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Great Expectations

Great Expectations


by Charles Dickens

Pip Timeline and Summary

  • Pip meets a convict in the cemetery, steals some food for him, and pretty much lives in terror for the next few weeks.
  • In an apparently unrelated occurrence, he's ordered to go "play" at Miss Havisham's, where he meets Estella.
  • After a lot of these visits, Miss Havisham gives Pip 25 pounds and releases him from her service.
  • He becomes Joe’s apprentice. Hooray! It's what young Pip always wanted!
  • Oh, except not anymore. Now he wants to become a "gentleman" and marry Estella.
  • A mysterious stranger (the lawyer Jaggers) shows up and announces that Pip has a fortune and is going to be educated to become—dun dun dun—a gentleman.
  • Pip goes to London, and it's not quite as nice as he wishes it were.
  • But he does make a nice friend, Herbert. They have larks together and get into crazy debt.
  • Pip also meets some other crazy folk, like Herbert's dad, Mr. Pocket, and Jaggers's clerk, Wemmick.
  • Now that he's a fine gentleman, Pip is too good for Joe—but he's not good enough for Estella, who still torments him.
  • This all goes on for a while, until one day another mysterious stranger shows up. It's Pip's benefactor.
  • Surprise! Pip's benefactor is actually Magwitch, the convict he helped years ago, and not Miss Havisham as he'd assumed/hoped.
  • While Pip is plotting to get Magwitch out of England, he starts to actually like the guy.
  • Around this time, he takes a little break from his daily activities to rescue Miss Havisham from a fire, although the old lady ends up dying, anyway.
  • Pip is nearly killed and Magwitch is thrown in jail during an exciting captivity/chase sequence.
  • After Magwitch dies, Pip gets really sick. Joe nurses him back to health and then jets as soon as Pip is better.
  • Broke and lonely, Pip heads off to work in Cairo with Herbert for eleven years.
  • When he finally returns to England, he meets Joe and Biddy's little Pip and then runs into Estella.
  • Maybe he lives happily ever… and maybe not.