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Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens.The novel was frst published in


serial for in !ll the "ear #ound fro $ Deceber $%&' to !u(ust $%&$.
Short Summary
The story follows the (rowth and personal developent of an orphan naed )ip. *t
be(ins with the scene of )ip+ an orphan at the a(e of about seven+ visitin( his
parents, (raves. There he encounters an escaped convict+ who scares )ip into
stealin( food for hi+ and a fle fro the hoe he shares with his abusive older
sister and her kind+ passive husband -oe Gar(ery+ a blacksith. The next day+
soldiers recapture the convict and return the to the prisoner ship.
.oon after+ /iss 0avisha asks )ip,s uncle to fnd her a boy to play with her
adopted dau(hter Estella. 1on( a(o the old lady was 2ilted at the altar and since that
very day+ she,s never taken her weddin( dress o3+ nor has she chan(ed a sin(le
thin( about her castle. )ip be(ins to visit /iss 0avisha and Estella+ with who he
falls in love.
!s a youn( apprentice at -oe Gar(ery,s for(e+ )ip is approached by a lawyer+ /r
-a((ers+ who tells hi he is to receive a lar(e su of oney fro an anonyous
benefactor and ust leave for 1ondon iediately where he is to becoe a
(entlean. )ip believes /iss 0avisha to be his benefactress and visits her and
Estella+ who has returned fro studyin( on the Continent. 4ith )ip now heavily in
debt+ his benefactor is revealed to be !bel /a(witch+ the convict he helped as a
child+ who was transported to 5ew .outh 4ales where he eventually becae
wealthy. There is a warrant for /a(witch6s arrest in En(land and he will be han(ed if
he is cau(ht. ! plan is therefore hatched for hi to 7ee by boat. *t is also revealed
that Estella is the dau(hter of /a(witch and /r -a((ers6s houseaid+ /olly+ who
-a((ers defended in a urder char(e and who (ave up her dau(hter to be adopted
by /iss 0avisha.
8n one of his visits to /iss 0avisha,s house+ )ip confronts her with Estella6s
history. /iss 0avisha stands too close to the fre which i(nites her dress and she
eventually dies fro her in2uries.
4hile atteptin( to escape+ /a(witch is captured and sent to 2ail where he dies
shortly before his execution. )ip is about to be arrested for unpaid debts when he
falls ill. -oe nurses hi back to health and pays o3 his debts.
The story provides two di3erent endin(s.
Original Ending
!t the end of the ori(inal version )ip eets Estella on the streets+ who has rearried
after her abusive husband has died. )ip says that he is (lad she is a di3erent person
now fro the coldhearted (irl /iss 0avisha reared her to be and that 9su3erin(
had been stron(er than /iss 0avisha6s teachin( and had (iven her a heart to
understand what y heart used to be.9 )ip reains sin(le.
Revised Ending
:ollowin( coentsthat the endin( was too sad+ Dickens rewrote the endin( so that
)ip now eets Estella after the death of her husband in the ruins of .atis 0ouse with
the su((estion that they will arry. -ohn :orster and early ;'th<century writers
includin( Geor(e =ernard .haw and Geor(e 8rwell felt that the ori(inal endin( was
9ore consistent with the draft+ as well as the natural workin( out of the tale9>
odern literary criticis tends to support the ore coon second endin(.