldn’t lead Biddy on and break her heart). Who will he choose? Will he make the best decision for himself? I can’t wait to read further and find out!

  16. Rcey Ortega

    In chapter 15, we meet a new character Old Orlick. Pip doesn’t like Orlick and neither does Biddy. Orlick doesn’t like Pip very much either. Towards the end of chapter 15, Pip’s sister, Mrs. Gargery was found lying on the floor, bleeding. It seemed to be an attack by convicts while Joe and Pip were out. She was hit with something blunt and heavy on the head and spine. As Joe picked her up, he found a convict’s leg iron that was filed.
    Pip thinks that he had something to do with it. Pip also thinks it might have been Old Orlick but doubts it because Orlick was with him. This incident made Pip’s sister very ill. She has impaired hearing, trouble speaking, trouble seeing and trouble with her memory. I think that Pip’s convict had something to do I with this, If not, Orlick. Maybe they’re in this together.

  17. angelicac1

    Chapters 15, 16, and 17 were very interesting chapters for me to read about Pip’s character change and thoughts. In chapter 15, Mrs. Joe is found to be in a unstable condition which caused her to be mentally ill. Her ability to see, hear, and speak have changed tremendously. This event has also caused Mrs. Joe’s attitude to change, which isn’t horrible. Now, she’s more patient which caused a lot of her personality to change. The victim of who caused this event to happen is what makes this more interesting. It is believed that one of the two convicts have put Mrs. Joe in this condition and Pip believes that it was his convict because of the filed off iron that was struck the back of Mrs. Joe’s head. Pip is aware that this situation was mostly Pip’s fault and this causes guilt to take over him. A conflict he starts to deal with internally is whether or not he should admit that he provided the file.
    In response to Mrs. Joe’s condition, Biddy starts to take care of Mrs. Joe. Not only is Biddy being a huge help to Mrs. Joe, but she is also is to Pip as well. On Sunday, Pip goes on a walk with Biddy and he discussed all the thoughts going on in his head about Estella. Biddy guides him on his feelings and how he feels about his life. I like Biddy because she’s caring and helpful to Pip while Estella brings out Pip’s side of feeling unsatisfied and ashamed.

  18. trinityt

    While and after reading chapters 15-17, I was quite excited to see the plot developments revolving around Pip.

    When Pip went back to Miss Havisham’s house, I can see that Pip was wanting to see Estella (he did want to see Miss Havisham as well, but he was more interested in seeing Estella again). However, Estella was abroad. So Miss Havisham took this opportunity to tell and make Pip feel like he had lost her, which supports the fact that Miss Havisham is the same as always with her personality and the way she acts toward the relationship between Pip and Estella. After his visit, Pip felt more “dissatisfied” with his “common” life, which were thanks to Miss Havisham.

    When Pip found out that Mrs. Joe was hit by the head and spine with the iron of his convict’s leg, he felt guilty because he was the one that gave his convict the file to remove the iron long ago. That was his theory. Due to the attack, Mrs. Joe was severely injured. She couldn’t really see, hear, and talk very well. Even her memory isn’t as good. Mrs. Joe’s severe injuries had made Pip feel more guilty. Pip wanted to tell Joe the truth, but he was too afraid to say it.

    I was really interested in Pip’s and Biddy’s relationship. When they were talking, Pip told Biddy that he wanted to be a gentleman to Estella because he likes her. Estella was the reason why Pip take the being “uncommon” thing so seriously. Biddy did not criticized nor judge him, but just simply giving him an advice that Estella was not worth it. Biddy and Estella are completely opposite of each other. Estella may be beautiful, but she make Pip feel low of himself and his life. However, in opposite of that, Biddy have never say mean things to Pip, and she supports him, and made him satisfied with his life. Biddy may not be pretty as Estella, but she is clever and kind.
    In my opinion, Biddy is better for Pip than Estella. Even Pip question why he didn’t love Biddy instead of Estella. Pip admired Estella because of her beauty. Maybe Biddy will show Pip that beauty, or looks, isn’t everything. I also did noticed that when Biddy told Pip that Orlick have feelings for her, Pip got very hot, which means that he didn’t like the idea of Orlick liking her because he like her, or starting to.

