October 4

It’s up to you!

Tonight, please respond to Chapters 51-53 in any way you choose.  These chapters seem fairly varied to me, full of interesting details that may lead you to new questions or understandings about the themes and motifs presented in Great Expectations.  You may choose a close reading of one small passage or scene, or you may choose to address the larger thematic questions touched upon in these chapters.  Also, I’m thinking that we can use your responses to focus our discussion in class.

As always, be sure to use specific details from the text in your response and be sure to comment on at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #16

Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

Posted October 4, 2018 by equinson in category Great Expectations

44 thoughts on “It’s up to you!

  1. Myles Ng

    In theses chapters we see once again how Dickens can make two unrelated this completely intertwined. We find out who actually hurt and basically murdered Pip’s sister. This is very interesting that a character that was almost completely out of the picture comes back in and plays such a major role. It was Orlick. He does this out of revenge. Orlick accuses Pip of coming between him and love. Orlick had liked Biddy and Orlick thinks that Pip telling her that she was too good for him strewed up his chances. He also states that he knows about Magwitch and has some sort of relationship with Compeyson. This is the second piece of information that we hear about Magwitch’s past. Pip has aslo questioned Mr. Jaggers about Magwitch. Pip only got him to say this information by appealing to Wemmick’s human side. Mr. Jaggers not knowing that this side exists is very surprised and divulges that Estella is indeed Molly’s daughter, though he had no clue about Magwitch. Orlick to exact his revenge on Pip sends him and anonymous letter telling him to meet him in the marshes. There he is ambushed by Orlick, his candle extinguished and boun d extremely tight. “Not only were my arms bout to my sides, but the pressure on my bad arm caused me exquisite pain.” Pip knowing that he could very well die in the hands of a drunken Orlick decides to engage in a conversation to delay his death. “in the end Pip is saved by Herbert and group of men, but Orlick manages to get away. I for one had at first thought that it was Compeyson who had originally wrote the note. I thought he was there to exact his revenge on Magwitch by using Pip. The note being written by Orlick and seeing how Orlick played such a big role in the story was a surprise to me. I think Orlick will try to finish the job and attack Pip at least one more time.

      1. Emma Garbowitz

        I agree that Orlick may come back and attempt to hurt Pip again. Who knows what he will possibly attempt to do the next time.

  2. Emma Garbowitz

    Throughout these past three chapters, huge events occur that changed my suspicions about some things. First of all Pip gets this odd letter from an anonymous person to meet him back in the marshes at the little sluice-house by the limekiln. The person who wrote the letter states that he has information of Provis that he will tell Pip if he decides to come. Pip contradicted whether going there or not but eventually ends up going. Once Pip arrives, he is violently attacked by someone, but who? Well, once the candle light was shining on the man’s face, Pip discovers it was Old Orlick who had kidnapped him.
    Throughout the time Pip was held in captivity by Orlick, Orlick told Pip many interesting things. One thing that Pip was told by Orlick was that he was the person who struck Mrs. Joe on the back of her neck, nearly killing her. Once knowing this, Pip is extremely shocked and feels terribly now knowing who performed this terrible deed. The text states, “I come upon her from behind, as I come upon you tonight. I giv’ it her! I left her for dead, and if there had been a lime kiln as nigh her as there is nigh you, she shouldn’t have come to life again.” This shows how it was Orlick who clearly killed Mrs. Joe out of his hatred for Pip. As well as, after Mrs. Joe was in her poor mental state, she would draw a picture of a hammer and Biddy figured that she meant that she wanted Orlick to come see her. However, I think that she was trying to tell Pip and Biddy in her own way that this is what Orlick used in his attempt to kill her. I think this because right before Pip is saved by his supporters, it says that he sees Orlick holding a very big, heavy hammer, which reminded me of what Mrs. Joe was drawing before. The text states, “Then with a sudden hurry violence and swearing horribly, he threw the bottle from him, and stooped; and I saw in his hand a stone-hammer with a long, heavy handle.” This shows how Pip saw the same hammer Mrs. Joe was attempting to draw in order to tell them something. In a way, this shows foreshadowing because Mrs. Joe was attempting to tell both Biddy and Pip about something that had to do with Orlick, yet it never occurred to them. Therefore, I am conducting the guess that, Mrs. Joe was trying to say that it was Orlick who attempted to murder her.
    In conclusion as I read further and further into the novel, more things are starting to piece together and are beginning to be seen more clearly. The example I stated above of Mrs. Joe is just one instance of how this is occurring. I think by the end of the novel, most of the pieces of the puzzle remaining will be solved based on small details I have read in past chapters and based on the big secrets I will uncover in the future chapters.

