Great Expectations

What reasons does Orlick have for wanting to kill Pip? Explain the connections Orlick has with Pip's sister's death and with Magwitch's enemy, Compeyson.


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In Ch.15 Dickens introduces a new character who is known as Dolge Orlick. He works in Joe's forge for weekly wages. He is a "journeyman," that is, he will work only during the day time and return to his own dwelling after his work is over, unlike Pip who is an apprentice and stays in the premises.

Although Pip is not too fond of him it is actually Orlick who hates Pip and not Pip who hates Orlick. In Ch.15, Pip tells us that "this morose journeyman had no liking for me" and how he would scare him when he was a small boy. Pip also gives us the probable reason why Orlick hated him:

"When I became Joe's 'prentice, Orlick was perhaps confirmed in some suspicion that I should displace him."

In Ch.53 Orlick pours out his hatred on Pip by calling him "Oh you enemy, you enemy!" and he reveals to us why he hates Pip so much.

1. Orlick is convinced that it was Pip who spoilt his chances of falling in love with Biddy: "it was you as always give Old Orlick a bad name to her."

2. He is jealous of Joe's attachment to Pip: "you was always in Old Orlick's way since ever you was a child."

3. He hates Pip because while working at the forge Joe always favoured Pip: "you was favoured and he [Orlick] was bullied and beat."

Orlick hates Pip so much that he is determined to kill him and leave no trace of his crime by throwing Pip's body into the lime kiln. Fortunately for Pip he is saved in the nick of time by Trabb's 'boy' and Herbert and the others.