The reality of London surprises and depresses him. The people that Pip has most contact with in London are Mr Jaggers and Herbert and Matthew Pocket. Jaggers introduces Pip to the darker side of London society. He shows the brutality of the law as well as how cold-hearted some people, including Jaggers himself, can be. Jaggers has power over people but little sense of responsibility. Although he is Pip’s guardian, he tells Pip “you’ll go wrong somehow, but that’s no fault of mine. ” Pip sees a very different side of London society in Herbert Pocket.
Pip finds him very kind, and easy to confide in. He is relatively poor, but is not jealous of Pip. This shows Pip that money is not everything, and that people can be happy without it. Herbert helps Pip in his first few weeks in London by informing him when he does something wrong, such as eating and talking in the wrong way, “in London it is not the custom to put the knife in the mouth-for fear of accidents-and that while the fork is reserved for that use, it is not put further than necessary.
” He is very tactful in doing this, and does not make Pip feel stupid. Matthew Pocket, Herbert’s father, is a “serious, honest, and good man,” and is also very kind towards Pip. He is Pip’s tutor and teaches him what he needs to know to become a gentleman. Pip’s friendship with them is a positive influence on him, but it is not enough in itself to prevent other more superficial aspects of London society from enticing him. As soon as Pip arrives in London, he begins to become extravagant with money.
He believes that his life “would be agreeably varied” if he not only boards with Mr Pocket, but also at Bernard’s Inn, and he spends a lot of money on furniture. Herbert and Pip also join a drinking and dining club where the members “dine expensively once a fortnight, to quarrel among themselves as much as possible” and “spend their money foolishly. ” They keep late nights in the pursuit of pleasure. With the help of Herbert, Pip tries to organise his finances but, although he feels much better after doing so, these attempts prove futile.
Pip soon begins to feel guilty about leading Herbert into extravagance. “My lavish habits led his easy nature into expense that he could not afford,” but even this does not make him change his ways and he just goes on running up debts. When Joe visits him, Pip’s difficulties in reconciling his past with his new status in London society are revealed. “If I could have kept him away by paying money, I certainly would have paid money. ” Pip has become ashamed of his background, and he is afraid that Joe will embarrass him, particularly in front of Drummle.
He says, “Our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise. ” He realises that he should not feel this way about Joe, but he does not seem to be able to help it. During the visit, Joe and Pip are no longer able to be comfortable and natural with each other. It is as if Pip’s new status has built a barrier between them. Pip realises that this is mostly his fault. “If I had been easier with Joe, Joe would have been easier with me. “