    1. MadiR

      I agree I think by the end of the novel every thing that Charles Dickens has set up will come together and connect.

  3. Emily

    Although many important things have happened these chapters, one particular thing I would like to discus is the symbol of fire. Throughout the novel fire has always lead to bad things for Pip. It all started back when he decided to leave behind the fire of the forge for the elegant life of a gentleman. In this instance Pip left behind the loving Joe and Biddy for a life of hardships in a world where people do not really care about him and he will never truly fit in. Furthermore, Ms. Havisham caught on fire and saw seriously injured. Pip was also hurt and although it was not to the same degree as Ms. Havisham it was also terrible. The fire brought him great physical pain and he was also left with the uncertainty if Ms. Havisham would be okay. Lastly, after Orlick had taken Pip hostage Pip thought, “The man was in no hurry, and struck again with the flint and steel. As the sparks fell thick and bright around him, I could see his hands, and the touches of his face, and could make out that he was seated and bending over the table; but nothing more. Presently I saw his blue lips again, breathing on the tinder, and then a flare of light flashed up, and showed me Orlick(pg. 423).” Not only did Orlick further injure Pip’s already damaged arm, he also told Pip the unnerving truth about how he was the one who attacked Mrs. Joe.

    This symbol comes up so often and I think that the purpose of it is to show that fire destroys things. With Pip leaving Joe and Biddy, he destroyed the amazing relationship he had with them before. When Miss Havisham caught on fire, she was injured and so was Pip. Lastly, when Orlick lighted the fire it made Pip learn the hard truth about how Mrs. Joe got attacked. To end, when Dickens adds the symbol of fire we can conclude that bad things will follow soon after.

      1. mikaylaf

        I never realized this, either! But your ideas show concrete evidence that fire is a symbol, and now that you’ve brought it up I see the symbol of fire has come up multiple times in the novel. Your analysis of the symbolism makes complete sense!

    1. Hannah Pitkofsky

      I think that is a very interesting symbol to think about and it is something that has never crossed my mind. Thank you for the insight!

  4. Laila Sayegh

    In chapter 52, Pip receives an anonymous letter from a man that asked Pip to meet him in the marshes. When Pip arrives, he finds out that the man was none other than Orlick! Orlick had attacked Pip! Throughout chapter 53, Orlick confesses that he killed Mrs. Joe! He exclaimed he was very mad because he believed Pip ruined his relationship with Biddy!
    This leads me to my theme: You never know who you can trust! I say this because although Orlick did kill Mrs. Joe, he and Pip never had bad blood. Never would I have expected that Orlick would be putting Pip in harm’s way. To be quite honest, I didn’t think we would hear from Orlick very much throughout the rest of the novel but as of now, he is one of the main antagonists! Pip must be careful because now that Orlick knows how to reach him, his life is on the line.
    One good thing about tonight’s reading is that Pip is reminded of Joe, Biddy and his family back at home. I really hope that Pip, Joe, and Biddy reconnect and Pip is able to apologize for his poor behavior because clearly, he feels guilty.

    1. Casey

      I agree, even when Mrs. Joe was alive, she trusted Orlick more than everyone. I can’t believe that Orlick would kill her just to get revenge on Pip.

  5. jaclynl

    Throughout these chapters, there are many big events that reveal a lot of information and again, make even more characters connected in ways that I never would have thought of. To begin, Pip receives a letter from an unknown writer to meet at the marshes to get some information about Provis. At first, Pip does not know whether he should go or not but he eventually decided to meet this anonymous person. Something that I noticed when Pip went to meet the author of the letter is that it was stormy and it gave off the feeling that something bad was going to happen. Dickens used the weather to change the mood and set the scene for what happens next, which was when Pip is attacked by an unknown man and tied up. Once this man lights the fire, it is revealed to be Orlick. This scene in chapter 53 was very important because it brought us back to Mrs. Joe’s attack and eventually murder that happened years ago. It turns out that Orlick was the one who attacked her as a way to achieve revenge because he was jealous that Joe liked Pip better and felt as though Pip sabotaged his relationship with Biddy. Here, Dickens is able to answer most questions from the attack in a very interesting and intriguing way and even reveals another connection between the characters. Apparently, Orlick has been in communication with Compeyson and they know about Pip and Magwitch’s escape plan. This was another turn of events that made everything piece together and make sense.
    I think that as this novel comes to an end, it will become more and more interesting to read as everything falls into its place. I think it is so amazing how Dickens has been able to make even the most insignificant characters, such as Molly or Magwitch, into some of the most important people in the story. I can’t wait to keep reading and see what else is revealed in the chapters to come.

