Study Guide

Great Expectations

Great Expectations Summary

A six-year-old boy named Pip lives on the English marshes with his sister (Mrs. Joe Gargery) and his sister's husband (Mr. Joe Gargery). His sister is about as bossy and mean as most older sisters are—but his brother-in-law Joe is pretty much the best thing that's happened to Pip.

One Christmas Eve, Pip meets a scary, escaped convict in a churchyard. Pip steals food from Mrs. Joe so that the convict won't starve (and also so that the convict won't rip his guts out). Soon after, in apparently unrelated events, Pip gets asked to play at Miss Havisham's, the creepy lady who lives down the street. And we mean creepy: her mansion is covered in moss; she still wears the wedding dress she was wearing when she was jilted at the altar decades ago; and the whole place is crawling with bugs. It's like Beauty and the Beast, only without the singing tableware.

The only good thing about the mansion is Estella, Miss Havisham's adopted daughter. Estella is cold and snobby, but man is she pretty. Pip keeps getting invited back to play with her, and he develops quite the little crush on her. This crush turns into a big crush, and that big crush turns into full-blown, all-consuming L-O-V-E, even though there's no way that orphan Pip can ever have a chance with Estella, the adopted child of the richest lady in town.

When Pip is old enough to be put to work—you know, early teens or so—he starts an apprenticeship at his brother-in-law's smithy, thanks to Miss Havisham's financial support. You'd think he'd be thrilled (fire, swinging heavy things around), but he hates it: all he wants is to become a gentleman and marry Estella.

Then, surprise! He comes into fortune by means of a mysterious and undisclosed benefactor, says goodbye to his family, and heads to London to become a gentleman. And it's pretty sweet at first. Mr. Jaggers, Pip's caretaker, is one of the biggest and baddest lawyers in town. Pip also gets a new BFF named Herbert Pocket, the son of Miss Havisham's cousin.

Herbert shows Pip around town, and they have a busy city life: dinner parties in castles with moats, encounters with strange housekeepers, trips to the theater, etc. Two teeny problems: he spends way too much money, and whenever he goes home he's ashamed of Joe. Meanwhile, Estella, who's been off touring the world, comes back to London and is even more gorgeous than ever.

On his 21st birthday, Jaggers gives Pip a huge 500-pound annual allowance, which he uses to help Herbert get a job. Aw, good friend! This goes on for a couple of years—Pip is a man about town; Estella keeps rejecting him—until, on his 23rd birthday, a stranger shows up. The stranger is Pip's benefactor. The stranger is… the convict that Pip helped when he was only six years old!

Here are the deets: the con's name is Abel Magwitch/Provis. The courts exiled him to New South Wales under strict orders never, ever to return to England, so not only is Pip super bummed to find out that his benefactor isn't Miss Havisham after all, as he's assumed, but a criminal—he's also harboring a convict. Obviously, Pip decides that he's got to get Magwitch out of the country, but not before Pip rescues Miss Havisham from a fire that burns down her house and eventually kills her.

Pip devises a plan to get Magwitch out of the country, but he's uneasy—and with good reason: just as they get ready to make their great escape, Estella goes and marries Pip's nemesis and Pip is almost thrown into a limekiln by a hometown bully who claims to know about Magwitch. And then the two are ratted out by Magwitch's nemesis Compeyson, who is, coincidentally, Miss Havisham's ex-lover. Magwitch is thrown in jail and dies, but not before Pip tells him the shocking truth: Estella is his daughter.

After these traumatic events, Pip gets really sick, and Joe comes to the rescue. As soon as Pip recovers, however, Joe leaves him in the middle of the night, having paid off all of Pip's debts. Obviously, Pip follows him home, intending to ask for Joe's forgiveness and to propose marriage to his childhood friend, Biddy. Upon arriving home, however, he finds that Joe and Biddy have just married, which is… a little weird, if you ask us. He says he's sorry he's been such a butthead, and then he moves to Cairo.

For eleven years, Pip works at Herbert's shipping company in Cairo, sending money back to Joe and Biddy. He finally returns to England, and then has one of two different fates, depending on whether you read the original ending or the revised ending:

Original ending: Pip is hanging out in London a few years later with Joe and Biddy's son, baby Pip, when he runs into Estella. She's had a hard life: her husband was abusive, and when he died she married a poor doctor.

Rewritten ending: Pip visits Miss Havisham's house once more. Estella is walking the grounds, being all single, beautiful, and sad about having thrown Pip's love away. Aw. They're going to be together forever, you guys!

  • Chapter 1

    • We kick things right off with … a lecture about our narrator's name.
    • His first name is Philip, and his last name is Pirrip. Philip Pirrip. When we try to say that name ten times fast, we end up saying "filapeera," and we have multiple advanced degrees.
    • Our narrator is only six years old, so he calls himself "Pip." Fine by us. This is a 500-page novel, so the shorter the better.
    • Pip is an orphan who lives in the marsh country along the river Thames, twenty miles from the sea to be exact. He lives with his meanie sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, and her blacksmith husband, Joe Gargery.
    • Pip can't remember his parents, so he likes to chill in the cemetery with their gravestones and decide what they were like based on their inscriptions.
    • Dum dee dum. We continue to hang out with Pip in the cemetery in the late afternoon, chilling with the family graves when, suddenly, a scary-looking someone jumps out of a hiding place and grabs Pip by the throat.


    • Stranger Danger tells Pip to be quiet or else. Then he demands that Pip bring him some wittles (a.k.a. vittles; a.k.a. victuals, a.k.a. food) and a file (a sharp metal instrument, not something you save on your computer). Then he shakes Pip a little, turns him upside down, tells him he'll cut out his heart and liver if he doesn't obey, and disappears into the marshes.
    • Pip is thoroughly freaked out.
  • Chapter 2

    • Pip's sister is more than twenty years older than him, and she's ugly. She's famous in the neighborhood for having raised Pip "by hand."
    • This phrase can just mean that he was bottle-fed (or, more like tea-cup fed!), but also means that she chose not to leave him out on the street and instead adopted and raised him herself. It probably also has something to do with her being a fan of corporal punishment.
    • Pip's brother-in-law, Joe Gargery, is pretty much Pip's best friend in the whole wide world. He has big blue eyes and is really, really nice.
    • Joe is a blacksmith and his smithy is attached to the Gargery house. Even six-year-old Pip can't figure out why a man as gentle and sweet as Joe would ever marry a woman as mean and hard as his sister.
    • Anyway, Pip gets back from being hanged upside down by a terrifying escaped convict, only to find that his sister has been out looking for him, that she's furious he's been gone so long, and that she plans to use the Tickler on him.
    • No matter what you're thinking, the Tickler isn't some fun Fisher-Price toy. It's a wax-ended cane that she likes to beat him with.
    • At dinner, Pip secretly stuffs his buttered bread down his pants, which sounds awfully greasy to us. They think he's gulped it whole, and his sister threatens to make him drink tar water to make him digest better.
    • Guns fire in the distance, which is standard operating procedure anytime a prisoner escapes from the convict ships that hang out in this part of England.
    • Understandably, this doesn't make Pip feel any better.
    • Oh, by the way, it's Christmas Eve, and Pip has to stir the Christmas pudding for a long, long time, which means he doesn't have an opportunity to pilfer more food for his convict.
    • After a long night of no sleep, he gets up at the crack of dawn and steals a delicious pork-pie, brandy, some bread, mincemeat, and a meat bone. Grabbing a file from Joe's smithy, he runs off into the marshes.
    • There's a lot of marsh-running in this novel.
  • Chapter 3

    • It's a wet, foggy day. But then again, it is marshland, and it is England. Mediterranean climate, this is not.
    • Pip feels so guilty that he even imagines the cows are judging him.
    • The convict is sleeping, so Pip just kind of whispers and pokes him gently.
    • BUT IT'S NOT THE CONVICT! It's a younger man who Pip assumes to be the bloodthirsty sidekick the convict tried to scare him with, but he must not be thirsty this morning because he just runs away, despite the iron chain around his leg.
    • Pip continues in search of his very own convict. Eureka! His convict looks pretty beat up, but really appreciates the food.
    • Is the convict is going to share any of the food with the sidekick?
    • The convict is shaken when he realizes that Pip saw someone else on the marshes, and he runs off, madly trying to free himself of his iron with the file.
    • Whew. Glad that's over.
  • Chapter 4

    • Double whew, because no one suspects Pip has been up to no good when he returns home.
    • Everyone's getting ready for Christmas dinner with Mr. Wopsle (the clerk at church), Mr. Hubble (the wheelwright), Mrs. Hubble (the wheelwright's wife), and Mr. Pumblechook (Joe's uncle).
    • It's a nerve-wracking dinner. What will Mr. Pumblechook do when he tastes the watered-down brandy or when his sister discovers that the pork-pie is gone? (Hopefully celebrate, because pork-pie doesn't sound appetizing.)
    • Pip is too busy worry about what the Tickler will do to him to eat much.
    • Mr. Pumblechook tries the brandy, only to launch into a coughing fit. Pip accidentally filled the brandy bottle with tar water to make it seem like nothing had been stolen.
    • Everyone is totally confused as to how tar water could have possibly found its way into the bottle.
    • When Pip's sister goes to get the famous pork-pie, the crowning Christmas delight, Pip can't take it anymore. He bolts for the door in the hopes of escaping the Tickler's wrath ....
    • … and he runs right into a party of soldiers at the Gargery doorstep.
    • Uh-oh.
  • Chapter 5

    • False alarm! The soldiers just want Joe to fix their handcuffs, and everyone totally forgets about the pork-pie. Pip escapes his sister's wrath.
    • This time.
    • The soldiers invite Joe and Pip to come convict-hunting with them. Fun! Pip climbs on Joe's back and the party heads into the marshy Christmas night to find the escapees.
    • Suddenly, Pip is feeling a little worried about his convict. Sure, the convict was scary and all, but he was Pip's convict, and he doesn't want anyone messing with his very own convict.
    • The men find two convicts fighting gladiator-style. Pip's convict is pulverizing the younger convict he had seen earlier that day.
    • The younger convict tries to convince the soldiers that Pip's convict is intent on killing him, but Pip's convict retorts that he only wants to deliver him to the authorities and to make sure he doesn't escape his well-deserved fate.
    • Pip's convict recognizes Pip, but doesn't say a word about this.
    • In fact, he tells the authorities that he had himself stolen one pork-pie from the local smithy, thus acquitting Pip of any Tickler-inducing crime.
    • The two convicts are taken away, supposedly to the giant convict ships that loom in the horizon, on the marshes.
  • Chapter 6

    • Pip feels really guilty now. Not about stealing the food per se, but about not telling his best friend in the world, Joe Gargery, about what he had done.
    • He decides it will be best never to tell Joe the full story, because he doesn't want this hero of his to ever doubt his six-year-old integrity.
    • The action over, Joe carries Pip home.
    • There's still Christmas dinner to be had, but Pip is tuckered out.
    • Joe relates the whole story, pilfered pork-pie and all.
    • Everyone spends some time trying to figure out how the convict could have gotten in to steal the pie, until Mrs. Gargery finally yanks Pip up the stairs and sends him to bed.
    • It's a short chapter.
  • Chapter 7

    • Pip goes to school for an hour every day at Mr. Wopsle's great aunt's house. It's not exactly a rigorous education. Mr. Wopsle's great aunt sleeps through lessons, and then sometimes Mr. Wopsle performs Shakespeare and poetry for the students, with bloody sword and all.
    • At school, Pip encounters Biddy, Mr. Wopsle's great aunt's granddaughter. Biddy is an orphan, just like him.
    • She's a bit unkempt, but man can she run a store. She basically manages Mr. Wopsle's great aunt's grocery store, which happens to be in the schoolroom.
    • One night, Pip is practicing his writing with Joe, and he writes a letter to Joe. Despite the fact that it's functionally illiterate, Joe thinks this is pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.
    • Oh, turns out Joe isn't much for reading and writing. Here's why:
    • Joe explains that his father was an alcoholic and beat his mother often. Sometimes he and his mom would run away from his father, but his father always found them and always was convincingly penitent, only to relapse into a state of perpetual drunkenness.
    • Joe was forced to work as a little boy to support his dad's drinking habit, and, thus, never had time for school. In spite of this rough childhood, Joe loves both his father and his mother and was with them until their deaths.
    • This ends Joe's story.
    • After seeing his mother suffer so much, Joe tells Pip he tries to do anything Mrs. Gargery wants and to provide her with anything she needs. He's sorry he can't control her temper or her love of the Tickler, but he sure does love Pip.
    • Joe tells the story of how he insisted on adopting Pip, and Pip starts to cry. So do we.
    • It's super cold outside, and Joe is starting to worry about his wife, who is out visiting Mr. Pumblechook,
    • Suddenly, she arrives proclaiming that Miss Havisham, the Donald Trump of the marshes, has requested that Pip serve as a playmate to her daughter.
    • Pip has to spend the night at Mr. Pumblechook's that very night and will be taken to Miss Havisham's in the morning.
    • Pip is confused. But before he can be too confused, his sister pounces upon him and subjects him to serious deep cleaning and scrubbing before she sends him off into the freezing cold night air. Pip is sad. He's never left Joe before.
  • Chapter 8

