In Defense of the Original Ending of Great Expectations
Many critics prefer the original ending to the revised version because it is the ending that Dickens himself decided to write without consulting anyone. Many people believe that since Bulwer-Lytton gave Dickens input on the second ending that it is not as true. Although Dickens may have inadvertently been plagiarizing, the original ending is the way that Dickens felt the novel should end, as opposed to the way Bulwer-Lytton felt it should end.
Another reason that the original is preferable is because it seems to flow better with the overall themes of the novel. One of these themes is how people expectations differ from reality. Pip's expectations never seem …show more content…
He never would have been embarrassed about Joe if he did not expect to live a better life than him. When Dickens gives Pip the possibility of happiness with Estella in the revised ending, he completely undermines the lesson he was teaching Pip and the reader.
A related theme that is carried through in this ending is the idea of mistaken identities. Estella mistakes little Pip for Pip's son, when he is really the son of Joe and Biddy. This is like how Pip mistakes Miss Havisham for the one who gives him his expectations when it is really Magwitch.
In the original ending of Great Expectations, there is no Chapter 59, and Dickens reunites Pip and Estella in four short paragraphs. Although this ending is generally referred to as the unhappy ending since Pip and Estella definitely part ways again, it does give the reader hope that Estella finally understands how she treated Pip. This is important because it ties Estella and Pip together by the fact that they are both able to feel remorse for the way they treated other people. In Estella's case, she mistreated Pip, but after suffering at the hands of Drummle, she is finally able to empathize with Pip. She understands what it is like to be under the control of another human being. Throughout the novel, it is Estella who has power over Pip and every other man she meets. However, during her marriage, Estella is subjected to "outrageous treatment" (440), physical abuse, from Drummle.
As mentioned before, Pip possess and inability to fully express his feeling about those around him. When he first encounters Estella, he knows that is a physical attraction but Estella’s cold and indifferent actions toward Pip leave him longing for someone he cannot create a true connection with. Furthermore, Estella has the one of the greatest influence on Pip’s identity in the novel once he obtains his expectations and attempts to alter his personality to mimic that of a genteel individual. Pip describes the anguish he feels about his background as “a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home” insinuating that the only way to win Estella over is to disregard his humble beginnings in Kent. Which leads to his desires to become a gentleman in London in hopes that he will be better suited for Estella.
Estella lives in the Manor House with her adoptive mother Miss Havisham who has raised her up as a tool to be used to break men’s hearts. Although she constantly insults and makes fun of Pip, he falls in love with her. This love for her makes Pip vulnerable to any and every little insult that comes out of her mouth and Pip puts to heart everything she says. So, when she says, "He calls the knaves, Jacks, this boy!...And what course hands he has! And what thick boots!" he takes it to heart (Dickens 105). It is at this point that Pip begins to feel ashamed of his uneducated family, and longs to become a gentleman. Due to Estella’s cold-hearted character and her arrogant personality, Pip is made to feel that he stands no chance with her. Even more dangerous is her destructive influence on Pip which makes him strive to become a gentleman no matter the cost. Rather than being surrounded by people such as Estella who do nothing but put Pip’s character down, he should surround himself with supportive and encouraging individuals who are always there for him and appreciate his unique personality. This is what causes growth in a person.
Through the years, a number of individuals have argued that this is the best way for the novel to conclude. These people tend to believe that this ending is more true to the overall tone of the novel than the revised finale. Great Expectations never exists as a typically happy story. Its plot is marked by constant disappointment and suffering, which would therefore make the application of a happy, romantic ending seem rather unnatural. By the end of the story, Pip has learned a great deal about himself and reached a new level of maturity. He has come to recognize the mistakes that he had made as a young man and is able to appreciate the importance of family. No longer is he consumed by a selfish desire for wealth and social status. Pip’s primary motivation for attaining such a gentlemanly status had been his desire to marry Estella. By the end of the novel, however, Pip’s character has been redeemed. He has progressed beyond the point in his life that was represented by his love for Estella. This deliverance would then seem to make it impossible for Pip to continue loving Estella. She was a part of his youth; Pip, however, has become a man.