    I think that Pip will continue to develop his feelings for Biddy, and he will eventually have to choose between Biddy and Estella. Now, his feelings has not settle yet, so the choice between Biddy and Estella is undetermined for now. I’m looking forward to see what happens next and the choices Pip will make.

  19. stephaniec

    Throughout chapters 15-17, Pip’s character continues to undergo many changes and inner conflicts, including a terrible incident, a love triangle, and the decision of how he is going to live his life. At the beginning of chapter 15, we see the progression of Pip’s apprenticeship with Joe. In addition, we are introduced to a new character, Orlick. Orlick is Joe’s journeyman, who felt bitter towards Pip because he thought Pip was trying to steal his job. I think he will grow to be an interesting character and the readers will learn more about him.
    One night when Pip is on his way home he heared a gun being fired, signaling that a convict had escaped and next thing he knew, Mr. Pumblechook was yelling at him to go home because of a terrible accident. Pip sprinted home and found almost the whole town in his kitchen surrounding his sister! He soon found out that his sister was attacked by what is believed to be the work of the missing convicts. Nothing was touched or even stolen, the only evidence that was left behind was an iron that was filed. Pip was consumed with his emotions. He felt extremely guilty and worried that this was all his fault, and even though he did not commit the act, his previous actions are what caused his sister to be attacked. Mrs. Joe’s vision, hearing, and comprehension were all impaired. She was mentally and physically unstable and needed to be under constant care at all times. When things were going all in the wrong direction, Beddy came to the rescue. She supervised Mrs. Joe and took care of her all her needs. This event caused Pip and Biddy to become rather close. Pip opened up to Biddy and told her things he hasn’t even told Joe about. After they finished talking, he said that he wished he loved her and not Estella, however it was not that simple.
    I think that the love triangle between Pip, Estella, and Biddy shared a deeper meaning. Estella was part of the upper class, beautiful, and well respected, while Biddy was pure, wholesome, and uncommon. I think Biddy represented the poor and uncommon life Pip was uncontent with. Even though he wished he was content with it, he felt that it was the wrong destiny for him. However, Estella represented the life he was longing for. In spite of his strong desire for it, it was a time consuming goal(much like winning the affection of Estella). He thought this life will give him the glory and happiness he was destined for. I think Estella and Biddy represented the two lives Pip was having an inner conflict on, as well as the two characters themself.

  20. maxwellw

    In chapters 15 through 17 receives a reminder of his interactions with the convict when one is blamed for the attack on Mrs.Joe. Because of Pip’s strong moral sense, he feels extremely guilty for what happened to Mrs.Joe. In chapter 16, Pip even says that “it was horrible to think that I provided the instrument, however undesignedly.” In the next chapter though we come to the realization that Orlick is the true attacker. Pip still though, feels troubled. A conflict that is brought is when Mr. Pumblechooks play, which tells of a man who kills his uncle for money, is contrasted with Pip neglecting Joe for the promise of money and Estella. Biddy also decides to help nurse Mrs.Joe, which creates another interesting juxtaposition. Biddy seems to serve as a contrasting figure to Estella, as her kindness and plainness differ from Estella’s cold beauty, as well as Pip being able to open up to Biddy.

    1. Zoe

      You can definitely see Pip’s moral struggle in these chapters when he is trying to decide whether to tell Joe about his convict or not. I also agree that Biddy is a contrasting character to Estella and maybe Pip will be forced to pick. Who do you think he would choose? I believe that he would choose Estella, because for Biddy, he was tricking his mind to being happy for what he has instead of eager for more than what he is supposed to be.

