Plot summary[ edit ] On Christmas Eve, around Pip, an orphan who is about seven years old, encounters an escaped convict in the village churchyard, while visiting the graves of his parents and siblings.
Clinging firmly to his great expectations, Pip snobbishly rejects those who genuinely love him, Joe and Biddy, and aligns himself with such morally questionable characters as the lawyer Jaggers, the hulking Drummle, and the half-crazed Miss Havisham.
In spite of his many blunders, however, Pip remains basically good and has the good sense to make provision for the future of his best friend, Herbert Pocket.
When Pip learns that his unknown benefactor is not Miss Havisham but Abel Magwitch, a convict, who intends to claim Pip as his own, Pip recoils in distaste, and his pride suffers a severe blow.
But Pip and Herbert rally themselves to try to save Magwitch, who has reentered London under threat of death.
In his futile attempts to save both Miss Havisham and the convict, Pip goes through a ritualistic cleansing by fire and water and is able to make atonement for his sins. Nursed back to health by Joe, Pip experiences new growth toward greater maturity. Not many novels have two endings, but Great Expectations does.
The original ending found Pip eleven years older, sadder and wiser, alone, but adjusted to his new life. However, Dickens changed his mind and wrote a happier conclusion in which Estella, herself greatly chastened after eleven years of suffering, comes back as a possible wife for Pip.
The romantically happy ending is not farfetched. On one level, the novel is a projection of a fantasy wherein Pip envisions himself as a young prince destined to save an enchanted princess and inherit the kingdom.
Fairy-tale elements in the novel foreshadow happiness for Pip just as surely as recurring elements of the nightmare world suggest that Pip will be haunted by past experiences throughout his life.
A Novel of Friendship. Includes an annotated bibliography. His Tragedy and Triumph.
The World of His Novels. Harvard University Press, A comprehensive handbook with good chapters on the composition, historical background, setting, and biographical elements in the story.
Presents a psychological interpretation of characters that mainly conforms to standard views while drawing on some critical perspectives and language. Includes an extensive bibliography. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, A groundbreaking essay that studies the themes of guilt and atonement in the context of a dehumanizing society.The Two Endings.
One of the most curious aspects of Great Expectations is the existence of alternative endings, whose relative merits and implications have been passionately debated by critics, ever since the unused ending was published as a footnote in Forster’s biography of Dickens.
(The most detailed study of the case is. So Dickens began writing Great Expectations at the end of September, The germinating idea – the relationship between the convict (Magwitch) and the innocent boy (Pip) – came to him first as an idea for one of his “Uncommercial Traveller” essays.
Free Essay: A Tale of Two Endings of Great Expectations When Charles Dickens first drafted Great Expectations, his original ending to the novel provided a. Great Expectations - Essay Not many novels have two endings, but Great Expectations does. The original ending found Pip eleven years older, sadder and wiser, alone, but adjusted to his new.
The two endings of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens differ greatly in length, location, and substance. Depending on what the reader believes is the purpose of the novel, each reader will have a different opinion on which ending is the most appropriate.
Essay about A Tale of Two Endings of Great Expectations A Tale of Two Endings of Great Expectations When Charles Dickens first drafted Great Expectations, his original ending to the novel provided a concrete conclusion for the story.