Great Expectations Chapter 1 Questions and Vocabulary

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Great Expectations Content Questions
Chapter 7:
1. Why does Mrs. Joe insist that Pip works? Why is this ironic?
2. What does Pip have to do with the money he makes working at odd jobs around the neighbors and Joe’s forge?
3. Describe Pip’s teacher at school. How is Dickens satirizing education?
4. Who is Biddy and what does she teach Pip? Why does Joe find this so amazing?
5. How does Joe’s life mirror that of Pip’s?
6. What favor did Joe perform that may have saved Pip’s life? How does Pip offer to pay him back? What is Joe’s
reaction to this?
7. What exciting opportunity presents itself to Pip at the end of the chapter? What is Pip’s initial reaction to this?
8. Describe the irony in Pumblechook’s quote “be forever grateful to all friends, but especially unto them which
brought you up by hand!”
9. Identify the meaning of the following terms: forge, apprentice
Chapter 8:
1. How does Pumblechook attempt to prepare Pip for his visit with Miss Havisham?
2. Describe Mrs. Havisham’s house (Satis house) in detail. What is attached to the side of the house?
3. What is the literal meaning of the term “Satis house”? How is this ironic?
4. Describe some of the odd features Pip witnesses as he enters into Satis House. What is especially strange about
Miss Havisham?
5. Pip also meets a proud and pretty young girl named Estella in the house. What is Miss Havisham’s rather strange
response when Estella initially refuses to play with a “common labouring-boy”?
6. What is the name of the card game Pip and Estella play?
7. How does Estella treat Pip? What dramatic change in character does this treatment start to bring about in Pip?
8. The chapter ends with Pip in tears, Estella smiling, and a strange hallucination from Pip. Explain all three.
Chapter 9:
1. Why doesn’t Pip tell everyone everything about Miss Havisham when they ask after he arrives home, especially
since he suffers physical abuse when he doesn’t? What does this tell us about Pip’s character?
2. Describe the story Pip tells about his day at Miss Havisham’s. What is ironic about the story he tells? What does it
tell us about Pip’s imagination?
3. After he is finished the story, why does he feel so guilty? What does he do to ease his guilt?
4. What is Joe’s wise advice to Pip about lying and about being “common”? (Quote the advice from page 65)
5. Why does Joe have a difficult time understanding why Pip is so worried about being considered common?
6. Explain the meaning and significance of the following terms in the context they were used in this chapter:
-knaves and jacks
-common
-Joe = “a mere blacksmith”
-thick boots and coarse hands
-pride (proud)
-penitence
Chapter 10:
1. What does Pip hope to gain from school? How does Dickens satirize education through the opening scene?
2. What does Pip decide to do in this chapter in an attempt to better himself?
3. What does Pip consider to be coarse and common in this chapter? Would he have felt this way at the beginning of
the novel? What has changed him?
4. Explain the meaning and significance of the following terms in the context they were used in this chapter:
-the Three Jolly Bargemen
-stirring rum with a file
-“Halloa, Pip, old chap!”
-a shilling and two one-pound notes
Chapter 11:
1. Who are the Pockets and what type of people are they?
2. Why does Estella slap Pip in this chapter? What does Pip promise her in his mind after this happens?
3. Describe the room that Miss Havisham takes Pip into. What is unusual about the room? What clues does this room
provide us with to determine the cause of Miss Havisham’s strange behavior? How is this scene grotesque?
4. How does Miss Havisham treat her relatives (Camilla, Sarah, and Herbert Pocket)? How does she talk about
Matthew Pocket? Why do the Pockets seem to resent Pip’s presence?
5. What do we learn about Miss Havisham’s birth, wedding, and death in this chapter?
6. How does Miss Havisham attempt to “tempt” Pip toward the end of the chapter?
7. Describe Pip’s encounter with the “pale young gentleman” at the end of the chapter. Why does Pip seemed
surprised by the outcome of the fight? What bitter-sweet “gift” does he receive for his victory?
8. Hint: the characters introduced in this chapter (including the burly man Pip meets on the stairs) will all play major
roles later on in the story. Also, note the symbolism of Joe’s forge light through the mist, guiding Pip home.
Chapter 12:
1. Why is Pip so terrified to return to Satis House? Were his worries justified?
2. Pip has aged at the start of this chapter (an apprenticeship began at age 14). What is his new duty at Satis House?
3. What hopes and desires does Pip share with Miss Havisham? Does she offer to help out with these?
4. Has Estella treated Pip any better as she has gotten to know him better?
5. Who is the only person that Pip confides his Satis House experiences to? Why doesn’t he confide in Joe?
6. Who are the ones taking credit for Pip’s “advancement”?
7. Why does Mrs. Joe go on the rampage again at the end of this chapter?
8. Pip no longer seems as content to become Joe’s apprentice. What are some possible reasons for this change?
9. Take note that the comical scenes are still present in the novel at this point, but now everything seems a bit more
serious. As Pip ages, the tone of the novel starts to change.
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