    • Pip spends the night at Mr. Pumblechook's in the attic, where the ceiling is like two inches from his eyebrows. Mr. Pumblechook is a seedsman, meaning he sells lots of seedy stuff. He also wears corduroys. A lot of corduroy goes on in the seed store.
    • In the morning, Mr. Pumblechook pours Pip milk with water in it and bread with only a teensy amount of butter.
    • To top it off, Mr. Pumblechook quizzes Pip on his multiplication tables while munching on the equivalent of an Egg McMuffin with bacon.
    • Mr. Pumblechook and Pip walk over to Miss Havisham's. It's a big, dismal mansion with lots of bars, gates, and boarded up windows. There's a vacant brewery too. They ring the bell and wait for someone to unlock the gate.
    • That someone arrives and is kind of cold and snippy. She's a young girl, and she doesn't let Mr. Pumblechook inside.
    • She tells Pip that the house has two names: the manor house and Satis House. "Satis" means "enough" in either Greek, Hebrew, or Latin—she's not quite sure.
    • (Too bad she didn't have Shmoop to tell her that it's Latin.)
    • Anyway, the little girl tells Pip that, when it was first built, the builders thought that whoever owned the house could want nothing more in life.
    • The little girl is Pip's age, but she calls Pip, "boy."
    • She's also really pretty. This is important.
    • They walk into the dark house, and the girl heads him down a series of cold, dark passages.
    • She tells him to go inside a closed door, and inside he sees a dressing table and the whole room, though dimly lit, looks like a lady's dressing room.
    • Someone's in there.
    • It's the weirdest lady he's ever seen in his life. She's old and she's wearing beautiful clothes. Well, they would be beautiful, if they weren't so old that they were yellowy-brown.
    • Uh, it's also a wedding dress, which is SO CREEPY.
    • The lady only has one shoe on, and there's a tattered veil in her hair. There are jewels and gloves and lace on her dressing table, and half-packed trunks of dresses are lying around everywhere.
    • The lady herself is pretty freaky looking, too, kind of a cross between a skeleton and a mummy. She's got deep sunken eyes, and her hair is all white.
    • Pip realizes that all of the clocks in the room are stopped at exactly twenty minutes to nine.
    • Seriously, if we were Pip we'd be so out of there right now.
    • Instead, Pip stays. Miss Havisham (that's her name) tells Pip that she has a broken heart and then commands him to play.
    • Uh, how does one play on command? That violates the laws of playing. It's like anti-play.
    • Pip, showing good sense, feels the same way, and he's frozen in his tracks.
    • Miss Havisham asks Pip to call for Estella (which we guess is the little girl's name). He does, but he's not happy about it.
    • Well, how would you feel if you were forced to yell a name like "Estella" into a dark, cold, empty mansion with a creepy, half-dead lady watching you?
    • Miss Havisham makes Pip and Estella play cards, and Estella rolls her eyes about having to play with a "common" boy.
    • They play the age-old classic, Beggar My Neighbor, and Estella kicks Pip's butt.
    • She also kicks his little heart around a little, making fun of him for calling "knaves," "jacks"; and making fun of his coarse hands and thick boots.
    • Pip doesn't know what to do with himself. He's never doubted his hands, boots, or jacks before. What is going on? Aren't mid-life crises supposed to happen in the middle of life?
    • Miss Havisham asks Pip what he thinks of Estella, and he tells her that he thinks she's proud, insulting, and pretty. You know, just your average pre-pubescent heartbreaker.
    • Oh, also he'd like to go home. NOW.
    • Miss Havisham tells Pip to come back in six days, and she orders Estella to give him some food.
    • They walk down the pitch-black passages again, and Pip is weirded out by the sunshine outside. He thought for sure it would be dark out there too, you know, like when you go see a movie in the middle of a sunny day and then walk outside.
    • Estella brings him beer, bread, and meat and leaves it on the porch for him as though she were feeding a dog.
    • Naturally, Pip starts to cry, which totally pleases Estella, and then she leaves him outside. Pip has to kick a wall a little bit and twist his hair in order to get his tears and emotions out.
    • He's never felt so degraded ever, and—instead of dismissing Estella as a stuck-up little brat—he wishes he had nicer clothes and softer hands.
    • But then he drinks some beer and eats some meat, and he feels better.
    • He starts to look around the "garden" and it's in need of an Extreme Makeover. Everything is dead and withered. (We're thinking that's symbolic.)
    • He explores the brewery, too. The weird thing is that everywhere he goes, Estella is there too, but just ahead of him. It's like she's following him, but leading him at the same time. She climbs a ladder/stair in the brewery, and it looks like she's climbing into the sky.
    • Then, suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, Pip sees something hanging from a rafter at the other end of the brewery. He looks closer, and the thing is a figure of a woman all in white, and the face is of Miss Havisham. Logically, he runs toward the hanging figure.
    • (Shmoop interlude: Do not try this at home. Shmoop endorses the "if you see a white humanlike figure hanging from a rafter, turn and run" policy).
    • But there's nothing there at all. Spooky!
    • Finally, Estella leads him to the gate and then gets in another jab at him for crying (because she was apparently spying on him) before pushing him out onto the street and locking the door behind him. Charming.
    • All the way home, Pip thinks about his coarse hands and his thick boots.
  • Chapter 9

    • The next day, Pip's sister wants to know ALL the juicy details about Miss Havisham and Satis House, but Pip doesn't want to tell her.
    • For one, he doesn't think that anyone would believe his account of the old lady in an old wedding dress, and he also doesn't really want to subject Mrs. Havisham to any public criticism or mockery. For some reason.
    • When Mrs. Joe realizes she's not going to get the goods out of Pip, she pushes his forehead against the wall.
    • Then, Mr. Pumblechook comes over for tea, and, after unsuccessfully getting Pip to recite multiplication tables, he asks Pip for the gossip on Miss Havisham.
    • So Pip lies.
    • He lies that Miss Havisham lives in a black, velvet carriage that sits in her mansion. He lies that he ate cake and wine on gold plates in the carriage. He lies there were huge dogs eating veal-cutlets in silver baskets.
    • And he lies they played with flags. In his story, he, Estella, and Miss Havisham each had different colored flags, and they waved them around out the windows of the coach—which sounds like some bizarre piece of performance art.
    • At that point his well of lies is running dry and he's about to tell them that there was a bear in the cellar or a hot air balloon in the back yard, but the inquisition is over for the moment.
    • Later on, in the forge, Pip confesses to Joe that he made everything up because he's so bummed out about being "common."
    • He wants to be uncommon, see.
    • Joe shows a little folk-wisdom by telling Pip that he won't ever become uncommon if he keeps lying.
    • He also tells Pip that no one can become uncommon without being common first. Everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time, he says.
    • Pip goes to bed thinking about all the differences between Joe's house and Miss Havisham's house, and how so much had changed that day.
    • Narrator Pip (that would be the grown up Pip who's telling us this story) interjects to ask us to think about moments in our lives that change our path or direction forever.
  • Chapter 10

    • Pip gets the notion in his head that he needs some schooling in order to become uncommon.
    • The only problem is that Pip's narcoleptic school teacher, Mr. Wopsle's great aunt, can't teach a thing to anybody, because she's too busy sleeping in her room/grocery store/schoolhouse.
    • Fortunately, Biddy comes to the rescue. Biddy not only agrees to teach Pip everything she knows about reading, writing, and arithmetic, but she also takes on the task of teaching all the children in town.
    • One night after school, Pip stops at the Three Jolly Bargeman pub to collect Joe. He finds Joe, Mr. Wopsle, and a strange man next to the roaring fire, drinking rum and smoking pipes.
    • The strange man looks at Pip through squinty eyes and seems to recognize him. Creepy.
    • Pip decides to sit next to Joe, even though El Weirdo summons him to sit with him.
    • This mystery man is very curious about Pip and about how Pip is related to Joe.
    • Mr. Wopsle is tanked and reciting lines from Shakespeare's play, Richard III.
    • The mystery man keeps rubbing his leg, and, suddenly, he pulls out a file and starts stirring his drink with it. Pip's little heart is atwitter, because he recognizes that file to be the very same file he stole out of Joe's smithy to give to the escaped convict.
    • The mystery man watches Pip the whole time knowingly.
    • As the men get up to leave, the mystery man gives Pip some change wrapped in a piece of paper. Pip is stoked about the money, but still freaked out about Mr. International Man of Mystery.
    • When he unwraps the paper at home, he realizes that the paper is actually money itself—a lot of money.
    • Joe runs back to the pub to return it, but the mystery man is gone, so Mrs. Joe stuffs the money in a tea pot to keep it safe.
    • Pip has wild dreams all night long.
  • Chapter 11

    • It's Miss Havisham day!
    • Pip arrives at the gate, and again Estella disdainfully lets him in and guides him down the dark passages.
    • Today, however, he waits in a different room with three ladies and gentleman. These are Miss Havisham's relatives, and they're all just sick with worry about her. They talk dismissively of a one "Matthew Pocket."
    • When they finally notice Pip, they look at him like he were a piece of moldy meat.
    • We're pretty sure we don't like these people.
    • Estella takes Pip up to Miss Havisham's room. He says he doesn't feel like playing, but he's totally down to work.
    • Miss Havisham takes Pip across the hall to another big room. There's a long table with some kind of blob sticking out of the middle of it. Little speckled spiders are running every which way, but mostly into the blob, like there's a spider convention going on inside the blob.
    • There are slower moving beetles chilling by the fireplace, and Pip can hear mice running behind the walls.
    • So, Dickens has basically just described Shmoop's worst nightmare.
    • Miss Havisham tells Pip that this is her wedding feast, and that the blob is her bride-cake. Ew. When she dies, she wants to be laid on that very same table where her beyond-rotting wedding feast lies.
    • Miss Havisham grabs hold of Pip's shoulder and tells him to walk, and so he walks her around and around the room.
    • Pretty soon, Estella and the relatives come traipsing into the room, but Miss Havisham is so not interested in them, even though they spend a lot of time telling her how they're all worried about her (and how dumb they think some guy named Matthew Pocket is).
    • Miss Havisham has had about enough of this, and she bangs her cane on the ground and insists that Matthew Pocket will stand at the head of the table. This shuts the visitors up, and they all head out.
    • Apparently, it's Miss Havisham's birthday, and they visit her every year on her birthday.
    • Estella comes back into the room after having escorted the guests out, and the three of them stand in silence as Miss Havisham imagines her dead body on the table.
    • After some more card-playing, Pip is wandering through the garden and greenhouse looking at all of the deformed, overgrown vegetables when he sees another (totally random) little boy studying. The little boy is very pale and has red eye-lids.
    • After playing twenty questions, the little boy asks Pip to fight. Pip, not wanting to be rude, accepts.
    • The boys find a little protected nook, and the little boy brings over a sponge and bucket of water and vinegar. Pip is a little worried he's gotten in over his head, especially when the little boy starts fancy footing around, balling up his fists and going over the rules.
    • As you can guess, it's not much of a fight. Pip basically knocks the kid out in ten seconds, but it's all very friendly.
    • When Pip heads out, Estella appears out of nowhere, and she's kind of flushed. She tells Pip that he can kiss her on the cheek, and he immediately accepts.
    • It is really dark when Pip finally arrives home, and he can see the glow of Joe's forge fire reflected on the marshes.
  • Chapter 12

    • Pip is pretty sure that he's either going to be thrown in prison for life or be pummeled to a pulp by a gang of rich kids for having hit (twice) the random, pale little boy in Miss Havisham's garden.
    • But nothing happens!
    • When he returns to Miss Havisham's, Pip visits the scene of the fight. He covers up some dried blood on the pavement with some leaves and calls it a day.
    • Pip starts a new ritual at Satis House—he pushes Miss Havisham in a garden-chair-on-wheels (you know, a wheelchair) around and around her dressing room and wedding feast room. For almost three hours.
    • During one of these indoor adventures, Miss Havisham notices that Pip is tall, and she asks him what he's going to do with his life. He tells her he intends to apprentice with Joe.
    • The ritual continues over the course of many months.
    • Estella remains frosty, and Miss Havisham continues to give her jewels and to coach her in the ways of breaking men's hearts.
    • One day, Miss Havisham tells Pip to bring Joe with him the next time he visits.
    • When Pip relays the message at home, Mrs. Joe is furious that she isn't invited. Her method of coping is to tear up the entire house and subject everything to a deep cleaning, which is at least better than some we can think of.
  • Chapter 13

    • On the day of the visit, Joe works himself up into a tizzy. He can't decide what to wear, and puts on his finest digs.
    • He pops his collar to seem more gentlemanly, but the poppage just pushes up the hair in the back of his head so that he looks like a bird.
    • Pip wishes Joe would just be himself and wear his normal workday clothes—as though he doesn't understand exactly what Joe is feeling.
    • Mrs. Joe, Joe, and Pip walk into town with Mrs. Joe at the helm. She's wearing a big sun bonnet and is carrying an umbrella and lots of other random items. Pip thinks she's popping her proverbial collar for all the town to see.
    • Mrs. Joe hangs with Mr. Pumblechook during the visit, but she's still ticked off that she's not invited.
    • Estella opens that gate for Pip and Joe, but she doesn't say anything, nor does she look at them. Surprise, surprise.
    • Estella leads the Gargery men down the dark, labyrinthine passages.
    • Joe is a mess. When she asks him a question, he tells Pip the answer instead of answering her directly, and he tries to talk all elegant but just ends up sounding, um, incomprehensible.
    • Pip is MORTIFIED.
    • Finally, Miss Havisham tells Joe that Pip has earned a reward: 25 pounds as an investment in Pip's apprenticeship in the smithy.
    • (Apprentices usually had to pay money to get training, kind of like having to pay for school, except you learn a useful trade. The money covered the apprentice's expenses, like food and rent.)
    • Joe is flabbergasted. That's a LOT of dough.
    • Miss Havisham sends Pip away, and she tells Joe never to expect more money from her than what she's just given.
    • As they leave Satis House, Joe is dumbfounded by the amount of money he's holding, but Pip is crestfallen: he thought that Miss Havisham was going to adopt him or something, and instead he's just lost Estella for good.
    • When they arrive at Mr. Pumblechook, Joe conjures up a story about how Miss Havisham did not feel well enough to entertain a lady such as one Mrs. Joe Gargery, but that she sends her best regards. Total poppycock, but Mrs. Joe eats it up.
    • When Mrs. Joe and Mr. Pumblechook learn that Miss Havisham has given a gift of 25 pounds, they go CRAZY.
    • Pip is taken to the court that very day to be sworn in as an official blacksmith's apprentice, thus binding him to the trade for the rest of his days.
    • That night, the whole family celebrates at the Three Jolly Bargemen with a big feast.
    • Everyone but Pip, that is. He's just depressed.
  • Chapter 14