Pip then goes on to address the reader directly and explains that “[t]hat was a memorable day to [him], for it made great changes in [him],” (Dickens 70). After meeting with Estella several times and becoming extremely fond of her, despite her bipolar attitudes towards him, Ms. Havisham suddenly decides to recompense Pip for his time and then tells him that he no longer has to come back to the Satis House. Everyday after this, Pip continuously thinks of Estella and of how he must become a gentleman in order to be at the same level as Estella and eventually marry her. Another character Biddy (whose relationship to Pip is somewhat complicated) begins acting as Pip’s teacher and Pip says “[w]hatever [he] acquired, [he] tried to impart to Joe,” because “[he] wanted to make Joe less ignorant and common.” Pip’s plans to become a well-mannered gentleman to be worthy of high-society and to be worthy of Estella’s affection are two goals or “great expectations” that Pip sets for himself that ultimately carry the plot of the novel along.
The evidence that Pip is an insecure, impressionable young boy is that Estella opinions in his coarse hands and thick boots made him break down and cry. He blames his sister for his insecurities because of his sisters’ bringing him up had made him sensitive.
The class system becomes a focal point in young Pip's life. Pip first began to think about his place in society when he was sent to visit the wealthy, old lady, Miss Havisham at her mansion. Through these visits Pip becomes socially conscious and begins to dislike his commonality. Almost instantly he wants to become uncommon. The adopted daughter of Miss Havisham, Estella, becomes a focal point and goal for Pip to obtain. Any morality Pip used to have slips away with each visit. Pip walks in circles in a barely lit room with Miss Havisam holding onto his shoulder and in doing so, Pip is somehow leaving behind all the values he was raised with. Miss Havisham and Estella end up corrupting Pip with the rich life. Greed, beauty and hubris are Pips downward spiral into an immoral life. Pip finds Estella very attractive, but Estella calls him common and this does not sit well with Pip. All of Pip's expectations of becoming a rich gentleman are due to this love of Estella.
Pip is content at the forge until pompous Uncle Pumblechook, Joe's uncle, takes him to visit to Satis House, for the first time, where he makes the acquaintance of Miss Havisham and Estella. Satis House is dismal and devoid of life with the exception of Estella, in Pip's eyes. Estella is a pretty, proud, and emotionless girl with who treats Pip badly yet still causes Pip to become completely infatuated with her. The forge now makes Pip ashamed and embarrassed because a coarse, common man could never spend an eternity with such a beauty. Pip is so confused about Estella's insults intertwined with her flirting that all he really knows is that he is ashamed of his social standing. Pip's love for Joe was shadowed by this embarrassment. "…I was ashamed of the dear good fellow—I know I was ashamed of
Most readers are appalled at the cold-hearted and cruel ways of Estella, but any criticism directed at her is largely undeserved. She was simply raised in a controlled environment where she was, in essence, brainwashed by Miss Havisham. Nonetheless, her demeanor might lead one to suspect that she was a girl with a heart of ice. Estella is scornful from the moment she is introduced, when she remarks on Pip's coarse hands and thick boots. However, her beauty soon captivates Pip and she is instilled as the focal point of his thoughts for much of the remainder of the novel. The fact that Pip becomes infatuated with her is also not Estella's fault. By no means is there any evidence that she loved him. She does not flirt with
The first time the audience sees Pip battle with himself is his first encounter with Estella. The moment he sees her, he realizes he has to win her heart. However, he soon finds out that winning over her heart will be a difficult challenge that he will have to workout himself. Estella’s guardian, Miss Havisham, introduces the two and instantly Estella rejected
Pip’s life was affected in that he moved to London to learn to become a gentleman, and his entire worldview shifted, though not in a positive way. This ultimately leads to his fall and accumulation of debts. However, once Pip loses his wealth, his old worldview is restored and he moves back to the countryside, inspired by Magwitch, and becomes a somewhat successful businessman. Estella was not so lucky. She was raised to never love, and so, she never could. It takes abuse and tragedy to get Estella to finally soften and begin to care. It was once she felt physically the paint that she had inflicted upon Pip emotionally that she began to regret her actions and see a future that was not quite as
Mickey Spillane once said, “The most important part of a story is the ending. No one reads a book to get to the middle.” Despite the fact that the beginning and middle of story play an important role, the resolution is what tends to stick with the reader the most. From the instant the audience meets Pip to the final chapter where Pip and Estella bump into each other after such a long time, Great Expectations is, all the way through, a complete classic. Yet, there is some debate on the most important part of the story - the ending. The ending that Dickens published in his book was actually different from the one he had first written. After hearing some advice from his friend Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Dickens decided to change the final part of his novel. A huge debate has been created as a result of the fixes Dickens made: which of the two endings that Dickens wrote was better - the original or the published one? After examining both Dickens’ original ending and published ending, it’s clear that Dickens’ original ending is the conclusion that overall fits Great Expectations better because of its good thematic expression and plausibility.