  6. Sunna

    In these chapters, yet another seemingly forgotten character is brought back into the story. We find out that Orlick was actually behind the attack on Mrs. Joe, which eventually led to her death. He sends Pip an anonymous note, and Pip goes to meet him on his orders. He is captured and bound. Orlick wanted revenge on Pip because he felt that Pip lessened his chances of being with Biddy. I think that since he escaped, he’ll probably come back for Pip to compete his revenge. Maybe Pip will be more protected now or tell Biddy.

  7. Hannah Pitkofsky

    Pip went through some pretty rough things throughout these past few chapters, both physically and emotionally. For starters, he is kidnapped by a mysterious man. He doesn’t see his face until the candlelight shines on his face and we see that it is Orlick. While Pip is kidnapped, Orlick tells Pip that HE was the one who attacked and killed Mrs. Joe. He told Pip he did it out of revenge. I was curious when Orlick said this and thought of two questions: who was Orlick trying to get revenge on and is Orlick telling the truth about that he did it out of revenge? I was then given the answer to one of those questions: he did it out of hatred for Pip, dear old Pip who we have been following this whole time, and Orlick secretly hated him (but we already knew that based on his body language and how he spoke and acted towards Pip). I never thought that he would take it to this extreme and kill Pip’s sister and make Pip mourn the death of his sister sooner than anyone wanted to. I think Dickens did this to make us hate Orlick even more than before, and maybe he will use that hatred towards something bigger. Only time will tell…

  8. Casey

    These past few chapters show how Pip truly feels about his family.
    In these chapters, we also find out that Orlick was the one to kill Mrs. Joe Gargery. It all starts when Pip finds a note from an unknown person telling him to go to the marshes. He goes to the marshes for the secret meeting but ends up getting captured by Orlick. In the Marsh, Orlick explains that he wants revenge on Pip for ruining his relationship with Biddy, This makes no sense to me because Pip was always after Estella and Biddy was always his second choice. Orlick explains that first, he killed Mrs. Joe, and now he wants to kill Pip. What I find interesting about this scene is that before Pip was almost killed, started to regret how he treated Joe and how he removed him from his life after going to London. This shows that Pip still does care about his family, even though he has been rude to them in the past few years. Just before Orlick is about to hit Pip with a hammer, Herbert finds Pip and saves him. I think this represents the theme about the importance of family. When Pip thought he was about to die, he felt terrible for leaving his family and friends and not communicating with them after all the years he’s been in London. Hopefully, after realizing how short life is, Pip will return to Joe and Biddy.

    1. Sophie

      I agree with that the theme of family is important. I think it has been one of the underlying themes this whole time, but will start to come out more as the story progresses and ends.

  9. mikaylaf

    Tonight’s reading, especially chapter 53, provided yet another example of the theme that has been growing since the beginning of the novel: justice. In this chapter, Pip gets an anonymous letter that tells him to “…come to the old marshes to-night or to-morrow night at Nine, and to come to the little sluice-house by the limekiln…” (page 418) When Pip goes to this spot that same night, he is attacked. At first, he doesn’t know who his attacker is, but when a fire is lit Pip sees that it is Orlick. I never expected Orlick to be Pip’s attacker, especially since he hasn’t been mentioned in a while. But Dickens never leaves a character out! Dickens, once again, intertwines the plot line by having Orlick be Mrs. Joe’s attacker. Orlick says he attacked Mrs. Joe so many years ago to get revenge on Pip. Why he wants revenge, I don’t really know. I do know that Orlick liked Biddy, and he was jealous of Pip’s close relationship with her, which could have driven him to attacking Mrs. Joe.