    • Pip is sad. He hates his home, because it reminds him of how far away he's from the wealth and privilege of Satis House.
    • (Seriously, Pip, we think you're better off.)
    • He feels like a black cloud has settled just above his head, following him wherever he goes and, like a big, heavy curtain, has barred him from continuing on the path toward becoming a gentleman.
    • Sometimes, he looks at the marshes near his house, and he thinks that they're like a metaphor for his own future. They're flat, low, dark, misty, and they lead only to the ocean.
    • So many analogies!
    • Narrator Pip interjects, telling us that his one consolation in life is that he never told Joe how he felt.
    • When Pip is working in the forge at night, he and Joe will often sing "Old Clem," and Pip remembers singing the very same song with Estella and Miss Havisham.
    • Often, he imagines Estella looking in at him from outside of the smithy. How embarrassing!
  • Chapter 15

    • When Pip has learned about all he can from Mr. Wopsle's great-aunt, he begs Biddy to teach him everything she knows. Which she does. Because unlike Estella, Biddy is actually a nice girl/woman.
    • He also tries to teach Joe everything that he learns in a way of helping Joe become more educated, and, thus, more worthy of Pip's company. How nice.
    • Pip and Joe go to the old Battery on the marshes for their lessons on Sundays, but Joe isn't the most attentive student.
    • Pip, too, spends most of his time looking at the sails on the horizon and dreaming of Estella and Satis House.
    • One Sunday, when Pip and Joe are hanging out at the battery, Pip asks Joe if he can take half a day off of work so that he can go visit Miss Havisham.
    • Joe doesn't think this is a good idea. He remembers Miss Havisham's last words warning Joe never to ask for more money than she's already given. Joe is worried that if Pip visits her, she will feel like he's returned to butter her up for more dough.
    • After they go back and forth, Joe finally agrees to give Pip a half day.
    • Pip isn't the only one at the smithy. Joe also employs a burly, gruff looking man named Orlick. Orlick hits things with his hammer in the smithy (wait, isn't the point of a smithy…?) and he's not too friendly.
    • When Orlick catches wind that Pip gets to take half a day off of work, Orlick has a conniption, extolling the inherent injustice of giving only one employee such a privilege.
    • Joe is befuddled, but then decides to give everybody a holiday in order to make everybody happy.
    • Mrs. Joe, however, overhears this ruling and bursts in upon the scene yelling and shouting at Joe for being such a fool as to let his employees walk all over him.
    • She calls Orlick names, so Orlick calls Mrs. Joe names and threatens her with violence.
    • Joe finally has to challenge Orlick to a fight to satisfy Mrs. Joe's notions of honor, and he knocks Orlick down faster than you can say "smithy."
    • We're guessing that the village blacksmith would win most fights.
    • Mrs. Joe faints, and Orlick slouches away with a bloody nose.
    • When Pip arrives at Miss Havisham's, Sarah Pocket almost refuses to let him in.
    • Miss Havisham tells him she won't give any more money, but Pip assures her he's just come to say hi and thanks.
    • Miss Havisham catches Pip looking around the room for signs of Estella. Oh, ho ho! Sorry, dude. Estella is in France learning to be a beautiful, educated woman way out of his reach.
    • As Pip is ejected onto the street, he feels even worse than he did before. We could have called that one, Pip.
    • He walks around the main street of town, looking at all of the shop windows and thinking about what he'd buy for himself if he were a gentleman.
    • Pip runs into Mr. Wopsle, who has just come out of the bookstore with a copy of The Tragedy of George Barnwell, a play. He invites Pip to come over to Mr. Pumblechook's house to read the play aloud. Fun times!
    • Under normal circumstances, Pip would never, ever hang out with Pumblechook, but since he's feeling so sad, he decides to accept the invitation.
    • The play reading doesn't end until 9:30 at night. He and Mr. Wopsle walk home together, and on their way they find Orlick crouching on the side of the road. It's a really misty night, so they can't tell what he's doing.
    • Something seems off about the guy, but he tells them that convicts have escaped from the prison ships, and that the prison ships are firing cannons to warn the local area.
    • The three men walk past the Three Jolly Bargemen, where there's mass chaos going on because of something that's happened at Pip's house.
    • And that something is Pip's sister lying unconscious in the kitchen, hit hard on the back of her head.
  • Chapter 16

    • There's a general consensus that one of the escaped convicts is to blame, since there's a convict's leg iron found at the scene of the crime.
    • But it's weird. The attacker struck Mrs. Joe from the back and didn't take anything in the house.
    • And it gets weirder: a prison ship guard says that the leg-iron wouldn't have been worn by a recent convict, since it's totally last year's model.
    • Pip suspects either Orlick or the mysterious man who gave him the two one-pound notes.
    • Sure, Orlick has the alibi of being out and about around town, but there was the little matter of him hiding out by the road.
    • Plus, if the mysterious man were to have asked Mrs. Joe for his money, she would have given to him, since she tried to give it to him in the first place.
    • In any case, the leg-iron is the one that his convict severed and left on the marshes those many years before. Pip feels REALLY guilty, like an accessory to his sister's assault.
    • Mrs. Joe has lost her hearing and can hardly see, and she can't move or talk without great difficulty. The family gives her a chalk board, but they have a hard time figuring out what she writes/draws.
    • Fortunately, Biddy comes to live with the Gargerys, and she understands Mrs. Joe really well.
    • One day, Mrs. Joe draws a picture of a hammer, and Biddy eventually realizes that she's asking for Orlick.
    • Orlick is brought to Mrs. Joe, and she's just delighted to see him. Orlick feels super awkward about the whole thing, but she asks for him every day.
  • Chapter 17

    • Pip gets used to his blacksmith lifestyle, even if he's still a little mopey.
    • He also starts to notice that Biddy is all grown up with fancy hair-dos and high heels and pretty eyes.
    • One day, Pip is studying in the kitchen while Biddy sews near him, listening to him read aloud. She seems to be sponging up everything that he learns himself, all while taking care of daily domestic tasks, errands, and chores.
    • Basically, we kind of wish we were reading more about her and less about Pip's whininess.
    • Pip begins to think that Biddy must just be the perfect person to confide in, to express all of his melancholy emotions, as well as his hopes and dreams. (What, you say Biddy might have had hopes and dreams of her own?)
    • On Sunday, the two of them take a summer stroll on the marshes. It's a beautiful day, but Pip finally confesses his deepest secret to Biddy: he wants to be a gentleman more than anything in the world.
    • Uh, says Biddy, maybe you shouldn't spend your time wishing for something you won't ever have.
    • No way. Someone once told him that he was common, and that comment has been haunting him ever since.
    • Biddy tells him that the comment was neither polite nor true. She asks Pip who made the comment, and Pip tells her the most beautiful lady in the whole wide world said so, and he l-o-v-e-s her.
    • Very gently, Biddy points out that probably the best thing to do is just ignore her, since she's not worthy of him anyway, but Pip ignores this excellent advice.
    • Instead, he repays her by saying that he wishes he could make himself fall in love with her, because, if that were the case, everything would be okay for him.
    • He's a real charmer, that Pip.
    • Suddenly, Orlick shows up out of the graveyard and menaces them a little. Biddy tells Pip that she doesn't like Orlick. She tells him that Orlick likes her and flirts with her mercilessly, against her will.
    • Ooh, Pip doesn't trust that guy.
    • Pip realizes that he's starting to get used to the whole blacksmith thing, especially now that his sister is incapacitated. He begins to imagine himself living with Joe for the rest of his life and eventually marrying Biddy.
    • And then everything changes.
  • Chapter 18

    • Pip has been apprenticing for four years when, one Saturday night at the Three Jolly Bargemen, something happens.
    • Pip and the boys are sitting around the fire listening to Mr. Wopsle give a dramatic reading about a recent murder when a mysterious man butts in and asks the group who they believe to be the murderer.
    • After some very lawyerly cross-examination, the man says that he wants to speak with a blacksmith named Joe Gargery and his apprentice, Pip. Whaaaa?
    • Pip, Joe, and the strange man walk home, where we find out that Mr. Mystery #2 is Mr. Jaggers, a London lawyer, who has come to tell Pip about his "great expectations."
    • He's about to inherit a huge fortune and will be made into a London gentleman.
    • !!!
    • Mr. Jaggers offers Joe money to compensate for losing an apprentice, but he refuses—and he's not too happy about being offered it, either.
    • Pip's benefactor will remain unknown to him until he/she chooses to reveal himself/herself, but in the meantime, Pip needs an education. How about Mr. Matthew Pocket, Miss Havisham's estranged relative, as a potential tutor?
    • Pip accepts.
    • Pip and Joe are speechless throughout this entire encounter.
    • Mr. Jaggers gives Pip twenty pounds to buy new clothes, offers Joe money again, gets rejected—quite violently—again, and then heads off.
    • Everyone is kind of blown away by this whole thing, but they try to be happy for Pip.
    • In bed, he overhears Joe and Biddy saying nice things about him, and, for some reason, he's lonelier than he's ever been before in his entire life.
  • Chapter 19

    • Pip feels better in the morning. He can't wait to get to London—and then come home and show off his new fancy gentlemanly self to the village.
    • In a moving moment, Pip tells Joe he'll never forget him, but it feels a little contrived and insincere.
    • Things go downhill, when Pip and Biddy get in a fight after Pip asks Biddy to teach Joe everything she knows so that he might be worthy of his society.
    • Biddy tells Pip Joe is proud and that he might not want to be improved.
    • You're just jealous, Pip says, and how Biddy keeps from slapping him we do not know.
    • Pip gets himself all dressed up and decked out, and then visits Miss Havisham who already knows his situation. (Pip obviously thinks that this mysterious benefactor is Miss Havisham.) She flaunts him in front of Sarah Pocket to heat her jealousy.
    • That night, Pip has wild anxiety dreams, but he holds it together until he's in the carriage—and then he starts crying. Hard.


  • Chapter 20

    • It's a five hour carriage ride to London, and when Pip arrives in the big city, the country boy thinks that London is decidedly overrated. Everything is dirty, labyrinthine, and abrasive.
    • The carriage driver delivers Pip to Jaggers' office, but not without mentioning how afraid he is of Jaggers. This perplexes Pip, but it also means that he doesn't have to tip the driver, since the driver is afraid of what Jaggers might do if he overcharges.
    • Pip is greeted by a clerk who lets him know that Mr. Jaggers is in court, but that Pip can wait inside.
    • There are lots of people around, all waiting for Mr. Jaggers.
    • Pip waits in Mr. Jaggers' office, which is full of such delightful things as Mr. Jaggers' chair, which look likes a coffin, and two casts of gruesome, twitchy faces.
  • Chapter 21

    • Wemmick comes to take Pip off. Wemmick is a square-looking man with a post-office mouth.
    • He's a bit gruff and wears lots of "mourning" rings which makes Pip think that he's lost a lot of friends or family members.
    • Wemmick and Pip arrive at Barnard's Inn, Pip's new London digs, and Pip is crestfallen. He was imagining his new apartment would put the Blue Boar to shame, but this place is more like a graveyard.
    • They go up to Pip's apartment and see that Mr. Pocket, Junior has left a message for Pip saying he'll be right back.
    • Pip says goodbye to Wemmick and shakes his hand. Wemmick is surprised by the handshaking, but leaves Pip pleasantly.
    • Ugh, this place is dirty.
    • Mr. Pocket, Junior arrives, bringing strawberries for Pip. Pip is flabbergasted by this random act of kindness.
    • Turns out, Mr. Pocket, Junior is really cool and gives Pip a warm welcome. He can't afford anything better than this apartment, because his father doesn't make much money, but he promises to give Pip a tour of the city in the morning.
    • Suddenly both men realize that they know each other: they got into a fight at Miss Havisham's many years ago. Remember?
  • Chapter 22