  21. Zoe

    Chapters 15-17 were filled with plot twists throughout the events. Right away, in chapter 15, you meet Orlick, who creates many problems in the next chapters. He never liked Pip in the first place, nor did it seem like he liked his job at the forge. One day, when Pip wanted a day off for his half-birthday, to see Mrs.Havisham and Estella, Orlick gets upset at Joe that he would just let him off like that. When Joe jumps in and lets them both go, Mrs.Joe puts her word in about wanting to be a apprentice of Joe as well. However, this somehow enrages Orlick and he yells insulting things at her, at which she flies at the door, wanting to hurt Orlick, but it is locked. Joe beats up Orlick, then picks Mrs.Joe up and calms her down, and Pip is free to go up-town. These alarming sequence of events seem to happen out of the blue, but hold much importance. When Pip gets to Mrs.Havisham’s house, nothing exciting happens. He doesn’t even meet Estella which is all he wants; one more second with her to be accepted as a commoner but still loved and helped to become more educated by Mrs.Havisham. Pip walks back with Mr.Wopsle and Orlick, but when they get home, Mrs.Joe is unconscious on the ground with a filed leg iron on her body and the whole village in their yard. The iron could have been from his convict, but immediately I thought of how the strange guy from the bar who knew Pip’s convict had the file. Did the guy have more than just a file from the convict? Could he have been the one to break in to the house and knock out Mrs.Joe with something Pip helped to make? Was the guy at the bar the young man warning Pip? Later, when Mrs.Joe can only be in bed and can only write on a slate to communicate, Pip sees her constantly draw a figure that looks like a T. When Biddy comes to help out with caring for Mrs.Joe, she sees the strange symbol and brings in Orlick. Orlick is the only suggestion that she didn’t shake her head to, yet she didn’t say yes either. I think that Orlick may remind her of someone that did it to her, such as Joe. I know that he seems like a lovable, caring guy, but what if, deep down inside, he despises Mrs.Joe for all she’s done to Pip and him. Maybe this is Joe’s way of defending himself on Pip’s behalf. There are many different inferences I could make on the events that happened in these chapters, but I do think that these events will be very important for the storyline.

  22. Kate

    In chapters 15 through 17, Pip is shown to be wanting to spend the day at Miss Havisham’s house more and more, as he is fond of their lifestyle.these chapters further demonstrate how Pip is growing further apart from his family, and closer to Estella and Miss Havisham. One of Pips main goals is to impress Estella, which is what the quote, “Do you want to be a gentlemen? to spite her or to gain her over?” is most likely referring to. This can be further proven because in chapter 15, Miss Havisham states, “she has gone abroad… educating for a lady; far out of reach; prettier than ever admired by all who see her. Do you feel that you have lost her?”
    This made Pip upset because he felt as if he and Estella were forming a bit of a bond, and he did,t want to loose his relationship with her while she was away.
    Another example of Pip wanting to prove himself to, or be able to relate more to the upper class is when in chapter 15, when he is teaching Joe what he had learned in school (Which he had just completed) Pip reluctantly admits to himself that he was mainly teaching Joe so he would be more “Presentable” to Miss Havisham. Although if this is compared with the second chapter, it is shown how much Pip has changed, and he no longer educates Joe for their enjoyment. It now served more of a purpose to him other than just making his friend happy. My theory as to why Pip is acting like this all of the sudden is because he is being tested by Miss Havisham, to see if he is worthy to inherit her fortune when she dies. This is supported during the many times Pip visits Miss Havisham, and she continuously asks him the same questions, such as if he still thinks Estella is pretty, or if he is enjoying himself. She is testing to see if he will stay true to his family, and be grateful for what he has, even if he’s surrounded by wealthier individuals, whose life he envies.