    Pip’s encounter with Orlick relates to ongoing theme of justice. Orlick is filled with revenge, and he felt that if he attacked Mrs. Joe, the impact would have an everlasting effect on Pip. Orlick felt that he was finally doing Pip justice. In other words, Pip would get what he deserves. Now, Orlick isn’t content with just attacking Mrs. Joe, he wants to kill Pip himself. He feels this is the only way to justify all the horrible things Pip’s done to him (and Pip didn’t do too much to make Orlick feel this way!). In addition, we can relate Orlick’s feeling of revenge to Miss Havisham’s. Miss Havisham, just like Orlick, wanted revenge, but she wanted it on all men. Miss Havisham gets her revenge by living vicariously through Estella, who has broken many mans’ hearts. However, as Miss Havisham grows older, she regrets what she did and wishes she never wanted to get revenge on the men in the first place. I wonder if Orlick will feel the same way, many years from now. Orlick didn’t succeed in killing Pip, so I wonder if, years from now, he will be secretly happy that his revenge failed. Because if Orlick did kill Pip, he’d have the blood of a young man on his fingers, and as much as he wants revenge, I don’t think he wants to be responsible for a murder.

  10. josepha4

    Of the chapters assigned for tonight, one specific paragraph particularly caught my attention. It is the second to last paragraph on page 425, where Pip seems to undergo a revelation. As he faces death, Pip finally acknowledges and regrets how his poor behavior may have affected the people he loves and cares for. He thinks of all the people who will remember him not how he wants to be remembered but as a man who was mean and selfish. For example,”the death close before me was terrible, but far more terrible than death, was the dread of being misremembered after death.” It finally shows some inner thinking and growth that readers have been longing for in Pip. He doesn’t want to disappoint his family and the woman he loves. This passage is interesting not only in the people he thinks about: Joe, Biddy, Estella. It is also interesting because of the people who do not occur to him: Bently Drummel, the Pockets Mr. Jaggers or even Miss. Havisham. I believe that this new, thinking Pip will be carried over into the next chapters, and will be seen among those characters he discovers he cares for. He will admit his wrongdoings and apologize to the people he loves and has neglected.

    1. janem

      I agree, and think that from this near death experience that Pip will really change and become who he always wants to change himself into, the Pip that isn’t selfish, and kinder to the people he cares about.

  11. Sophie

    In chapters 51-53, we find another re-occurring character with a purpose. Orlick comes back into the picture. We find out that Orlick’s roll in Pip’s life was that he was the victim of Mrs Joe’s attack and death. Pretty much Orlick is mad at Pip for possibly getting in the way of Orlick and Biddy starting a relationship, and wants to kill him. I was a little confused at first because I didn’t even know that Orlick had a connection with Biddy. Anyway, Orlick wrote Pip a letter telling him to meet him at the marshes, and Orlick basically tells him that since he killed Pip’s sister, and he can kill Pip too. Even though I’ve never read Harry Potter, I know the basic story line, and the whole situation kind of reminds me of the series. Voldemort killed Harry’s parents, and then went after Harry. Orlick killed Pip’s mother figure, and now is after Pip. While at the marshes Orlick tries to attack him with a hammer, but luckily Pip is saved because Herbert comes and saves the day.
    One of the things I noticed in particular was the hammer. I think it has a significance. Back in the earlier chapters when Mrs Joe lost her hearing and speech, I remember Dickens writing that she kept on drawing a hammer on her chalkboard. Nobody really knew what she was talking about. But now that we know that Orlick was the murderer, and now tried to kill Pip with a hammer, I’m guessing that that is Orlick’s strategy. Mrs Joe was probably trying to tell them how the whole thing happened, but they just couldn’t understand. It definitely may have been a foreshadow. Overall, I’ve recently just been amazed at what Dickens can do. The way he can have so many different characters (all having really no connection at first), make one big relevant picture is so amazing to read and so entertaining at the same time.

  12. janem

    After reading chapter 53 of “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, I wanted to acknowledge the great contrast of Pip and Orlick. Dickens in constantly bringing up the theme of guilt and shame, making the reader take note of Pip frequently looking back at bad decisions he has made in the past. He is very aware of everything he does, and although he may need some time, Pip always comes to realize how his actions effect others, and regrets hurting the people he cares about. Orlick on the other hand, doesn’t feel any of these things. He is purely evil, and blames Pip for ruining his chances with Biddy, even though Pip has no control over Orlick and Biddy’s relations. He admits to killing Mrs. Joe, yet blames Pip for causing him to want to kill her! Orlick is just a mean person, that causes pain for enjoyment. I believe that because of Orlick’s significance, and relations to so many important characters like Provise, that he is becoming the main antagonist of the story. He killed Mrs. Joe, which brought Pip to begin to realize how selfish he has been, and Orlick wants to be with Biddy. Although Pip hasn’t seen her in a long time, Pip still has a special place in his heart for her, and doesn’t want him anywhere near her. I think that after seeing Orlick’s true colors and his life flash before his eyes, Pip will turn around as a character, see Biddy and Joe more, and become a less selfish, better person all around.