    • Whoa!
    • Herbert rewrites history a little bit and asks Pip to forgive him for beating him up, and Pip decides not to correct him.
    • Herbert, like Pip, was brought to Miss Havisham's all those years ago to serve as a playmate for Estella, but they didn't exactly get along. In fact, Estella was brought up to make men miserable.
    • What? It's cool; Herbert will fill him in on the juicy gossip at dinner.
    • Herbert's dad is going to be Pip's new tutor and teacher.
    • Herbert's a nice guy: he's honest and cheerful, but Pip is pretty sure he'll never be rich or successful. Still, he's a gentleman, and he agrees to help teach Pip how to be one, too.
    • He even comes up with a new nickname for Pip—Handel, based on "The Harmonious Blacksmith," by composer Handel.
    • Get it? Because Pip was a blacksmith?
    • The boys have dinner, and Pip is thrilled beyond belief. There are no grown-ups around, he lives in London, and he has a new BFF. What could be better than this?
    • Pip reminds Herbert to tell him Miss Havisham's story.
    • This is Herbert's account of Miss Havisham:
    • She was a spoiled little only child until her dad (a country gentleman who owned a brewery) secretly married a cook. When the cook died, he told Miss Havisham that she had a half-brother named Arthur. Miss Havisham didn't like this too much.
    • Arthur grew up to be a real pain in the rear, and a rebel too. He lived the high life, spending lots of money and creating havoc everywhere he went.
    • He and Miss Havisham did not get along very well. In fact, they hated each other's guts.
    • When their dad died, he left Arthur a nice fortune, but he left Miss Havisham the big dough.
    • Since Miss Havisham was rich and pretty, she was considered quite a catch.
    • But it just so happened that she fell in love with the wrong man. The seriously wrong man.
    • He wasn't a gentleman at all; he was a rake who convinced her to buy Arthur out of his share of the brewery at a huge cost.
    • Herbert's dad, Mr. Pocket, warned his cousin that her beau was up to no good, but she didn't believe him. In fact, she ordered him out of the house and out of her life.
    • On the day of her wedding to the gentleman, she received a letter from him calling the whole thing off. No one knows what the letter said, but Miss Havisham went a little crazy after reading that letter and fell very ill. She let the mansion go to ruin, and that was that.
    • Apparently, Arthur and the gentleman were in cahoots with each other all along and had meant to rob Miss Havisham of her fortune. They also wanted to embarrass her publicly.
    • This ends Herbert's account of Miss Havisham's story, and, yeah, we feel pretty sorry for her.
    • But Herbert doesn't know much about Estella.
    • Like Pip, Herbert assumes that Miss Havisham is Pip's benefactor and wants Pip to know that he's totally not jealous.
    • Pip asks Herbert what he does for a living, and Herbert tells him he's a "capitalist—an insurer of ships" (22.70). Herbert's lifelong dream is to become a shipping merchant and to strike it rich. He dreams of moving to the Far East where life is profitable. As of right now, however, Herbert is waiting for his big break. He works in a counting house, hoping everyday that an opportunity will come his way.
    • Pip loves Herbert's idealistic demeanor, but again he can't help but think that Herbert will never strike it rich or be successful.
    • London is amazing. It's glittery and delicious and full of all kinds of interesting people and so, so, so much better than the stinky marsh.
    • Still, Pip can't help thinking about Joe.
    • The boys decide to go to the Pocket home next in Hammersmith. When Pip arrives, he finds Herbert's seven brothers and sisters tumbling every which way on the lawn.
    • Mrs. Pocket, Herbert's mother, is reading a book very intensely, and we're not sure how she manages to find time to read with that many kids, but it's cool.
    • She asks Pip how his mother is doing, and Pip is saved from having to answer when her youngest child is placed on her lap and she can't figure out how to handle or hold it.
    • Ah, this is how she has time to read: her servants, Miss Flopson and Miss Millers, are pretty much like drill sergeants, ordering everyone (including Mrs. Pocket) around.
    • Mrs. Pocket is like the Bermuda Triangle of tumbling. Every time one of her children goes near her, they fall. Even the servants trip over her.
    • Mrs. Pocket orders naps for everyone (Shmoop too?), and the kiddiewinks are marched inside.
    • When Mr. Pocket finally arrives, he looks exactly like what you would expect him to look like: disheveled, grey-haired, and a little discombobulated.
  • Chapter 23

    • Mr. Pocket welcomes Pip warmly, but his wife is not so interested. The only thing Mrs. Pocket is interested in is her daddy, because her daddy was a knight who believed he was meant to be a baron.
    • Mrs. Pocket was raised to be decorative and ornamental, which is not really the kind of lady who you'd think would go off and have eight kids, but, whatevs.
    • Pip meets the two other young men he will be studying with at Mr. Pocket's house: Drummle, "an old-looking young man, who was whistling" (23.4), and Startop (a young man who was reading a book while holding his head as though it were about to explode.)
    • Pip soon figures out that the Pocket household is run by its servants; namely Flopson and Millers. The servants wear the pants. They have parties and get drunk in the kitchen, they forget to take care of the baby, they order Mrs. Pocket around.
    • It's a weird place—very Alice in Wonderland, if you ask us.
    • Mr. Pocket is a brilliant scholar and he makes a living teaching and writing books.
    • Pip learns from the "toady" neighbor, Mrs. Coiler, that Mrs. Pocket hates that Mr. Pocket has to make a living by teaching others.
    • Mrs. Coiler is a snake-like lady who likes to compliment everybody about everything. She's a bit slimy, to be honest.
    • Pip learns that Drummle's first name is Bentley and he most likely will become a baron one day. He and Mrs. Pocket hit it off by commiserating about their nobility.
    • A Sound of Music  moment arrives when the seven Pocket children are summoned to the dinner table. Flopson lines them up, army style.
    • Mrs. Pocket wants to hold the baby, but she's really bad at being motherly and, well, careful. The baby almost slips under the table, and then its head crashes on top of the table.
    • While she talks to Drummle about her daddy the knight, the baby starts to cry. Jane Pocket, a little, teensy girl, sneaks over to soothe the baby, but Mrs. Pocket yells at her and tells her to go lie down.
    • Now the baby is playing with a nutcracker! That's safe!
    • Mr. Pocket gives his children each a shilling.
    • Despite all this craziness, it's good times in the Pocket household. The boys (Pip, Startop, Drummle, and Herbert) go rowing every evening.
    • One night, Pip witnesses yet another domestic crisis while sitting with Mr. and Mrs. Pocket in the living room. A servant tells Mr. Pocket that the cook is drunk and passed out in the kitchen. Mr. Pocket goes down to the kitchen to investigate. He also finds a bunch of pilfered butter grease.
    • When he reports back to his wife, Mrs. Pocket is super mad and defends the cook's honor and sobriety. Apparently the cook had always told her she was fit to be a duchess.
    • Mr. Pocket is about to go crazy up in here.
  • Chapter 24

    • Pip and Mr. Pocket discuss Pip's education, which is supposed to cover just enough to get by in life.
    • Mr. Pocket is good people. He's smart, honest, and kind, and he gives the okay for Herbert and Pip to live together—which means it's time to head to the nearest Ikea!
    • But first, it's off to visit Mr. Jaggers for some money. After a rousing conversation involving multiplication and other math guessing games, he says Pip can have twenty pounds. Sweet.
    • After Wemmick gives Pip the money, he takes him on a tour of the office. Pip asks Wemmick the story behind scary casts/sculpture-thingies. Here's the deal:
    • The casts portray two criminals who were sentenced to death: one for murder and the other for forging wills. Immediately after the men were killed, the casts were made of their faces. So basically, Jaggers has fine artwork in his office portraying of two faces frozen in the agony of their death. How delightful!
    • Wemmick shows Pip the jewels that these criminals gave him on the eve of their deaths. Apparently, the criminals in London really like to suck up to Wemmick and to give him all kinds of cool trinkets.
    • Wemmick is an advocate of "portable property" (24.41), that is, stuff that you can carry around with you or that you can easily grab when moving to Switzerland on a moment's notice.
    • So, no 54" inch TVs for this guy—it's all microchips and minidisk players.
    • Wemmick tells Pip he's welcome to come have dinner at his house whenever. He warns Pip that Jaggers will be inviting him to his place soon too. While Jaggers will provide delicious wine, his maid, Molly, is a little strange—so keep an eye on her.
    • Finally, the two boys head over to the courthouse to see Mr. Jaggers in action. Everyone in court is scared stiff. He's a powerful man.
  • Chapter 25

    • Pip goes to dinner at Wemmick's house and it is better than Disney World. Seriously. It puts Cinderella's chateau to shame.
    • See, Wemmick has built his own castle in a part of town called Walworth. The "castle" is the size of a little house, except with a flagpole, a moat, and a drawbridge. What more could anyone want (besides a rooftop Jacuzzi and a whole box of popsicles)?
    • Wemmick asks Pip if he wouldn't mind meeting the Aged. Pip wonders if he's referring to a particularly stinky form of cheese.
    • Nope. It's Wemmick's father, a very energetic though completely deaf man.
    • The Aged loves to be nodded at, so Wemmick and Pip spend a good half hour nodding their heads at the Aged.
    • Apparently, Wemmick at home is very different from the Wemmick at the office, almost a completely different person.
    • They have a great time in the castle.
  • Chapter 26

    • The boys dine at Jaggers'.
    • Jaggers has an ability to bring out the worst in those around him (fun!), so the boys start quarreling among themselves.
    • Pip accuses Drummle of never having repaid Startop for money he had lent him, and Jaggers tell Pip to steer clear of Drummle in the future. He christens Drummle, "the spider," and actually really likes this butthead. Go figure. Only Jaggers.
    • Per instructions, Pip pays close attention to Molly. She's very weird, not to mention quiet.
    • At one point, Jaggers grabs her by the arm to show his dinner guests how strong her scarred hands and arms are.
    • Weird.
  • Chapter 27

    • Pip receives a letter from Biddy telling him that Joe would like to come visit him in London. Biddy tells Pip that his sister is still sick, but that they talk about Pip every night and wonder what he's doing and what he's saying.
    • Awww. Biddy adds a PS saying that Joe insists on sending a very particular message: "what larks."
    • Biddy hopes that Pip, now a high falutin' gentleman, won't mind seeing Joe, a poor blacksmith, but she's wrong. Pip is not excited to see Joe. Oh, Pip. Pip is suddenly embarrassed of Joe, and kind of glad that his brother-in-law isn't visiting at the Pockets' house where Bentley Drummle might see him.
    • Pip has redecorated his London apartment a little bit, and he's hired a young boy to be his servant. Problem: after getting the boy a nice uniform, he realizes that he doesn't really have anything for the boy to do.
    • He calls the boy the Avenged Phantom (the Avenger for short), because he always hangs around like a ghost, and because he doesn't really have a purpose.
    • Joe arrives the next day and is thrilled to see Pip, though he's really uncomfortable in Pip's apartment amid all of the finery.
    • Joe won't shake Herbert's hand because he's too much of a gentleman. Instead he bows a little bit to Herbert in deference to him.
    • Joe notices the Avenger, but doesn't quite know what to make of him. This is kind of a theme: he also doesn't know what to do with his hat, so he hangs it on the side of a fireplace—where it keeps falling down.
    • Pip is not really helping this whole situation, and he's relieved when Herbert has to leave.
    • Joe tells Pip that Mr. Wopsle has left the church to become an actor in London. He and Mr. Wopsle went to go check out a blacking factory the day before, and Joe didn't think it was nearly as cool as the pictures made it look.
    • Pip is totally unresponsive, but at the same time he can't understand why Joe keeps calling him "sir."
    • Apparently, Mr. Pumblechook is taking credit all over town for Pip's fortune and is telling everyone that he and Pip were and are the best of friends. Gross.
    • Finally, Joe tells Pip the reason for his visit: Miss Havisham asked Joe to tell Pip that Estella wants to see him.
    • Pip suddenly feels much, much better, and he wishes he had known that this was the reason for Joe's visit all along.
    • With this message passed along, Joe gets ready to leave. In the middle of breakfast. What?
    • Life has taken them in two different directions, says Joe, and that's just the way it goes.
    • What a depressing chapter—for us and for Pip.
  • Chapter 28

    • Pip is off immediately, but he decides to stay at the village inn rather than Joe's house because you just know that Joe is going to tell him that his high school curfew is in effect and he has to do his chores.
    • The journey home is pretty much the carriage ride from hell. There are two convicts who accompany the carriage riders, and—what do you know?—one of the convicts is the very same man who gave him the two pound note all those years ago at the Three Jolly Bargemen.
    • Pip has to sit right in front of this convict, and, as he's a heavy breather, Pip feels his convict-breath on him the whole ride home.
    • The convict tells his compadre the story of giving a two pound note to a little boy in marsh country many years ago, and Pip realizes that he's relating the exact same story.
    • He's freaked out that the convict is going to recognize him, even though that's highly unlikely, Pip jumps ship (or carriage, rather) at the first possible stop.
    • When he gets to the Blue Boar, everyone there recognizes him as the young man for whom Pumblechook is responsible. We say again: gross.
  • Chapter 29

    • Pip is totally excited that he gets to see Estella today. He decides to go for a walk before he visits Miss Havisham. On the walk, it's all "Estella, Estella, Estella." He loves her with all of his being and against his better judgment. He knows she's tough, moody, and cold but he can't help but be totally drawn to her.
    • He's not deluded about who she is as a person, but he sure is swimming in de Nile about his destiny.
    • You see, Pip believes that he and Estella are meant to be. End of story. Get the pumpkin carriage ready so that they can ride off into the sunset. He thinks that Miss Havisham wants to throw the two lovebirds together so that they will bring warmth and light to her dreary, scary house.
    • We have to say, we think Pip has really misread her character.
    • Pip knocks at Miss Havisham's gate, and who should appear but Orlick, the bully who used to work in the forge. Orlick is the new gatekeeper.
    • Pip and Orlick snarl at each other a little, and then Pip finds Miss Havisham sitting her living room watching a lady.
    • It is Estella! All grown up and lady-like and real pretty!
    • And just like that, Pip feels like an awkward little boy again and resolves to reject his family all over again.
    • Estella and Pip go for a walk in the garden outside, but it doesn't go so well for Pip. Estella can't remember any of the stories he tells her about their encounters when they were little.
    • Basically, Pip worships the hem of her skirt, and Estella couldn't care less: she doesn't have a heart, and she doesn't feel anything for anyone.
    • Poppycock, says Pip. Someone so beautiful can't be heartless.
    • Estella rolls her eyes at the dumb boy, and then the two of them see a ghost in the brewery. It's a strange moment, and we're not quite sure what to make of it.
    • Pip tries to pretend he's not scared by saying he doesn't believe Estella is heartless, and she tells him that he's a silly boy.
    • Pip is totally convinced that he's meant to marry Estella.
    • They go back inside, Estella leaves to get ready for dinner, and Miss Havisham demands that Pip love Estella. Seriously, demands: she says, "love her!" over and over and over again (29.84).
    • She tells Pip that she built Estella to be loved and to break hearts.
    • And then Jaggers shows up. It's a real party now!
    • Dinner is as awkward as you'd expect, and afterwards Jaggers, Estella, and Pip play cards, while Miss Havisham puts jewels in Estella's hair.
    • Miss Havisham asks Pip to escort Estella from London to Richmond when she comes to town in the next few weeks, which he's thrilled to do.
    • Pip goes to bed professing his love to an imaginary Estella.
    • He realizes that he can never go back to Joe now. He really believes that he and Estella are meant to be.
    • He's kind of dumb. Sorry, but it's true.
  • Chapter 30

