Great Expectations

Why did Miss Havisham order Matthew pocket to leave her house?

Chapter 22, shortest answer possible please

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It is Miss Havisham's birthday and Pip visits Miss Havisham for the second time and Estella leads him "into a gloomy room with a low ceiling, on the ground floor at the back" [Ch.11]. She asks him to wait there till he is called by Miss Havisham.

While doing so he realizes that he is being closely observed by "three ladies and one gentleman." Pip straightaway guesses correctly that they are "toadies and humbugs." They are: Camilla, Sarah Pocket, Georgiana and Cousin Raymond. They are the ageing relatives of Miss Havisham who are waiting for Miss Havisham to die and they are here on her birthday to flatter her hoping that she would bequeath a lot of money and property to them. They are very suspicious of Pip because they mistakenly believe that he might inherit Miss Havisham's money and property.

In Ch.22 Herbert Pocket tells Pip why his father Matthew Pocket refuses to flatter Miss Havisham:

"Her relations were poor and scheming, with the exception of my father; he was poor enough, but not time-serving or jealous. The only independent one among them."

Herbert's father was not a hypocrite or a sycophant like the other relatives and was not interested in Miss Havisham's wealth or property and hence did not visit her on her birthday, thus incurring Miss Havisham's displeasure:

"There's Mattew ! said Camilla. "Never mixing with any natural ties, never coming here to see how Miss Havisham is!" Ch.11

Strangely, Miss Havisham's birthday was also the very same day on which Compeyson cheated her and she hopes that she will also die on that same day. She specifies to all her four hypocritical relatives where each of them must stand around her body after it is placed on the table:

"Matthew will come and see me at last," said Miss Havisham sternly, "when I am laid on that table. That will be his place-there, striking the table with her stick, "at my head!" Ch.11

From this we learn that Miss Havisham is able to see through the hypocrisy of her relatives and assigns the most important and privileged position - "at my head" - at her funeral to Matthew Pocket. This is because in Ch. 22 we learn from Herbert that it was his father who advised her not to marry Compeyson:

"The only independent one among them, he warned her that she was doing too much for this man, and was placing herself too unreservedly in his power. She took the first opportunity of angrily ordering my father out of the house in his presence and my father has never seen her since."

Miss Havisham foolishly and arrogantly has banished Matthew Pocket from her house because he was the only one of her relatives who was bold and independent enough to object to her relationship with Compeyson. In Ch.11 it is implicit that Miss Havisham regrets not having taken Matthew Pocket's advice.