Summary and Analysis
Chapters 43-45 - (Volume III, Chapters 4-6)
The element of portraying emotions through an object shows up in these chapters through Dickens' description of the bed Pip gets at Hummums as a despotic monster that squeezes all the other furniture in the room.
Orlick surfaces again as the man who lights Drummle's cigar outside the inn. While not mentioned specifically, the slouching shoulders and ragged hair point to Orlick and give the feeling that Pip is surrounded by evil that is closing in on him. This feeling is compounded by the note Wemmick leaves at the Temple warning Pip not to go home, and Wemmick's later telling Pip he and Magwitch are being watched.
Wemmick, utilizing his knowledge of criminal elements and his law clerk talents for detail, manages to hide Magwitch and instructs Pip and Herbert how to keep the man hidden and plot his escape. Wemmick thinks of everything right down to leaving notes for Pip at all gates of the Temple and then returning to retrieve the extras. He understands about leaving no trails of incriminating evidence. Portable property is emphasized again when Wemmick tells Pip to get his hands on it. He is frank in saying they do not know what will happen to Magwitch. It is interesting that for all his effort to keep his two lives separate, Wemmick is mixing both places together more than he ever has, to save Magwitch. He conveys London information at Walworth, and acts, motivated by his Walworth kindness, when in London.
Miss Havisham's transformation has started. She shows fierce anger when Pip points out how she has hurt him, her first open expression of a charged emotion. But as she listens to his impassioned pleas to Estella, sees his willingness to even give up Estella as long as she is happy, Miss Havisham is filled with pity and remorse. Pip's directness to both Miss Havisham and Estella in stating his feelings and insights are a change as well. Instead of being a passive victim, he is calling things as he sees them and demanding certain actions. The secrecy theme continues when Pip asks Miss Havisham to take over helping Herbert and to keep it between the two of them.
Estella shows some interesting insight regarding her choice of Drummle as a husband. She observes to Pip that she cannot give herself to a man who would recognize she has nothing to offer him in the way of love, and assures Pip she will not be a blessing to Drummle. It is a negative thing either way, though: Either she is in power and Drummle will suffer or Drummle will rule and she will feel the pain. In either event, someone will get hurt.
walk all the way to London from Pip's home area, this was a distance of about twenty-six miles.
superscription something, such as an address or name, written at the top or on an outer surface of an envelope or similar item.
Hummums in Covent Garden a place at the southeast corner of Covent Garden that was the site of one of England's earliest Turkish baths. During the eighteenth century, it was a combination steam bath, eatery, health center, and brothel; later it was a hotel.
rush-light a cheap candle made from the pith of the stem of a rush that has been dipped in grease and fat instead of wax. At Hummums, these were put in a perforated tin holder that left a dotted pattern of light on the walls.
close the eyes of the foolish Argus at Hummums, Pip cannot sleep any better than the Greek mythological giant, Argus. The giant had one hundred eyes, fifty of which were open even while he slept.