    • The next morning, Pip tells Jaggers that Orlick is one rotten cookie, and Jaggers promises to have Orlick fired at once.
    • Pip's a little worried that this might stir up some bad blood with Orlick, but Jaggers is not a man to be wishy-washy.
    • As he's getting ready to leave town, Pip is followed by and mocked by Trabb's boy, the smart aleck smarty pants who makes fun of Pip for being too good for his fellow townspeople—which, well, he's got a point.
    • Trabb's boy is relentless, and Pip feels totally slimy and dejected.
    • When Pip gets home, the first thing he does is tell Herbert about Estella and about how much he loves her. Um, duh, says Herbert.
    • Herbert tries to reassure Pip, but he also tells him that he doesn't think that Estella is destined for Pip after all, and that Miss Havisham doesn't plan to hook them up.
    • This completely derails Pip.
    • Herbert tells Pip that he's in love with a girl named Clara and that he will marry her. She lives by the sea and he father has something to do with shipping, so Herbert thinks it's a great career move. (The girl's nice, too.)
    • Momma Pocket isn't too pleased, but we can't win 'em all.
  • Chapter 31

    • Pip and Herbert go to the theater! Mr. Wopsle is playing Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet, a play about a Danish prince who has a serious identity crisis after his mother marries his dead dad's murderer. Check it out.
    • We would give anything to see this production. The actor who plays the ghost of Hamlet's dead father has a really bad cough, and he also can't remember his lines to save his life. He has to carry his script with him wherever he goes.
    • Hamlet's mother looks like a punk rocker wearing head gear, because her chin is attached to a tiara on her head by a chain.
    • Ophelia is so annoying that people cheer when she begins to do herself in.
    • Mr. Wopsle is grossed out by the skeleton he has to touch.
    • And the audience is replying to EVERYTHING the actors say. When Hamlet asks, "To be, or not to be," the audience shouts their opinions. It's basically a round table discussion.
    • Overall, it's pretty much the best play ever.
    • Pip and Herbert try to give Mr. Wopsle a standing ovation, but they stop when they realize that it's a lost cause. They spend most of the play trying to stifle their laughter.
    • The boys attempt to sneak out before Mr. Wopsle sees them, but a man corners them before they can escape and takes them to Mr. Wopsle's dressing room.
    • There Mr. Wopsle (who goes by Mr. Waldengarver now) is having his stockings pulled off of him. It's a big deal. He asks the boys what they thought of the production, and Herbert automatically responds, "Capitally!" (31.21) and Pip, speechless, mimics Herbert's reply. The boys are about to bust up laughing, but they manage to compliment Mr. Wopsle.
    • They invite Mr. Wopsle to dinner, and the man stays until 2 am talking about his road to stardom. Pip goes to bed miserable, thinking about Estella (as usual), and he has some seriously twisted dreams that night.
    • He dreams he proposes to Clara, that he plays the role of Hamlet in front of 20,000 people, and that he forgets his lines. Oh, and Miss Havisham takes the form of Hamlet's mother.
  • Chapter 32

    • Estella is coming to town! Yeehaw! Pip gets a note that has neither a greeting nor a signature. It just says, basically, "Pip, come pick me up day after tomorrow. Noonish."
    • There's not enough time to order new clothes, which is a bummer. Also, Pip can't sleep or eat. He spends his time hanging around the carriage house for fear that Estella arrives early.
    • On the day of her arrival, he shows up at the carriage house five hours early. Does this man have a day job, or what?
    • Fortunately, he runs into Wemmick who invites Pip to accompany him on a short visit to Newgate prison. Fun!
    • When in the prison, Pip notices how Wemmick is like Elvis to the prison guards and to the prisoners themselves. They adore him, and they see him as their ticket to freedom and greatness.
    • Wemmick introduces Pip to a colonel who is a little loco. Wemmick tells the man that he doesn't think his trial is going to turn out very well. The colonel thanks Wemmick and shakes his hand. Oh, but could the crazy man get him some pigeons? Sure? Great! Wemmick is going to be a pigeon-owner!
    • The prison guards ask Wemmick lots of questions about Jaggers' various cases, but Wemmick dusts them off. He and Pip leave the prison, and Wemmick discusses how feared and magnanimous Jaggers is to the criminals of London and to London itself. The boys say goodbye to each other.
    • Pip feels weird. He thinks about how Estella is the antithesis of Newgate prison. He wonders why criminals always find their way into his life, ever since he was a little boy. He wishes he had never gone to the prison, and feels like he smells like a prison instead of Polo Sport.
    • But at least all this has made time go by. Pretty soon, Estella is waving at him from the carriage window.
  • Chapter 33

    • Estella comes to town dressed head to toe in fur, and Pip is totally entranced. If Estella told him to jump off a bridge, he would do it. If Estella told him to eat a lit firecracker, he would do it.
    • She lays down the rules: they'll ride in a carriage to her new home and she will pay for everything: tea, horses, tips, manis/pedis—everything.
    • Estella wants to take a little snack break in London before traveling to her new home, where they pay an arm and a leg for an itty-bitty muffin and an urn full of twiggy tea. They sit at a dining table with thirty chairs around it, and there's a half-burnt book in the fire.
    • Thank you, Charles Dickens, once again, for the detail.
    • Apparently, the Pockets write mean, incriminating letters about Pip to Miss Havisham, but Miss Havisham loves that he makes them jealous. There's nothing anyone can say in the world that would taint Miss Havisham's opinion of him.
    • Estella rants a little bit about how un-fun it was to grow up in a household with nasty, selfish, jealous relatives and with a mother who only is peaceful at weird hours of the night.
    • Pip fully realizes that Estella has had a messed up childhood. Duh.
    • (Kids, cover your eyes, because the next part is a little steamy, and we don't know if you can handle it.)
    • Pip kisses Estella's hand, and then kisses her cheek. She's about as moved as a statue, and when he's finished, she goes back to business as usual.
    • They get on the carriage and embark upon their journey. Estella tells Pip that Miss Havisham is paying a rich friend to take care of Estella and to introduce her to "society."
    • Estella tells Pip he's expected to come visit as often as is "proper." "So, like, every hour, on the hour, right?" thinks Pip.
    • They say goodbye on her new doorstep, and Estella is enveloped by the rich house and by her new maids.
    • Pip is heartbroken when he leaves her. He's even more heartbroken when he arrives home at the Pockets'.
    • He sees Jane Pocket strolling around with her boyfriend, and he's totally jealous.
    • When he enters the Pocket household, he finds Mrs. Pocket ranting about the fact that baby Pocket has swallowed some needles. (So not safe or funny, you guys.) She's sent baby to bed as a remedy.
    • Mr. Pocket is out lecturing, and Pip is in desperate need of a friend and confidante. No such luck, Pip old chap.
  • Chapter 34

    • Pip can't stop thinking about Estella. Yeah, yeah, yeah. What's new? He also feels pretty bad about the way he's been treating Joe, neglecting him and all.
    • He even wishes he'd never met Miss Havisham so he could be working in the forge with Joe this very minute, without all these anxieties and worries.
    • Pip is living the life of a London playboy, meaning that he's spending money that he doesn't have (yet). The debts are piling high, and, what's worse is that he's had a negative influence on Herbert, his best friend in the world.
    • We all know Herbert is pretty awesome. If he weren't Pip's friend, he wouldn't be drawn to the high life and he wouldn't be spending so much money.
    • How are the boys spending so much money? On booze, jewelry, food, and the Finches.
    • Oh yes, the Finches. The Finches eat dinner every two weeks and get really, really drunk. They're a society of men, kind of like a fraternity but not associated with college. When Pip first encounters them, guess who he sees? Bentley "the spider" Drummle, who likes to get so drunk that he runs into streetlamps. He's a charmer.
    • Pip and Herbert start having to eat less and less, and, while Herbert keeps a positive attitude about his career, things just aren't looking good.
    • So the boys resort to the age-old stand by that always makes them feel better: they calculate their debts.
    • Herbert's not so good at staying on task, but Pip helps him. They order a delicious dinner and a good bottle of wine, and they add up all of their debts. Afterwards, Pip arranges the bills in neat little piles, and he feels really good about himself. He feels like he's accomplished something, he feels smart, and he feels like he's helped his good friend.
    • Suddenly, a note is slipped through the door. Pip opens it and discovers that his sister, Mrs. Joe, has died and that her funeral will be on Monday. Guilt-city, here we come.
  • Chapter 35

    • Pip is rocked by his sister's death. It's the first death that he's encountered in his grown-up life, and he can't stop thinking about Mrs. Joe in her rocking chair by the fire.
    • She may have been a mean old snake, but he still feels like he should hunt down Orlick, who he believes is the cause of her death.
    • The funeral turns out to be a big, old spectacle. Joe is very sad. Trabb is arranging the funeral, and makes the pall bearers (Pip included), carry Mrs. Joe's casket across town. Trabb throws a black sheath over the casket, and it covers the pall bearers' heads so they look like a giant, many-legged monster-bug.
    • Mr. Pumblechook is being uber annoying, as usual. He keeps drinking all the alcohol, preening Pip, and taking credit for Pip's rise to fame and fortune.
    • After the funeral, Joe and Pip chat about old times. At night, it's time for Pip and Biddy to do the same thing.
    • When he asks what she'll do with her life now. Biddy sassily responds that she's going to be a schoolmistress and will be just fine, thank you very much.
    • Biddy says that one day around tea-time, Mrs. Joe asked for Joe. Joe came to her and she simply said, "Joe," "Pardon," and "Pip." And then she just died.
    • Also, Orlick has been hanging around Biddy, watching her, and being up to no good. Pip is enraged. He wants to hunt Orlick down, but Biddy tells him to simmer down.
    • Then the conversation turns a bit awkward as Pip promises Biddy he will come home often to take care of Joe. Biddy just doesn't believe him, and she conveys this through silence.
    • Pip is annoyed, heartbroken, and altogether sad that Biddy would think that, even though, come on, she's totally right.
    • Pip sleeps in his old room that night and is proud of himself for doing so rather than sleeping at the fancier Blue Boar inn. Good job, Pip. Gold star for you.
    • The next morning, he watches Joe in the window of the forge. Joe looks young, strong, and sunshiny.
    • Biddy gives Pip milk and bread for the road and tells him she's sorry if she hurt his feelings.
    • Pip leaves the forge, promising to return soon.
    • Guess what? The mists are rising. We know—shocking.
    • The mists are like Pip's crystal ball and, in them, on this particular day, he sees that he will not be coming home soon at all. Liar, liar, pants on fire.
  • Chapter 36

    • Pip and Herbert have been spending money faster than they can make it. But fortunately, it's Pip's 21st birthday!
    • Mr. Jaggers invites Pip into his office and, after grilling him for a while, tells Pip that he's getting a gigantic birthday present. From now on, Pip will receive an allowance of 500 pounds a year. That's a lot of money. Pip is psyched, but he really wants to know who his benefactor is.
    • Mr. Jaggers isn't talking. But he does invite himself over for dinner at Pip and Herbert's.
    • While he's there, Pip asks Wemmick for some advice. Pip has the crazy idea that he'd like to invest some of his new allowance in a certain friend who is interested in the merchant and shipping business.
    • Wemmick advises Pip never to lend anyone some money.
    • Pip asks Wemmick whether he's speaking as businessman or as friend, and Wemmick confirms he's speaking as a businessman. If he wants to know what Wemmick thinks as a friend, he'll have to come to Wemmick's house in Walworth.
  • Chapter 37

    • The following Sunday afternoon, Pip decides to visit Wemmick's castle. When he arrives, the Aged greets him and tells him that Wemmick is out. He lowers the drawbridge.
    • The Aged and Pip enjoy each other's company in the meantime, and Pip makes the Aged laugh really hard by saying something that was not that funny. A lot of nodding happens.
    • Then a little wooden flap in the living room goes flying. The name "John" is written on the flap, and the Aged proclaims that his son is home.
    • Pip meets Wemmick, who salutes at him—which is funny because (though the drawbridge is drawn) the moat is small enough for Pip to reach across and shake Wemmick's hand.
    • Wemmick has a lady friend with him... Her name is Miss Skiffins, and she seems nice even though she made the stylistically dubious decision to wear orange and green.
    • Now, Pip asks Wemmick for advice as to how best to finance Herbert's career without him ever knowing.
    • Turns out, there's a shipping merchant in town named Clarriker who is looking to expand his company.
    • The four have tea and sit around the fire, while Pip watches Wemmick try to sneak his arm around Miss Skiffins' waist, which is apparently the 19th century equivalent of feeling up a girl.
    • Pip goes home after a cozy night at Wemmick's, hopeful that his "expectations" might do some good after all.
    • Narrator Pip tells us that one of the turning points of his life was about to take place, but that he's going to first devote a chapter to Estella and to his relationship with that cold lady.
  • Chapter 38