Estella also is a victim to her guardian in the novel. She too is never given the chance to be her own person and live life to its fullest. Estella is conditioned by her guardian, Miss Havisham, to make men suffer, and in return it is Estella who will be made to suffer for her guardian's actions. Miss Havisham is a severely disturbed old woman who has adopted Estella. Miss Havisham was abandoned on her wedding day and as a result she forever maintains hatred toward men. Thus for her dirty work, Miss Havisham uses Estella to meet this purpose. Pip concludes that Miss Havisham "had done a grievous thing in taking an impressionable child (Estella) and had manipulated into the form that her wild resentment, spurned affection, and wounded pride, found vengeance in". Miss Havisham makes Estella have a fear of men being close to her and not to allow herself to become attached to them emotionally. Dickens’ made Estella an almost identical copy of Frankenstein: trained to perform specific tasks for the pleasure of their guardian. However someday, they crack and see the illness in their lives. Estella was Miss Havisham’s toy. Estella never
There are salient junctures in Pip’s upbringing that make him who the person he was; this is a tale that in which Pip was soliciting for awareness of himself, as well he realized that his life had major elements of obscurity; due to the fact, he was presented clearly, two radical different lifestyle choices; one, involving a life as a blacksmith and the other; involving the path as life as am affluent prosperous gentleman. Dickens carefully wrote in the periods of Pip’s life and how those set of circumstances; affected by choice, as well affected Pip’s later choices he had made. The temptation of class and wealth perverted the actions of Pip and other people around him; Pip is therefore contemplating on how he was saved by reminiscence of the stages of his life. In the first stage; Pip encounters Magwitch; by accident, this affects the outcome of later events of his life; Pip is than introduced to Miss Havishism and Estella, he fell in love with Estella, and was dramatically persuaded by the promises he made to himself, from his encounters with Miss Havhishism and Estella. Dramatically; Pip than learned the truth about his wealth and that Magwitch was Estella 's father; this collapsed Pip’s vision of reality and forced him to alter his exceptions concerning the truth; Pip than had to save himself from his own selfishness, as well as his malice actions, to the ones who were faithful to him; finally, at the end Pip is a full grown adult and had gain
The theme of family is shown mainly through Pip’s relationship with his brother-in-law, Joe Gargery. In the beginning of the novel, Pip makes it obvious that he dislikes his sister, and takes more of a liking to her husband Joe because Pip is able to sympathize with him (Dickens 40). Joe becomes his confidant, a fact that becomes apparent when Pip comes home to face a harsh interrogation by Mrs. Joe and Uncle Pumblechook after his first visit to Miss Havisham’s. Pip lies to the both of them about his experience, but feels guilty about doing the same to Joe and confesses his wrongdoing. Joe shows understanding towards Pip, and instead of sternly rebuking him for lying, he simply but seriously Pip about the dangers of lying, saying “if you can’t get to be oncommon (uncommon) through going straight, you’ll never get to do it through going crooked” (Dickens 100). While Pip’s relationship with Joe is being tested by his desire to gain a higher social standing, Pip shows significant guilt over his mistreatment of Joe ( Dickens 296), proving that deep down, Pip never loses his deep love for Joe. It can be safely assumed that the point that Dickens wants to make through Pip and Joe’s relationship is that family is not necessarily determined by biological connections, but by who a person is closest to and feels most comfortable sharing their life with through the best and worst times.
“I wanted to make Joe less ignorant and common, that he might be worthier of my society and less open to Estella’s reproach” (111). This quote shows how Pip’s need for Estella’s approval and affection outweighs his love for the man that raised him. The reader begins to understand from Pip’s statements that Pip has a skewed perception of which people are good to him and which are bad to him. Joe never hurts Pip in any way and Estella thrives on Pip’s pain. Yet, Pip chooses Estella over Joe. He does the same concerning Biddy. “Biddy was never insulting, or capricious, or Biddy to-day and somebody else to-morrow; she would have derived only pain, and no pleasure, from giving me pain; she would far rather have wounded her own breast than mine” (130). Even though Pip knows this about Biddy, he still yells at her, saying how envious she is of his fortune and rise in status (148). Biddy allows Pip to yell at her and even tells him that she will not let his hurtful words affect her view of him. Biddy really cares for Pip. Being away from Joe and Biddy just helped Pip forget about them more easily. The only time that the two of them even crossed his mind is when they would contact him. When Biddy writes a letter to Pip saying that Joe will be in town, she even reinforces how much she is sure that the gentleman Pip is not too prestigious for an old friend. Pip’s reaction says something else though. “Not with pleasure, though I was bound to him by so many