Great Expectations Chapter 45 Summary

Instructor: Laura Foist

Laura has a Masters of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition and has taught college Science.

In this lesson, we will summarize Chapter 45 of 'Great Expectations'. In this chapter Pip stays at a dirty hotel to stay away from his home and then goes to Wemmick for help.

The Hummums Inn

Imagine your confusion and horror if you were about to return home and received a message to not go home. This is where Pip is left in Chapter 45 of Great Expectations. He decides to find an inn to sleep at that night. He goes to the Hummums, a beat-up, old inn but a place that he knows he can always find a bed no matter the time of night.

After receiving the note Pip goes to stay at the Hummums Inn
The note

This inn is scary enough to make anyone find sleeping difficult, let alone if you have a bunch of worries and questions in your mind. Pip looks around his room and sees how filthy it is, the wallpaper has torn off so that it looks like a face is staring at him as he lies in bed. He wonders how many bugs are crawling around, and if any have already fallen onto his face. He also recalls a story of a gentleman who stayed at the Hummums and was found dead the next morning. Pip wonders if this could have been the very room and looks around for blood.

Pip is also kept awake by thoughts of the preceding day. He recalls Estella and how it seems that all hope is lost. He thinks about the note 'Don't go home' over and over again. He wonders what the reason for this note could be. When he finally falls asleep, his dreams are filled with this message 'don't go home' with slight variations, like 'you must not go home' or 'you cannot go home'.

Wemmick's Help

As soon as morning comes, Pip gets out of bed and heads to Wemmick's home. Wemmick is a very different man in his private life than he is in his professional life. As a clerk, he is brusque and businesslike, but at his home, which he has tried to make look like a castle, he is more pleasant and relaxed. Pip knows his conversation about the note must happen with the ''castle Wemmick'' (Wemmick's private persona) and not with the 'office Wemmick'.

Wemmick is happy to see that Pip got his note and says he will go to all the other gates and destroy the other notes he had left for Pip. As Pip and Wemmick are talking, Pip attempts to cook ''the Aged's'' (Wemmick's father) sausage, yet he is so nervous that he lights it on fire. At one point it pops as fiercely as fireworks.

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