    • Pip is spending most of his days hanging out in Richmond with Estella. There, Estella's being introduced to society by means of one of Miss Havisham's old (and wealthy) friends.
    • It's awful, because Estella basically just uses him to make the other boys jealous and then teases him for not taking a hint.
    • Eventually, they decide to go visit Miss Havisham together.
    • Miss Havisham is weird. No, seriously, folks. Dickens describes Miss Havisham as "weird," and we couldn't agree more.
    • Miss Havisham is delighted to see Estella, is more obsessed with her than ever before, and wants to know how Pip has been used by Estella too.
    • At night, the happy family gathers by the fire, and Miss Havisham makes Estella describe all of the men who are in love with her.
    • Observing this scene, Pip realizes that Estella is Miss Havisham's guided missile, designed to wound and destroy every man that comes in her path. But somehow, he still convinces himself that she's going to marry Pip.
    • The three are enjoying the accounts of the poor men who love Estella, when Estella decides to unhook her arm from Miss Havisham's arm.
    • BIG mistake. Miss Havisham goes ballistic, accusing her of being ungrateful and cold. Uh—you made her that way, lady.
    • Miss Havisham demands her love, and Estella replies (calling her "mother by adoption") that she can't give what she doesn't have.
    • It looks like Miss Havisham's guided missile had become misguided and has struck home.
    • While Miss Havisham rocks back and forth and moans, Pip decides to go for a walk. A splendid idea. When he returns, Estella is kneeling at Miss Havisham's feet and knitting.
    • It's as though their argument never happened, and Pip tells us he never witnessed another argument like it ever again.
    • Pip spends a very restless night, and then ends by talking about Bentley Drummle, the spider. One day, Pip is hanging out with the Finches at their club. Drummle tells the boys that he's pursuing Estella, and that's she totally into him.
    • Pip sees red. He accuses Drummle of lying, which is a big deal. The society decides that Drummle has to provide evidence that he's dating Estella, which Drummle easily does. He shows the boys a note Estella had written him.
    • Ouch.
    • At a party soon after, he watches Drummle flirt with Estella all night. Pip approaches Estella and asks her why she allows someone as spider-ly as Drummle to hang out with her.
    • Estella tells him she does so to have a certain "effect" on her other suitors, but not on Pip.
    • Why? Does Pip really want her to deceive and entrap him?
    • Well, kind of. He knows that this means he doesn't stand a chance with Estella, that she has plans for Drummle, and that he's farther away from her than he's ever been.
  • Chapter 39

    • Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy BIRTHDAY dear Pi-ip…happy birthday to you.
    • Time has passed, and Pip is 23 years young. Herbert is off gallivanting in France, and Pip is all by his lonesome in the middle of a gigantic storm. The wind is howling. It's pitch black, and smoke keeps coming down the chimney. Outside, Pip watches lights being blown out.
    • All of a sudden, Pip hears footsteps on the stairwell. A singing telegram, perhaps, for the birthday boy?
    • Something tells us it's not a singing telegram. Pip thinks it's the ghost of his dead sister, which seems equally unlikely.
    • It's a stranger. And the stranger is looking for Mr. Pip.
    • Pip holds the light out for the stranger, and watches the man slowly climb the stairs.
    • He's happy to see Pip and Pip is totally weirded out until he suddenly recognizes the man.
    • IT'S HIS VERY OWN CONVICT. You know, the prisoner he fed when he was just a mini-Pip.
    • The convict embraces him, but Pip tells him to stay away. Pip says he hopes he's mended his ways, but that he doesn't want anything to do with a convict.
    • Pip brings him something to drink and realizes that the man has been crying. Pip feels guilty and apologizes for acting so meanly.
    • The convict holds Pip's hand, and Pip realizes what a softie he is, despite his freaky appearance.
    • The convict tells Pip he's been a sheep-farmer in New South Wales (a.k.a. Australia) all these years.
    • Pip tries to repay him for the money that the convict has sent him all those years ago by way of a messenger. The convict sees Pip's purse and wants to know how rich he is.
    • Gradually, after playing the guessing game, the convict reveals himself to be Pip's benevolent benefactor.
    • WHAT WHAT WHAT?
    • Pip is beside himself. He doesn't know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt.
    • The convict waxes on about how he's made a gentleman out of Pip and about how he's certainly not done yet. He tells Pip how lonely he was herding sheep, and that, when he was in his darkest, most forlorn state of mind, he would imagine Pip and all would be well.
    • Pip has been his guiding light and his reason for being.
    • Whoa.
    • The convict continues to talk about how the world may not have destined him to be a gentleman, but he declares that, instead, he's created his very own gentleman, and that gentleman is Pip. The convict is proud of Pip and his fine gentlemanly things.
    • All Pip can think about is Estella.
    • Pip puts the convict to bed in Herbert's room after giving him a fancy nightgown.
    • Pip can't stop thinking about Miss Havisham and, more importantly, Estella. He realizes that Estella was never designed for him; that Miss Havisham was not his benefactor as he had believed for so long; and that his dreams of marrying Estella were impossible ones.
    • He's deserted Joe for a false dream.
    • The rain and the wind continue to rage, and Pip believes he hears pursuers on the stairwell. He becomes completely paranoid.
    • Pip falls asleep on the floor and wakes up at five in the morning to fiercer winds and heavier rains.
    • This ends the second stage of Pip's expectations.
    • Good thing, too, because we need a break.
  • Chapter 40

    • Pip is flipping out. He doesn't know how he can begin to keep his convict, who he doesn't even want to harbor, safe.
    • It's a really windy night, and all of Pip's lanterns are blown out. He decides to go outside to ask the watchman to re-light his lanterns. As he gropes his way down the stairs, however, he steps on someone. Seriously.
    • Pip demands to know who it is, but the person won't say anything. Pip grabs the watchman, but when they return to the scene of the crime, the mysterious man has disappeared. Pip searches his apartment, but there's no sign of anybody having been there.
    • In the morning, Pip has a million questions for the convict, starting with his name: Magwitch, but he goes by Provis in town.
    • So, how's he going to keep Magwitch a secret? Magwitch tells him he'll be killed if he's ever discovered by the authorities, but that's cool: he's just thrilled beyond all telling to see Pip. He wants to watch Pip become a real true gentleman, and he wants to spend his hard-earned money with Pip and live with him 4EVA.
    • Pip goes to Jaggers to ask for confirmation. Jaggers speaks in hypothetical terms in order not to incriminate himself or Pip, but definitely confirms that Magwitch is the very benefactor Pip has so long awaited.
    • On the way home, Pip buys Magwitch some new clothes to help make him seem less like an escaped convict recently arrived from New South Wales, but it doesn't really work.
    • Pip can't sleep, and he's constantly fearful of Magwitch. He almost leaves everything behind to enlist as a soldier bound for India.
    • Pip is overjoyed and relieved when Herbert comes home from vacationing in France. Pip tries to prepare Herbert for the news, as Magwitch makes Herbert swear on a greasy Bible.
    • Herbert is thoroughly confused.
  • Chapter 41

    • Welcome home, Herbert! Meet a convict.
    • Herbert is astonished to hear the story of Magwitch the benefactor, but he's a real trooper, helping Pip think through this crazy scenario.
    • Pip tells Herbert he can't take Magwitch's money, and he wants to repay the convict for the money he's already given.
    • Herbert tells Pip to leave England with Magwitch, to take him out of harm's way. Good idea.
    • The next morning, Magwitch comes over for breakfast, and Pip asks him to tell his life's story. Magwitch gladly acquiesces, but he makes it known first and foremost that he's paid off every debt and every crime he's ever committed.
  • Chapter 42

    • Hold onto your drawers. This is one doozy of a chapter.
    • Magwitch begins to tell Pip and Herbert the story of his life. This story can be summarized by the following, "in jail and out of jail, in jail and out of jail, in jail and out of jail." Here's the longer version:
    • Magwitch has been subject to pretty much every kind of punishment you can imagine.
    • His first memory is of stealing turnips, because he was so hungry. He was a baby orphan (like Pip), and he was taken in by several families, only to have him promptly kicked out. No one loved little Magwitch.
    • He was kind of a jack-of-all-trades, doing anything that needed to get done whenever it needed to get done. He even taught himself how to read and write.
    • Over twenty years ago, at the horse races, Magwitch met a man—a bad man. The man's name was Compeyson, and he was dressed like a gentleman.
    • But he wasn't a gentleman.
    • Compeyson and Magwitch hit it off and soon became partners in crime. Compeyson was in the swindling, signature-forging, money counterfeiting kind of a business.
    • Compeyson had another partner-in-crime named Arthur (ring any bells?), but Arthur was not doing too well when Magwitch starting working with them. Arthur was sick and kind of crazy. Apparently, Compeyson and Arthur had been involved in a scheme a few years back wherein they had swindled a rich lady out of a lot of money. Compeyson had gambled that money away, and Arthur was dying poor, haunted by the ghost of a lady in white, and he eventually died.
    • (This is all starting to sound really familiar.)
    • Compeyson used Magwitch to do all the dirty work and worked him hard for very little money.
    • Magwitch begins to talk about a lady-friend he once had, but stops short, a little flustered.
    • He continues with his story saying that he and Compeyson were eventually convicted of money counterfeiting. However, when the two of them went before the jury, Compeyson was given half the jail sentence that Magwitch got.
    • Because Compeyson looked and acted like a gentleman, the jury believed he deserved a second chance. Magwitch, on the other hand, just looked like he deserved a lot of jail time.
    • Magwitch was put on a prison ship near the marshes of Pip's hometown. While on the ship, he saw Compeyson and attacked him. He was forced into solitary confinement in the "black hole" of the ship, but ended up escaping and swimming to shore where he hid among the graves and where he found Pip.
    • Pip asks Magwitch if Compeyson is alive, but Magwitch doesn't know.
    • Herbert slips Pip a note revealing that Arthur was Miss Havisham's half-brother, and "Compeyson" was the name of the man who jilted her at the altar.
  • Chapter 43

    • Now that he harbors a convict, and now that his fortune is no real fortune at all, Pip feels farther away from Estella than ever before, and he's heartbroken.
    • Based on the bloody history between them, Pip is worried that Compeyson may be looking for his convict. Yikes.
    • Pip tells Herbert that he needs to see Miss Havisham and Estella before he leaves the country. He goes to Richmond to see Estella, but she's not there. She's at Satis House.
    • What? That's weird.
    • That night, Herbert and Pip decide that it would be better for Pip to propose an expedition in a foreign land to Magwitch rather than telling the convict the truth: he's in danger and the two need to flee England as fast as possible.
    • Pip lies to Magwitch and tells him that he's going home to see Joe.
    • Pip arrives at the Blue Boar just in time for breakfast, and who should he meet? Bentley Drummle himself. The two have an awkward and charged breakfast together by the fire during which Drummle belittles Pip's hometown, and during which Pip imagines throwing Drummle into the fire.
    • Drummle tells the innkeeper that he will be dining with "the lady," and Pip has to assume that he means Estella. Oh baby, is Pip ever enraged. What does Estella see in this spider?
    • Pip watches Drummle get onto a horse. A man lights a cigar for him, and Pip has the vague suspicion that this man is Orlick, but he doesn't have time to investigate. He's a man on a mission.
    • Pip heads out to the place he wishes he had never known: Satis House.
  • Chapter 44

    • Pip finds Miss Havisham sitting by the fire with Estella knitting at her feet.
    • There's some eyebrow-raising upon Pip's entrance, as both women detect that something about him has changed.
    • He tells the women that he now knows who his benefactor is, but that this information won't help him become wealthier or more of a gentleman.
    • When he was asked to be Estella's playmate all those years ago, was he just a servant?
    • Yep. Miss Havisham confirms this, and tells Pip that the fact that Jaggers worked for both her and his benefactor was simply a coincidence.
    • That was totally mean, says Pip.
    • Miss Havisham has a Wicked Witch of the East moment and snaps her cane on the ground wrathfully, proclaiming that she has no reason to be kind to anyone on earth.
    • Pip then asks Miss Havisham to be kind to Mr. Pocket and Herbert Pocket, and then—brace yourself—professes his love to Estella, in front of Miss Havisham and everything.
    • Estella just shakes her head.
    • In the meantime, Pip tells Estella that he understands that Miss Havisham's intentions weren't entirely evil; that he recognizes she became so caught up in her own misery to notice that Pip was becoming just as miserable. Miss Havisham is totally touched by this and puts her hand to her heart.
    • Pip continues to bare his soul to Estella, to which she replies that she doesn't feel a thing, that she's heartless, and that it is not in her nature to love anyone.
    • What about Drummle? Estella replies that she's completely fed up with that word, "love," but she is going to marry Drummle.
    • Pip is heart-broken and so are we. He begs her to marry anyone else, but the decision is made.
    • Estella asks Pip whether he's a "visionary boy or man" (44.64), and Pip launches into one of the most beautiful speeches of literary history. Trust us, you'll need to consume an entire carton of Ben and Jerry's after you read it. At the end, Pip says, "Oh, God bless you, God forgive you!" (44.70).
    • Estella is stunned. We're stunned. Miss Havisham is stunned.
    • Pip feels like he's been stunned. He leaves Satis House, but he can't go back to the Blue Boar for fear of seeing the spider. So, he does what any of us would do in the same situation: he walks all the way back to London.
    • It's midnight when he crosses the London Bridge. He gets to his apartment building, and the porter at the gate gives him a note. The note says, "DON'T GO HOME."
    • Oh, jiminy crickets.
  • Chapter 45

    • After receiving Wemmick's warning, Pip immediately goes to the nearest roach motel where he spends a sleepless night. Gross.
    • Pip wakes up the next morning and goes straight to Wemmick's castle. He helps toast the Aged's sausage while Wemmick tells him why he had left such a cryptic message for him.
    • Apparently, Pip's apartment was being watched and maybe even searched.
    • Wemmick had Magwitch moved to Clara's house by the water so that Herbert might still be able to communicate between Pip and his benefactor.
    • Wemmick tells Pip to be really, really careful from now on and to not hang out with Magwitch anymore. He tells Pip to hold onto the "portable property."
    • Is Compeyson in town? Yep.
    • Pip is stressed, but he falls asleep by the fire, and then he spends the day with the Aged, napping and being cozy. They have pork loin for dinner.
    • Oh, Dickens. You always make us hungry.
  • Chapter 46

