Trabb’s boy

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Trabb’s boy, employed by the local tailor, serves something of the function more poignantly fulfilled by Magwitch – he is a comic reminder of Pip’s pretensions but also of the past he cannot fully escape. His own prospects are limited and there is no suggestion that he will achieve prosperity on his own account. Nonetheless he deflates the insecure vanity of the newly made ‘gentleman’ by publicly proclaiming his provincial origins. In chapter 30 Pip is humiliated by the performance of Trabb’s boy: strutting along the pavement towards me on the opposite side of the street, attended by a company of delighted young friends to whom he from time to time exclaimed, with a wave of his hand, “Don’t know yah!” Words cannot state the amount of aggravation and injury wreaked upon me by Trabb’s boy, when, passing abreast of me, he pulled up his shirt-collar, twined his side-hair, stuck an arm akimbo, and smirked extravagantly by, wriggling his elbows and body, and drawling to his attendants, ‘Don’t know yah, don’t know yah, pon my soul don’t know yah!’