Great Expectations by Charles Dickens follows a young boy named Pip, from rags to riches as he grows into a man. Pip is a young orphan who lives with his hot-headed sister and his compassionate brother-in-law Joe. It is set in the mid 1800’s. The book shows the striking difference between the upper and lower classes. Dickens tells of Pip’s humble beginnings, his shot at a fortune, and his dream that was lost to his debtors.
The book begins with Pip in a churchyard one evening looking at his parents’ tombstones. Suddenly an escaped convict jumps out behind some bushes, he tells Pip to bring him food and a file. Pip obeys and brings him more than the convict could ask for. Although Pip obeys the convict is soon captured and taken away. One day Uncle Pumblechook, a friend of the family, takes Pip to a wealthy bitter woman named Ms. Havisham. Although Ms. Havisham isn’t a sight for sour eyes, he meets her beautiful daughter Estella. Pip, however, knows he could never have Estella because she is very wealthy and he is only a blacksmiths son. Nevertheless Pip falls in love with her and dreams of being a wealthy gentleman. As Pip grows closer to Ms. Havisham, he wants more to be a gentleman. One day, after being disappointed in Pip, Ms. Havisham releases him to become Joe’s apprentice.
One day while Joe and Pip were on break in town, a lawyer named Jaggers appears with strange news that Pip has inherited a fortune from a secret benefactor. Pip must go to London as soon as possible to begin his education as a gentleman. After a week of preparation Pip leaves for London. While there, he meets his roommate Herbert Pocket. Herbert’s father tutors Pip in gentleman-hood. Pip misses friends and family after Wimmick, Jaggers assistant, expresses much dissatisfaction with them. Pip still longs to be with Estella and loves her deeply. After turning twenty-one Pip receives income from his fortune. Pip secretly helps his dear friend Herbert and buys Herbert a way into a business. For now, however, Pip and Herbert live it up and spend their way into debt.
... son Herbert. Herbert Pocket and Pip recognize each other when they meet: Herbert is the pale young gentleman that Pip fought in the garden of Miss Havisham's ... to educated by a wealthy woman in Richmond with a single daughter. Estella tells Pip that all of Miss Havisham's relatives hate him because ...
Many years go by, and Pip is in debt over his head. One night a familiar shadow person shows up. It is the convict, Magwitch. He tells Pip how he earned a fortune down in Australia and that he is Pip’s secret benefactor. Pip is stunned to find out that he is heis benefactor and not Ms. Havisham. Magwitch tells Pip about his life and his troubles with the law. Pip realizes that he must get Magwitch out of London as soon as possible and feels eternally indebted to him. As weeks pass, Estella marries an upper class moron named Drummle. Pip sees an opportunity to get Magwitch out with the help of Herbert and Wimmick. His plans fail however and Magwitch is arrested and dies in prison. With Pip’s fortune shattered Herbert promises Pip that he will give him a job in India when he gets there.
Many years later Pip returns to his hometown to visit his parents’ grave now alongside Ms. Havisham’s. He meets Estella there and finds she has been unhappily married for those years. He confesses his love for her and she accepts it and the story ends.