    • Pip gets lost trying to locate Clara's building, but he eventually finds it.
    • As soon as Pip goes inside, he hears growling noises—it's Clara's dad, a mean alcoholic with gout.
    • Clara is really pretty, and she and Herbert obviously looooove each other.
    • Pip is also totally warming up to Magwitch. They won't be able to see each other or talk very often, but Herbert will communicate between them.
    • Magwitch/Provis goes by a new name: Mr. Campbell.
    • Pip and Herbert hatch a plan to get Magwitch out of town. It's fairly elaborate: Pip will start rowing a LOT, making it a habit, so that one day, when Pip rows by Mill Pond Bank, he can pick Magwitch up and the two can row away to a big ship that will take them to another country.
    • Pip likes this idea, but he can't shake the feeling that he's being watched.
  • Chapter 47

    • Weeks go by, and no word from Wemmick. The worries keep piling up.
    • Even though he's hurting for money, Pip gives Herbert his wallet since he still doesn't feel right taking Magwitch's money.
    • He also begs Herbert to never talk about Estella again.
    • Pip continues to row, row, row his boat, and to wait for Wemmick to give the go ahead.
    • One night in late February, Pip decides to take himself out for dinner and the theater.
    • He eats some chops and then goes to see Mr. Wopsle perform in a Christmas pantomime.
    • At one point during the show, Mr. Wopsle stares right at Pip as though he sees a ghost. Pip is pretty certain that Mr. Wopsle isn't acting at that moment, and so he's a little spooked.
    • After the performance, Mr. Wopsle tells Pip that he saw a ghostly man sitting right behind Pip, and that the man was the same man that had fought with Pip's convict on the marshes so many years ago.
    • Pip tells Herbert and Wemmick about his encounter with Compeyson, and they decide to be uber cautious from now on, knowing that Magwitch's enemy is on the hunt.
  • Chapter 48

    • After rowing one day, Pip wanders around feeling totally depressed.
    • He runs into Jaggers on the street, and Jaggers invites him to dinner. Pip accepts, because, well, what else is he going to do?
    • While at Jaggers', Wemmick gives Pip a message addressed to him from Miss Havisham, requesting that he come visit so that they can talk about financing Herbert's career.
    • Jaggers spills the beans that Estella's been married to Drummle and predicts that Drummle the spider will start beating her, and Pip is even more heartbroken and astonished.
    • As they're eating dinner, Molly the housekeeper gets yelled at for being slow. Pip watches her carefully for the first time because he recognizes something about her. Her gestures are familiar to him, and they remind him of Estella's gestures when she's knitting.
    • Wha??????????
    • Pip's internal monologue is going crazy, but he decides not to pursue this discovery at the dinner table.
    • Later on, as he's walking home with Wemmick, Pip asks him to tell Molly's story.
    • This is Molly's story (according to Wemmick):
    • Molly was one of Jaggers' clients back in the day. She was very pretty and was said to have "gipsy blood." She was accused of murdering another woman out of jealousy, even though this woman was much older, much bigger, and much stronger.
    • The woman was found dead in a barn after what appeared to be a huge struggle. There were scratch marks and bruises everywhere.
    • Jaggers dressed Molly in a very dainty outfit one day during her trial and argued that she was so small and dainty and was incapable of killing a little fly, let alone an adult woman.
    • At the time, it was suspected that Molly had killed her child in order to spite her husband, a point that the prosecution brought up at trial in order to cast Molly as a jealous woman.
    • Jaggers, though, argued that if the scratch marks and bruises that appeared on the backs of Molly's hands were rendered by the child she had murdered, she had yet to be charged for that crime. By tearing down the prosecutor's implications, Jaggers got Molly off the hook, reminding the jury that she was being accused of killing a grown woman, not a child.
    • Immediately afterward, Molly went to work as Mr. Jaggers' housekeeper, as she was totally freaked out by the fact that she was almost sentenced to death.
    • Pip asks Wemmick if he knows the sex of Molly's dead child, and Wemmick tells him the child was a girl.
    • Pip's mind is spinning.
  • Chapter 49

    • Pip dashes back to his village, where he finds Miss Havisham next to an ashy fire, and she looks incredibly lonely. Like whoa lonely. She also looks a little afraid of Pip, which is strange.
    • Pip asks Miss Havisham for £900 to invest in Herbert's career. Miss Havisham is totally willing to cough up the money, and she also wants to know what she can do for Pip.
    • But Pip doesn't want any money.
    • Miss Havisham begs Pip to forgive her, and Pip tells her he has already. He tells her he's been too much of a jerk in his own life to be able to hold a grudge against anyone else, let alone Miss Havisham.
    • Miss Havisham is totally sad, and tells Pip that she didn't realize what she had done until Pip had professed his love to Estella. She sees herself in Pip's sadness, and she recognizes that her broken heart matches his.
    • She throws herself at Pip's feet, and Pip doesn't quite know what to do.
    • Pip tells her that she can remove him from her conscience, but that she should do everything in her power to help heal Estella's frozen popsicle of a heart.
    • Miss Havisham agrees.
    • Pip asks her how she came to adopt Estella, and she tells him how lonely and sad she once was locked away in her dark, mildewing rooms.
    • She asked Jaggers to find her a daughter, and Jaggers obeyed. Estella was two or three when she was brought to Miss Havisham's.
    • Pip says goodbye to Miss Havisham and decides to take a walk in the ruined garden, a.k.a. memory lane. He decides to check out the old brewery, and while he's there, he hallucinates and sees Miss Havisham hanging from the rafters in her wedding dress, looking like a ghost. Isn't this like the third time this has happened?
    • Thoroughly freaked out, Pip decides to go check on Miss Havisham one last time.


    • As he peeks into her room, he sees something bright rears up behind her, and he realizes that her wedding dress has caught fire.
    • Pip runs and tackles Miss Havisham like a linebacker. She's completely aflame, so he pulls the table cloth off of the wedding table and wraps it around her, trying to stamp out the fire. Just like Smokey the Bear would recommend.
    • As he pulls out the wedding tablecloth, the rotten wedding cake and all of its "inhabitants" (a.k.a. creepy crawlies) scatter everywhere.
    • Pip holds Miss Havisham down like a prisoner and only lets her go when he's sure that the fire has been put out.
    • When the doctor arrives, he has her laid out on top of the wedding table.
    • Pip's arms have been burned, but he's basically okay—unlike Miss Havisham.
    • She keeps saying the following three things: "What have I done!" and "when she first came, I meant to save her from misery like mine" and "take the pencil and write under her name, I forgive her!"
    • The next morning, while Miss Havisham is still reciting these words, Pip gets up early and says goodbye to her, kissing her on the lips.
  • Chapter 50

    • Pip's left arm was burnt to a crisp, and his right arm is a little toasty as well.
    • Herbert visits and helps him dress his wounds and change his bandages.
    • While Pip was away, Herbert says that Magwitch told a story. This is Magwitch's story:
    • Back in the day he had been married to a crazy lady who, upon becoming jealous of another woman, killed the woman and who threatened to kill her own little girl (who Magwitch loved).
    • Afraid of being sent to jail or worse for being the cause of a child's death, Magwitch never went to the authorities or pursued his wife. Compeyson knew this story and used it to blackmail Magwitch into submission.
    • This ends Magwitch's story.
    • Pip nearly spits jellybeans. It looks like Miss High-and-Mighty doesn't have a lot to gloat about now.
  • Chapter 51

    • Pip is hot to trot. In true Sherlockian form, he's figured out who Estella's parents are, but he wants confirmation—and he knows where to get it.
    • He goes to Jaggers' office only to find Jaggers and Wemmick taking care of business, bills, and other items. They're not in the cheeriest of moods, but Pip is determined.
    • First order of business, he tells Jaggers about the money Miss Havisham has granted to Herbert's career, and he asks Jaggers to write him a check in the amounted that was agreed upon.
    • Mr. Jaggers and Wemmick scold Pip for not asking for money for himself.
    • Pip then explains that he knows who Estella's father is. When he names Provis (a.k.a. Magwitch), Jaggers is certainly surprised, but goes on with business as usual.
    • Pip doesn't like being ignored and he continues to rant at Jaggers and Wemmick in the hopes that they will relent and give him the information he so desperately wants.
    • He explains that he needs to know because he loves Estella, and, though he doesn't have a chance with her anymore, he still really cares about her.
    • When Jaggers and Wemmick still won't offer up any information, Pip addresses Wemmick's soft side—the Aged-loving, castle-building Wemmick. Mr. Jaggers is totally surprised to hear that Wemmick has this soft side, and things get really awkward for a minute.
    • Jaggers spills: he tells the story of winning Molly the housekeeper's case back in the day when she was accused of murder just at the time Miss Havisham was also looking to adopt a child.
    • Because he saw and sees so many orphaned children grow up to live hard lives and to become criminals, he thought he might be able to save Molly's daughter. Hey, Jaggers has a sensitive side, too!
    • It helps that Molly had told her husband that she had killed the child, so the husband would never know that the daughter had been adopted.
    • But Jaggers never knew that the father was Provis/Magwitch.
    • He swears both Pip and Wemmick to secrecy, telling Pip that no good can come from uncovering this secret.
    • Jaggers and Wemmick go back to business as usual, but things are a little awkward between them, now that Jaggers knows Wemmick is a softy. It's only when Mike, the annoying client who always wipes his nose on his fur cap, shows that the two are able to be blissfully irascible to him, and, thus, are able to restore their working relationship.
  • Chapter 52

    • Pip goes straight to the shipyard guy Clarriker with his check, and arranges funding for Herbert's new job.
    • Clarriker tells Pip that he's planning to open a new business in the East (i.e., Middle East) which he hopes Herbert will run.
    • Pip is glad for his friend, but also really saddened by the thought that he will have to say goodbye to Herbert soon.
    • When Herbert discovers he's been offered a new position, he's totally psyched. He imagines what it will be like when he, Clara, and Pip are living in Cairo together, chilling with the pyramids.
    • Wemmick sends a cryptic message to Pip telling him that next Wednesday will be the ultimate day to escape with Magwitch.
    • Pip and Herbert lay down plans for their Mission Impossible. They decide to include Startop in the plan, since Pip can't use his arm anymore and won't be able to row.
    • When all of the details are set, down to who will bring the passports and what ships they will try to catch, Pip receives another cryptic note, but not a nice one.
    • It tells him that he'd better come to marshes tonight if he wants information about his "Uncle" "Provis."
    • Creepy. So, Pip has a decision to make. If he wants to obey the message, he's to go to the marshes tonight—but tomorrow is the Great Escape.
    • Pip catches the last carriage to the marshes, and decides to rest at a little inn where no one will know him. The innkeeper tells the story of a local boy who struck it rich by means of a mysterious benefactor and who spurned those who loved him most. Pip, not revealing that he's that same, local boy, plays along. He asks who the local boy has spurned, and the innkeeper tells him that Pumblechook is the victim.
    • This sends Pip over the edge, for he knows that Joe, the man he truly has mistreated, would never, ever complain. He sees Mr. Pumblechook as an imposter and as an absolute twerp.
    • Pip can't eat any of his dinner, so he heads out into the cold, dark, and windy marshes to meet the mysterious person.
  • Chapter 53

    • It was a dark and stormy night. Perfect weather for a nice hike through the freezing marshes, if you ask us. This is a GREAT idea, Pip. Go for a walk by yourself in the pitch black to meet an anonymous person who wrote you a creepy letter. Brilliant.
    • In any case, it's windy, cold, and dark, but Pip knows his way.
    • After an hour or so, he finds the sluice-house-thingy where he's supposed to meet the anonymous letter-writer. The sluice-house is near the lime-kiln.
    • The sluice-house looks empty and deserted, so Pip does what any sane person would do: he goes inside.
    • There's a candle on the table inside, but no one to be found. Pip picks up the candle, only to have the flame suddenly extinguished by someone and to have a noose thrown around his neck.
    • Pip is tied to a post, and his burnt arm hurts like crazy from having been manhandled.
    • Pip cries out in pain.
    • The mysterious man lights a fire, and Pip realizes that the man is Orlick.
    • Orlick rants to Pip about how Pip turned Biddy against him. He confesses to killing Mrs. Joe, but tells Pip that he (Pip) was the cause of Mrs. Joe's death, because he was always favored by Joe over Orlick when he was growing up, and because he made Orlick's life so miserable as a result.
    • Lunatic villain confession over, Orlick announces that he's going to kill Pip.
    • Orlick confesses that he was the man Pip tripped over on the stairwell the night Magwitch revealed himself as a benefactor. Orlick insinuates that he knows and has been in communication with Compeyson and knows that Pip and Magwitch are attempting to escape.
    • Orlick is drinking like a fish and his eyes are red. When his bottle is dry, Orlick grabs a stone hammer and gets ready to kill Pip.
    • Suddenly, a group of men burst into the house and attack Orlick, who only just manages to escape.
    • The men are Herbert, Startop, and Trabb's boy.
    • The boys untie Pip and take him to town. Instead of pressing charges, they decide it would be best to return to London immediately.
    • Herbert tells Pip that he found the mysterious letter on the apartment floor and decided to chase after Pip.
    • When they're back in London, Pip can't sleep at all and frankly isn't feeling too good, especially when he wakes up in the middle of the night thinking he he's overslept and that a whole day had passed. Okay, he's actually a little delirious.
    • But he manages to hold it together, and the next morning everything is ready to go.
  • Chapter 54