    1. Zoe

      I agree that Pip is definitely coming to a lot of realizations about the way he has been treating his loved ones who give him so much and he returns so little. I didn’t think about the fact that he still loves Biddy and cares for her deep down inside. I think that is definitely an important addition to the summary. I loved the themes you involved in you paragraph. Great job!

  13. Zoe

    In chapters 51-53, a lot of loose ends are tied up. When Pip went back to his village in chapter 53, he was acquainted with Old Orlick who tied him up and threatened to kill him. Although that was definitely and important part, the fact that he openly admits to a lot of events that occurred makes me realize a lot about how Charles Dickens really does make every event in the story have a purpose. It felt like everything Orlick did was because of Pip. He reveals that he really did kill Mrs.Joe when he hit her on the head with the iron, but only because of the way Pip was treated as a favorite in the forge that made him do it. He then blamed Pip for getting him fired as the security at Mrs.Havisham’s and ruining his chance with Biddy. Although all these events weren’t solely because of Pip, Orlick believes this because he is and easy target. Orlick already knows his big secret so it would be easy to lure him out there in the first place. This also relates to the theme of revenge that has been in a lot of the book. Orlick had been planning this for a while for revenge against Pip, but also I think because it’s a way of letting his anger out on someone, very harshly, and not be accused of killing because of the near by limekiln. Thankfully, Pip gets saved by Herbert, Startop, and Trabb’s boy before it’s too late. This also ties up the loose end of Trabb’s boy as a character and also reveals a lot of bank spaces in the storyline. These chapters were very important for Pip to realize the truth behind Orlick’s acts of vengeance and to prepare himself for the next adventure.

  14. angelicac1

    Out of all the chapters form tonight’s reading, chapter 53 is the most eventful and interesting chapter. Orlick, a character most people have forgotten about, returns and surprises readers and Pip with a huge revelation. Orlick reveals that he was the responsible culprit who struck Mrs. Joe on the back of her neck. Not only do readers learn that, but Orlick also has plans for killing Pip. What’s surprising to me was that before Orlick almost killed Pip, Pip realizes the mistakes he made with his friends and family. I believe that Pip should make a long trip to visit those he left behind. It would be great if “Great Expectations” ended with Pip reconnecting with his family and friends again, such as Joe and Biddy.

    1. trinityt

      I agree. He felt guilty towards the mistakes he made with his friends and family. It would be great to see Pip again with his friends and family in the end. Every character in this book truly has a purpose to serve.

  15. Rcey Ortega

    Towards the end of chapter 52, Pip receives an anonymous letter. It said, if Pip wanted more information on Provis, that he had to go to the marshes alone. Pip had to bring the letter but forgot it, since he was in such a hurry. When Pip got there, he saw a broke down house with a crooked roof. He knocked and knocked and knocked on the door, no one answered. He used the latch this time and it opened by itself. He saw no one. He screamed asking if anyone was there. No one answered. Then suddenly, a man catches Pip and ties him up on a chair. The man lighted a candle and was revealed. It was Orlick! He was drunk and threatened to kill Pip. Orlick said that Pip was always in the way. He said that Pip made Biddy think of him as a mean and Old Orlick. As Orlick spoke, Pip saw pictures and memories about everyone he loved. He wished that he was a better “son” to Joe and a better friend to Biddy. While Pip was thinking of those he loved, Orlick started to tell Pip other horrible things he did. Orlick is the one who hurt Mrs. Joe. When Pip tripped over someone at the bottom of the stairs one night, he tripped over Orlick. When Orlick was finished, Pip screamed as loud as he can and struggled with all his might. People responded and come rushing in. As they held Orlick, Pip blacked out. He woke up on Trabb’s boy’s knee and asked how did he, Herbert and Startop find him. They said that Startop found the letter in their chambers. When they read the suspicious letter, they rushed for help and went to the marshes with the help of Trabb’s boy. I think now that Pip faced a life or death experience, he’ll probably visit his loved ones more. Hopefully Pip will learn from this experience.

