Study Guide

Great Expectations Chapter 59

By Charles Dickens

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.

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