    • It's a chilly but sunny March day. Today's the day Pip and Magwitch will escape to freedom. Besides being a little hesitant, Pip is ready to roll.
    • Pip, Startop, and Herbert row over to Clara's house where they pick up Magwitch. Magwitch has dressed as a river captain for the occasion, which is pretty awesome.
    • Everything is going so well. There's not much traffic on the water, and the rowing is easy. Herbert and Startop are rowing, Pip is steering, and Magwitch is dragging his hand in the water, philosophizing about life and about freedom.
    • The boys stop for beer and picnic, which seems a little casual for a life and death escape if you ask us.
    • Suddenly everyone feels a little weird and unsettled. Pip is worried that someone is following them. They keep rowing towards the ocean and towards freedom, but it's getting late. They see a little inn by the water called the Ship, and they decide to stay there for the night.
    • The Ship is totally dirty and is pretty much a roach motel, but the boys are happy. It's warm, dry, and there's bacon.
    • One of the Ship attendants says he saw a strange boat hanging out in the distance. Pip is freaked out, but everyone decides to go to bed.
    • There are dirty clothes under the beds, but everyone is grateful for sleep. Pip wakes up in the middle of the night and goes to the window. He sees strange men checking out their boat. At this point, he's REALLY worried.
    • They wake up early the next morning and head out, aiming for a German ship that will take Pip and Magwitch to Hamburg.
    • But then they realize that a boat really IS following them. As the boat gets closer, they try to row harder, but to no avail.
    • Magwitch realizes that Compeyson is in the boat. He lunges after Compeyson, and the two disappear below the water. Magwitch eventually resurfaces, but Compeyson doesn't.
    • Magwitch is deeply wounded, and the police take him to shore. Pip buys him dry clothes, but has to give Magwitch's pocketbook (and money) to the authorities.
    • Pip tells Magwitch he will never leave his side.
  • Chapter 55

    • Magwitch is taken to prison, but his trial is delayed a little bit because there are no prison officers in town that can confirm that Magwitch is the same man that was exiled to New South Wales many years ago. The only man who could really confirm this is Compeyson, and he's conveniently drowned.
    • Pip implores Jaggers to take on Magwitch's case, but Mr. Jaggers tells Pip it's a lost cause. Once a witness is found who can confirm that Magwitch is in fact Magwitch, he will be sentenced to death.
    • Jaggers scolds Pip for not hanging onto his fortune. Now, Magwitch's money will go directly to the government. When Magwitch fought Compeyson in the Thames, he found a book of papers in his pocket that were from a bank in New South Wales and that detailed Magwitch's fortune. Apparently, Compeyson thought he'd get a reward by ratting out Magwitch.
    • Magwitch gives these papers to Jaggers hoping that Pip can have the money, but Jaggers doesn't tell him where this money will really go.
    • Pip doesn't care so much about money; he's just worried about Magwitch.
    • And just when he thought things couldn't get any worse, they get worse. Herbert tells Pip that he's to go east to Cairo to seek his fortune and that he will be leaving soon.
    • Pip is totally heartbroken to be losing Herbert, but Herbert asks Pip to come with him and to live with him and Clara in Egypt.
    • Herbert tells him that he can give him a job as a clerk, and that Pip could very quickly become a partner in the business.
    • Pip asks Herbert to give him two to three months to decide, and Herbert does.
    • One day, Pip runs into Wemmick and scores an invite to his castle.
    • Next Monday arrives, and Pip goes to Wemmick's castle. Wemmick is around, but the Aged is nowhere in sight. Wemmick grabs his fishing rod and the two set out on their hike.
    • They walk by a church, and Wemmick seems really set on going inside. So they do.
    • There happen to be a pair of gloves inside the church, and Wemmick suggest they put them on.
    • Pip does so, but he's no clue what's going on.
    • Miss Skiffins appears on the arm of the Aged, and Wemmick says, "Here's Miss Skiffins! Let's have a wedding" (55.54).
    • Oh, apparently Pip is going to be Wemmick's best man.
    • The four of them go to the local inn after the wedding ceremony and have a delicious wedding breakfast.
    • But Pip is totally not allowed to tell Jaggers about the wedding.
  • Chapter 56

    • Magwitch is really sick. Two of his ribs are broken and his lung is punctured. He can't breathe well and he can't speak.
    • Pip visits him every day, and every day Magwitch looks worse and worse.
    • Jaggers tries to postpone Magwitch's trial but to no avail.
    • The trial comes, and Pip is allowed to stand next to Magwitch and to hold his hand.
    • He's totally freaked out by the trial, because it feels like a show or a spectacle. Over thirty convicts and criminals who are to receive the death penalty stand in the courtroom while lots of onlookers gather in the rows and in the balconies.
    • Each person's death sentence is read. Magwitch's death sentence is really long, because he's been convicted of so much in his life.
    • Pip is outraged and tries to petition to overrule the death sentence, but no politician responds to his letters.
    • Between his visits to Magwitch's jail cell, Pip wanders the London streets in the April weather, trying to figure out how he can acquit his good friend.
    • But it's no good. In the end, Magwitch is dying—but before he does, Pip tells Magwitch that his daughter is alive, that she's a beautiful lady, and that she's loved by Pip.
    • Magwitch kisses Pip's hand, a peaceful look washes over him, and he passes away.
    • Upon realizing he's dead, Pip utters, "O Lord, be merciful to him a sinner!" (4.56.35).
  • Chapter 57

    • Pip realizes that he's now completely alone and that he has a heap of debts, and no money.
    • He puts his bills in the windows, and lets his landlord know that he'll be heading out soon.
    • But then he gets sick. Really sick. Feverishly sick. He starts hallucinating and sleepwalking. He finds himself grappling for a boat by the river, lighting a lamp for Magwitch. He thinks Miss Havisham is roasting in a furnace in the corner of his room. He talks to himself.
    • His creditors show up one day, but Pip only vaguely remembers them. They tell him he's arrested and make him get up and get dressed, and the next thing he knows, people are trying to help him.
    • These "people" become Joe. Joe has come to take care of him.
    • Pip feels super guilty, because Joe is wonderful as ever and showers him with love.
    • Eventually, Pip gets better and realizes that Biddy has taught Joe how to write.
    • There's some other news: Miss Havisham has died and divided up her wealth appropriately, not forgetting Mr. Pocket or Herbert.
    • Also, Orlick robbed Mr. Pumblechook, tied him to a bedpost, slapped him around, and stuffed flowers in his mouth. Orlick is now in jail.
    • Well, that took long enough.
    • Joe and Pip go on a field trip into the country one Sunday, just like old times. Pip is eternally grateful to Joe. He tries to tell Joe about Magwitch and about the last few years, but Joe just tells him that what's past is past.
    • Joe apologizes to Pip for never having been able to stop Mrs. Joe from beating him as a little boy. See, when he did try to stop her, she just beat Pip more severely.
    • As Pip gets better, Joe starts to act differently around him. Joe starts to call Pip "sir" again which basically rips Pip's heart out.
    • One Sunday night before bed, Joe asks Pip how he's feeling. Pip replies that he's feeling quite nice.
    • When he wakes up the next morning, he finds a note from Joe saying goodbye. Joe includes a receipt to show that all of Pip's debts have been paid off.
    • Pip is devastated. So are we.
    • But he has a plan. He'll follow Joe home, he'll propose to Biddy, and he'll work side by side with Joe in the forge.
    • Three days later, he heads home.
  • Chapter 58

    • Pip goes home and stays the night at the Blue Boar. Because he's no longer the Donald Trump of his hometown, he doesn't get treated like he used to and he doesn't get his old room.
    • But he does sleep really well.
    • The next day he goes over to Satis House and finds that everything there's to be auctioned off, and that the land is to be divided into different lots. Subdivisions, here we come!
    • When Pip returns to the Blue Boar for breakfast, he finds the ever-annoying Mr. Pumblechook, ready to berate him.
    • Mr. Pumblechook pretends to be benevolent and nice by ordering watercress sandwiches for Pip, but Pip doesn't like watercress sandwiches.
    • Mr. Pumblechook launches into a lecture in which he talks about how horrible Pip has been to his family.
    • Pip can't stand it, and is snarky to Mr. Pumblechook.
    • When Mr. Pumblechook is done lecturing, Pip promptly leaves the Blue Boar in search of Joe and Biddy.
    • It is a beautiful, sunshiny, June day. For once. Shmoopsters, take note. This is the only documented sunshine in the entire novel. Let us bask for a while.
    • Pip first goes to the schoolhouse where he hopes to watch Biddy in action, teaching her students. But no one is in the schoolhouse. It's a holiday.
    • Kids these days. Never in school.
    • So Pip presses to the forge, but he doesn't hear any hammering, and it seems like the forge and smithy are closed. Uh-oh.
    • But wait! The house is alive! There are white curtains, and it seems like there are people inside.
    • Soon Joe and Biddy are standing before Pip. They're arm and arm. Biddy looks beautiful and is crying. Joe is overjoyed.
    • Biddy tells Pip it is her wedding day and that she's married Joe.
    • Whaaaaaaaaaaaa?
    • Pip is not feeling so well. The news is kind of a shock. He lays his head down on the kitchen table, and thinks about how glad he is that he never told Joe that he wanted to marry Biddy once upon a time.
    • Then Pip professes his undying love for Joe and Biddy and he blesses their marriage. He begs them for forgiveness for being such a butthead and says he'll repay them both for the money they spent paying off his own debts.
    • Pip explains that he's about to leave England, but he hopes Joe and Biddy will tell their future children that he loved and honored them both.
    • After a nap and a meal, it's time to say goodbye.
    • Pip leaves England to go "east" (we're not exactly sure where) to join Herbert and Clara. Pretty soon, Pip becomes a partner in the business. Pip writes letters to Joe and Biddy all the time and gradually pays them back.
    • Herbert and Pip's shipping company is not the most prosperous, but they live comfortably in the East, and they do well enough.
    • Pip realizes that the success of the company is largely due to Herbert's attitude and smarts. He's the one who screwed up royally in life.
  • Chapter 59

    • Though they're always on his mind, Pip doesn't see Joe or Biddy for another eleven years.
    • Finally, he comes back to England and walks into his old home. There's Joe smoking a pipe by the fire, and there's an exact replica of his young self. It's baby Pip! Biddy and Joe have babies now!
    • Pip is totally taken with little Pip. He asks Biddy if she will give little Pip to him, or at least let little Pip come hang out with him, which is… weird.
    • Biddy insists that Pip must marry first. Pip doesn't agree. He tells her he's quite a comfortable bachelor, living with Herbert and Clara.
    • Does he still think about Estella?
    • Pip replies that he can't possibly forget something that ripped his heart out and stomped it on the ground, but that he's forgotten Estella and the dream of Estella.
    • And now, Shmoopers, we interrupt this program to announce that what follows are two different endings. Though the original ending rarely is ever published, Shmoop is including it here. Because friends don't let friends read just one ending. For more information as to why there are two different endings, please visit "What's Up With the Ending?"
    • Let's start with the most popular one, and the one you're probably reading:
    • The Hollywood-ified Ending
    • Now that Biddy has dropped the E-bomb, Pip's got Estella on the brain and decides to go to the site of Satis House.
    • Pip has caught wind over the years that Estella was totally unhappy in her marriage to Drummle, and that Drummle beat her. He's also heard, however, that Drummle died several years back in an accident during which he was abusing a horse. Pip assumes that Estella has remarried.
    • Pip goes to Satis House after talking to Biddy, only to find that everything has been torn down, except for the garden wall.
    • It's not yet dark, there's a silvery mist, and Pip can see the stars and the moon.
    • Pip sees a figure in the distance. The figure is walking towards him. The figure is a woman. The figure begins to turn away from Pip. The figure is ESTELLA. Oh, goodness.
    • Pip and Estella shout each other's names.
    • Estella is just as beautiful as ever, but a little sadder. Her proud eyes have been exchanged for sorrowful ones.
    • Pip and Estella sit on a bench and chat about Satis House. Neither has been back since Miss Havisham died.
    • Pip thinks to himself about telling Magwitch that his daughter lived and that she was the object of Pip's love.
    • Estella explains that the land belongs to her, that she's held onto it stubbornly all these years, but that at last, she's going to let it go.
    • Estella tells Pip she's thought of him often.
    • Pip tells Estella he always thinks of her.
    • Dum dee dum.
    • Estella wonders at the fact that she never thought she'd say goodbye to Pip when she was saying goodbye to the Satis House estate.
    • Whoa, whoa, whoa, says Pip. Who said anything about saying goodbye?
    • Estella replies that her great suffering has taught her to understand what Pip's heart used to be. She tells him life has broken her, but that she hopes she's a better person as a result. She asks Pip to be friends. She says something about being friends when they're "apart."
    • Pip leads Estella out of the "ruined estate," the evening mists are rising (just as the morning mists rose when he first left his homeland), and Pip knows that he will never part from Estella again.
    • The End.
    • Okay, that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But now for the original ending:
    • The Original Ending
    • After Biddy drops the E-bomb, Pip can't help but think about Estella.
    • Pip doesn't see Estella for another two years. So, let's fast forward two years.
    • Over time, Pip hears that Estella's marriage to Drummle had been an abusive one, but that Drummle had died a ways back while mistreating a horse.
    • So far, so similar. Well, except for the two years thing. Now it starts to get different:
    • He also hears that Estella remarried promptly after Drummle's death to a poor doctor who had come to her rescue and who had defended her when she had been married to Drummle.
    • Estella and her new husband apparently live off of her own fortune.
    • So, we've fast-forwarded two years. Pip and little Pip are walking down the street in London.
    • Someone runs after them and asks them to come over to a pony-drawn carriage.
    • They do so, and Pip realizes that Estella is driving the carriage.
    • Estella tells Pip that she knows she looks different, but that she thought he might like to say hi to her. She asks him to let her kiss little Pip, who she assumes is Pip's kid.
    • In her eyes, Pip sees that she's suffered hugely, and that this suffering (more than Miss Havisham's teaching) has taught her how to understand what his heart used to be.
    • The End. Pass the Kleenex please.