  16. MadiR

    The chapters tonight had many interesting details and a lot of scenes that left the reader with questions. The one scene that stood out to me the most was in chapter 53, when Pip is captured and does not know who has tricked him. “Presently I saw his blue lips again, breathing on the tinder, and then a flare of light flashed up and showed me Orlick. Whom I have looked for I don’t know. I had not looked for him. Seeing him, I felt that I was in a dangerous strait indeed, and kept my eyes upon him.” (page 423) What else does Charles Dickens have in store for Pip through the actions of Orlick? Through out the novel Orlick has been a spontaneous character popping up at very odd moments. Like when Biddy used to see him watching her at the Gargery’s house or when Mrs. Joe used to call for Orlick after her injury. A very odd time that the name of Orlick came up was in chapter 43. “I could not have said from where: whether from the inn yard, or the street, or where not – and as Drummle leaned down from the saddle and lighted his cigar and laughed, with a jerk of his head towards the coffee-room windows, the slouching shoulders and ragged hair of this man, whose back was towards me, reminded me of Orlick.”(page 358) I think Orlick is a very significant character in this novel. Like we were saying today in the class discution every character has a part and can relate to Pip in many ways.

    1. Brishti Sarkar

      I love your view on this. Orlick seemed out of place in some parts, and the reader was asking, “why is he even mentioned?”. This chapter was a big reveal and showed that no matter who you are, you are significant.

  17. Brishti Sarkar

    In tonight’s reading, I thought that it was interesting that the theme of heroes v. villains was explored. In my opinion, I believe that this is subjective. For me, I don’t think that you can form an opinion or claim on a topic from only knowing one side of the argument. I think it is necessary to be able to see through someone else’s perspective. Dickens portrays different types of “heroes” and “villains” this in Great Expectations through the works of his characters. Dickens had the option to make the characters flatly good or bad, but he didn’t, and instead chose to give some of the “bad” guys depth and make the “good” guys flawed. For the time, this was a revolutionary idea. In these chapters, we find out that Orlick is actually the one who killed Mrs. Joe after her attack, and he tries killing Pip. In Pip’s perspective, Orlick is being unreasonable and even flat out calls him a “villain” on page 246. And while I do agree that Orlick is a bad person, it is important to look at the situation from his eyes: Here is a foolish and arrogant boy, who was always favored by Joe, who had everything, and was still ungrateful; even when his unrealistic hopes of being a gentleman are fulfilled, he still resents the people who brought him up and gave him their love; a boy who never knew how lucky he was to live like this, and even when he had nothing better to do, decided to destroy Orlick’s happiness and was set to turn Biddy against him; who was always oblivious to how good he had it while Orlick had nothing. If the story was told from Orlick’s perspective, we would see Pip as the villain and him as the brave and courageous hero. However, if we analyze both perspectives, it can be argued that Pip is the “hero” in this situation. However, that doesn’t mean that he is perfect. On the contrary, he is a deeply flawed character. For the longest time, he was ashamed of Joe and despised him for being so dumb and acting so common. It wasn’t until recently that he begins to rectify his errors and wanting to change for the better. While he was being held captive, he was afraid that he would die without Joe and Biddy knowing how sorry he was for feeling ashamed of them. While Magwitch was staying with Pip, he often mistreated Magwitch and tried pushing him away. The difference between Pip and Orlick, however, was that Pip understands that he messed up, and tries to make up for it. One of the good things that he did was that he helped fund Herbert to support his career in the merchant business. This shows how Pip is making an effort to change, and this makes him gravitate more towards being a good person. Even people like Magwitch, Miss Havisham, and Estella, who are introduced as bad people, are not truly all bad. They, unlike many others, know that they messed up in the past and are willing to change for the future, even if they are not completely heroes. The terms hero and villain are very broad, and most, if not all, characters fall in the gray area in between. Dickens knows that real people are not purely good or bad, and is he trying to get across that the issues we face in reality is more complex than that. We have to consider issue from both perspectives to make judgements based on what we find, and not just in literature. If Dickens wanted the reader to pick up at least one thing, he wants us to apply this theme in the real world. Being a hero or a villain depends on the perspective, and people normally do not fall in strictly one or the other; reality is more deep and complex than that.

