Great Expectations

Pip takes a coach back home. Who is also riding on this coach and what do these men talk about? Why do you think Dickens brings this plot point back into the story (what is he trying to tell the audience)?

Chapter 22

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Pip has a rather nasty time of it riding back to apologize to Joe and catch Estella. He shares the carriage with two convicts who sit behind him. Pip recognizes one of them as the one-eyed man Pip met in the tavern years before who stirred his drink with the file and gave Pip a one pound note. The convict does not recognize him, but Pip overhears him tell the other convict about the note that a stranger had given him to bring to Pip. We are given a number of answers to earlier mysteries in this chapter. The convict riding with Pip in this chapter was given the pound note, and, presumably, the file by the convict who Pip had helped in the opening few chapters. Other than being a fellow convict, it appears that the one-eyes man has no real relationship with that first convict.

Still, Pip feels uneasy. By the mere proximity of the convicts and their story, Pip is reminded how his past will always cling to him.