  23. josepha4

    Chapters 15-17 are filled with meaningful events that are sure to play out in future chapters. They start with action and end the same way. Beginning with Pip continuing his self destructive path to wanting to be accepted by people like Estella and Mrs. Havisham, he is never content with what he has. Maybe this could be considered a good thing to strive to do better? But I believe that his thoughts of wanting to be uncommon are consuming his everyday life and becoming a hazard to his well being, making him blind to what great things he has in front of him such as Biddy and Joe. Pip tells Joe that he wishes to see Estella and have a day off, his excuse is that it’s his half holiday. When he finally gets to Mrs. Havisham’s house after a large commotion between Mrs. Joe and another apprentice of Joe’s, he is greatly saddened when he hears that Estella is not there. This is a sad path of wanting someone who will never feel the same way. Still chasing this dream knowing that it might destroy him. He chooses to ignore the fact that Biddy, a girl who is caring and warm and interested in him and is good for him is not the one he loves. It’s Estella he wants. Another important event in the story is the assault of Mrs Joe in her own home. The evidence of the crime suggests it was a convict due to the iron shackle left at the scene. Though Pip has had many encounters with different convicts he cannot be sure about who it was that committed the crime. With Mrs. Joe recovering from the attack she has one bizarre behavior , she has a drawing that nobody can understand, that is except Biddy, it seems that Mrs. Joe wants Orlick to be around for a reason that we don’t know. There are so many questions waiting to be answered. All we can assume as readers however, is that these events are here for a reason and they are telling many different story’s at once. One of a boy who is beginning to become Envious of others. One of a woman who is heartbroken and forcing it upon others, and one about a nasty lady who was assaulted and many other more. All the different stories will tie together at the end to make a very interesting conclusion.

    1. Maddie

      In chapters 15-17, lots of important things happen. One of which being the break in at Pip’s house. Someone came into the house and hit Mrs. Joe on the head and spine with what Pip later finds out to be Joe’s file. Now Mrs. Joe Gargery is greatly impaired with speech, hearing, and sight. The only good thing that came out of this situation is that now, Mrs. Joe is much more patient and cannot go “on the rampage.”Another interesting and important event that happened in these chapters was Biddy’s arrival at Pip’s house. As Biddy stays at Pip’s house, they have meaningful conversations with each other and become good friends. Pip wants to be with Biddy, but she says that it is highly unlikely that they can be together, and that makes Pip sad. Lots of important and meaningful events happened in these chapters, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  24. MadiR

    In chapters 15 through 17 the plot develops and there are many changes that may impact the rest of the novel. Pip can no longer be taught at Mr. Wopsle’s great- aunt’s room because he is too big. Before Pip finished learning at the room, however Biddy did teach him everything she knew. Some Sunday’s Pip even teaches Joe so he can be come less ignorant and common. Pip was thinking about Estella and Ms. Havisham one day and asked Joe if he could take half a day off to make a visit. Joe reluctantly decides to let Pip go after work on Monday. We are then introduced to Dolge Orlick Joe’s journeyman. when Pip reminded Joe of his half a day Orlick asks for one too. Joe finally lets everyone take a half holiday. So Pip makes his way to Ms. Havisnam’s house and Pip is upset with the out come. Estella is away and Ms. Havisham practically kicks him out. For the rest of the night Pip goes with Mr. Wopsle to Uncle Pumblechook to have tea and read. While Pip was walking home with Mr. Wopsle there was a heavy mist but they keep going and on the way they pick up Orlick to walk back with them. When they got back to the town they realize something is wrong at Pips house. When practically the whole town is there. When Pip walks in he sees Pip’s sister knocked out on the floor with no scene or movement. Mrs. Joe is very ill and it is going to take a while for her to recover. Biddy ends up coming to help and she understands Mrs. Joe better then Pip and Joe. One day Pip was feeling down so he asks Biddy to go for a walk with him where Pip realizes he should not like Estella any more. “Because, if it is to spite her, Biddy pursued, I should think – but you know best – that might be better and more independently done by caring nothing for her words.” I think that Pip and his life have changed a lot this chapter and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  25. johnh1

    I feel that these chapters felt weird because they seemed to fit so many things in to such a short amount of time. When Orlick is suspected to be the attacker of Mrs. Joe I just wanted to know more about him. He was only introduced recently and I wish I knew more about him before this event so I could learn about his motivations and personality. I also wish we had seen more of Biddy earlier. She was done much better than Orlick she was only introduced recently. Apart from this, I do like the character and hope and expect to see more of Biddy.


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