  18. Hannah M.

    Many intriguing event occurred in chapters 51-53. What I read that caught my full interest was the ransom note Pip received that says, “If you are not afraid to come to the old marshes to-night or to-morrow at nine… if you want information regarding your uncle Provis, you had much better come and tell no one and lose no time.”(pg 418) Pip had to make a decision between going to the marshes or not. He only had about 30 minuets to decide this. In the small amount of time Pip had to decide, he made a rash choice that he was going to go to the marshes. It is dangerous for Pip to go alone, for he is injured and pretty much defenseless. Magwitch’s health was the reason Pip went to the marshes. He wanted to make sure Magwitch was okay! This shows Pip does have a place in his heart for Magwitch or else he wouldn’t have taken the risk of going to the marshes. We later find out the author of the letter was Orlick! He was seeking revenge on Pip! Revenge seems to be a reoccurring theme in this novel. Magwitch wanted revenge on Compeyson, Orlick wants revenge on Pip, and Miss Havosham wants revenge on every male in the population! It all comes back to the theme REVENGE!
    Orlick says, “How dare you come and betwixt me and young woman I loved!” Orlick is infuriated with Pip and how he messed up his love life with Estella! Orlick palns on getting revenge and killing Pip in the process. As Pip starts to think of him going into his grave he begins to regret the things he has done to Joe and Biddy. “Joe and Biddy would never know how I had been that night…”(pg 425) This is yet another theme Dickens brings up. He is telling us that you realize the wrong things you have committed after you realize you cannot rewrite them.
    Dickens fits a lot of Motifs and themes into these chapters and that’s what makes the read so interesting!

  19. stephaniec

    Through these chapters, we once again see how Dickens’ uses the recurring theme of revenge. Pip received an anonymous note in the mail telling him to go to the marshes. When he arrived at the marshes, he seemed to be alone. However, when the light of the candle went out, Pip was attacked. Pip, unaware of who attacked him saw little glimpses of the man’s face “Presently I saw his blue lips again, breathing on the tinder, and then a flare of light flashed up, and showed me Orlick.” (page 423). It was Orlick! Pip had never shown a liking to Orlick, but Orlick seemed to be such a minor character that he did not seem important to the plot. Essentially, Orlick loathed Pip so much that he planned on killing him out of revenge for what Pip had done to him. Orlick blamed Pip for ruining his chances with Biddy, being that he was in love with her. Out of rage, Orlick killed Mrs. Joe, Pip’s sister, and planned on killing Pip. Orlick accused Pip of his failures and believed that Pip must pay for what he had done “‘You done it; now you pays for it.’” (page 426). I think that Orlick thought he was doing himself justice by killing Pip and that it was what Pip deserved. These chapters contributed to the plot greatly because new connections were being made within the novel. In addition, I think Pip’s character will develop from this experience because all Pip could think about was how his relationships with the other characters were unresolved and that he would eventually be forgotten. “Estella’s father would believe I had deserted him, would be taken, would die accusing me; even Herbert would doubt me, when he compared the letter I had left for him, with the fact that I had called at Miss Havisham’s gate for only a moment; Joe and Biddy would never know how sorry I had been that night; none would ever know what I had suffered, how true I had meant to be, what an agony I had passed through.” (page 425). Finally, I think the ongoing theme of revenge will be true again if Orlick tries to strike again.

  20. maxwellw

    Orlick accuses Pip of coming between him and a young woman he fancied, among other things, and declares his intention to have revenge. He also admits to killing Mrs. Joe, though he says that
    In chapter 53 Pip is ultimately responsible for her death since Orlick did it to get back at him. “It was you, villain,” Pip retorts boldly, but inside he is worried: he is afraid that he will die and none of his loved ones will know how he hoped to improve himself and to help them. Orlick reveals that he has some connection with Compeyson and has solved the mystery of Magwitch and that he was the shadowy figure lurking in Pip’s stairwell. Pip is then swiftly saved by Herbert and Trabb’s boy, among others. Orlick’s untimely reappearance reintroduces an element of pure evil. When compared to others in this story, Orlick simply has no redeeming qualities; he is malicious and cunning and hurts people simply because he enjoys it. He blames Pip for many things (for having ruined his chances with Biddy, causing him to be fired by Miss Havisham, and having always been favored by Joe), but his hatred for Pip is largely irrational. Orlick also seems to have no self-awareness and repeatedly refers to himself in the third person as “Old Orlick.” In this way, Orlick contrasts powerfully with Pip, whose every action is subject to relentless self-scrutiny.

    1. maxwellw

      In chapter 53 Orlick accuses Pip of coming between him and a young woman he fancied and declares his intention to have revenge. He also admits to killing Mrs. Joe, though he says that Pip is ultimately responsible for her death since Orlick did it to get back at him. “It was you, villain,” Pip retorts boldly, but inside he is worried: he is afraid that he will die and none of his loved ones will know how he hoped to improve himself and to help them. Orlick reveals that he has some connection with Compeyson and has solved the mystery of Magwitch and that he was the shadowy figure lurking in Pip’s stairwell. Pip is then swiftly saved by Herbert and Trabb’s boy, among others. Orlick’s untimely reappearance reintroduces an element of pure evil. When compared to others in this story, Orlick simply has no redeeming qualities; he is malicious and cunning and hurts people simply because he enjoys it. He blames Pip for many things (for having ruined his chances with Biddy, causing him to be fired by Miss Havisham, and having always been favored by Joe), but his hatred for Pip is largely irrational. Orlick also seems to have no self-awareness and repeatedly refers to himself in the third person as “Old Orlick.” In this way, Orlick contrasts powerfully with Pip, whose every action is subject to relentless self-scrutiny.

