Robert asked:

Shouldn't Pip and Herbert and Startop been arrested for helping a convict to escape? What was the property Pip was due to inherit? How could Joe afford to pay off Pip's bets? Don't see how Pip bought Herbert into a partnership? Perhaps I should read the book again in the future?

To answer questions about Great Expectations, please sign up.
Farseer 1) By that time Magwitch was not a escaped convict. He had been sentenced to penal transportation. That means that the terms of his sentence were that he was to be taken to Australia, and he was perfectly free except that if he was found in England again he would be executed. I'm not an expert on Victorian law, but I guess that helping such a person is not the same as helping a escaped convict. Magwitch had not committed a (new) crime, he had just decided to return. I believe that detecting returned transportees was not a big priority for law enforcement. Transportation was a way of saying: we want to get rid of the problem, so go and never again come back to our attention. As long as those people kept a low profile, committed no new crimes and took care not to be recognized they had a very good chance of remaining undetected. If they were detected and captured, then their execution for the original crime closed the matter. Probably there was no interest in prosecuting other parties for helping (besides, they could always claim that they were just being paid and had no idea he was a returned transportee, and that claim would not be easy to disprove).
2) Supposedly, the money that Magwitch had made in Australia. The novel never dwells on the details, because it's not the focus of the story.
3) It was not such an impossible sum. He probably had saved some money, and may even have borrowed some. Again, I don't think the novel dwells on that detail.
4) He found a trustworthy businessman and paid him to give Herbert a position, without revealing that Pip had paid him to. Then Herbert worked well and got more responsibility on his own merits.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Image for Great Expectations
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more