      Reply ↓

  21. johnh1

    In tonight’s reading Orlick tries to kill Pip. While he talks about killing him he explains why. He thinks Pip did some terrible injustice to him and also thinks Pip stopped him and Biddy from having a relationship. By doing this he things he is serving justice. I feel this relates earlier to the book and in class. In the book Orlick hurts Mrs. Joe and possibly leads to her death. In class someone mentioned how Mrs. Joe getting attacked is kind of justice for how she treated Pip but what if Dickens intended it to show how people can have different ideas of justice and how Orlick thought it was justice for him. Orlick thinks killing Pip is justice but maybe attacking Mrs. Joe was “justice” to. In some way this relates to justice.

  22. trinityt

    In chapter 53, Dickens once again connected two things together along with more explanation as to why and how that occurred.
    In this chapter, Pip received a letter from someone stating that they knew about Mr.Provis and to meet them at the marshes. Following the letter’s directions, Pip went to the marshes. There, he found Orlick. Then, something terrible happened. Orlick attacked Pip! Why did Orlick attacked Pip? He did it because he felt hatred towards Pip. He believes that Pip was the one who told Biddy, whom Orlick likes, that she was too good for him. Clearly, Biddy didn’t like Orlick because of who he is as a person. In addition, we found out the person that attacked Mrs.Joe in previous chapters. It was Orlick! Orlick said that Pip was “favoured” and he was “bullied and beat”. This supports the fact that Orlick felt hatred and jealousy towards Pip. Orlick declared that he wants to kill Pip! Luckily, Herbert came just in time, along with Startop and Trabb’s boy, and saved Pip’s life. When Herbert had read the letter that Orlick sended, which Pip accidentally left behind, he became uneasy and alarmed for his dear friend. So he went after Pip to make sure everything was okay. Thank goodness he did! If Herbert didn’t went after Pip, Pip might be dead by now. Unfortunately, Orlick once again got away. What’s good is that Pip was okay in the end. However, I think this is not the last we see Orlick. I’m sure we will encounter with him again, and continue to try to kill Pip.

    I love it when Dickens does things like this, when he connects the present event with the past to make a big reveal. This add tension to the story and draws the readers in. It feels like a mystery has been solved. Tonight’s reading definitely left me speechless, and I’m excited for more.

  23. Maddie

    I this blog I am going to focus mainly on chapter 53. In this chapter Pip gets a mysterious letter saying he is to meet somebody at the old sluice house by the marshes, and that it is for the safety of his uncle, Provis. Pip reluctantly decides to go, but drops the letter accidentally in his room. When he arrives at his old town, he first goes to Miss Havisham’s house. He sees that Miss Havisham is still quite ill, but is slowly recovering from the fire. Then he goes somewhere to eat, and eventually makes his way to the old sluice house. When he goes inside, there at first seems to be no one there. Then, he is suddenly attacked by a man who we find out to be Orlick. Orlick says he is the one who attacked Mrs. Joe, and he is going to take Pip’s life, too. He doesn’t, however, because Herbert, Startop, and Trabb’s boy come to his rescue. I think this chapter in very meaningful because it shows how important Pip is to his friends. This was my favorite chapter in tonight’s reading and I can’t wait to read more.

  24. Kate Ma.

    In these chapters Orlick surprised us all with his confession and aggressiveness towards Pip. Mrs. Joe’s attack all makes sense now after Orlick explained to Pip that it was he who done it and now he plans on torturing and killing Pip. This scene brought out a new side of Orlick that I never knew he had. I saw a glimpse of this personality when he got into a heated fight with Mrs. Joe at the forge a while back, but I never expected him to be this heartless and psycho. Orlick explained that he did all this in his love for Biddy which slightly reminds me of Pip in a way. The motif of love and doing anything for it reoccurs with Orlick as it did with Pip. Also, Dickens once again ties in past characters with larger story lines later in the book. Dickens amazes me once again with his writing style in these past chapters.


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