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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - Barron's Booknotes
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Magwitch tells Pip and Herbert his history. The convict
Magwitch was fighting with on the marshes was his partner,
Compeyson, who gave evidence against Magwitch to save his
own skin. Pip and Herbert realize that Compeyson is the same
man who deserted Miss Havisham on her wedding day. Pip
visits Miss Havisham, to tell her he's lost his fortune; Estella is
there, and he learns that she's going to marry Drummle.
Dejected, Pip returns to London to learn that Compeyson is
there, too, and is hunting down Magwitch. Herbert, Pip, and
Jaggers' clerk Wemmick hatch a plan to take Magwitch in a
rowboat down river, where he can board a ship bound for
Germany. Pip agrees to go abroad with Magwitch, since he
feels he has no future left in England.

Miss Havisham asks to see Pip one more time. She agrees to
complete the anonymous payments for Herbert's partnership,
now that Pip has no fortune. Miss Havisham was deeply
affected by Pip's outburst to Estella, and she is full of remorse
for her selfish scheme; she begs Pip to forgive her. He does so,
but just as he is leaving, she bends over the fire and then
suddenly goes up in a pillar of flame. Pip rescues her, but she
never recovers.

Back in London, Pip learns that Magwitch once had a baby
girl, but she was abandoned by her mother. Piecing together
evidence, Pip realizes with shock that Estella was that baby
girl.



The time comes to take Magwitch away. Two nights before the
departure, Pip receives a mysterious message to go to his own
home village, where he is attacked by Orlick. Herbert rescues
him, but he's still battered and sore when they set off down the
river. The next dawn, just as they are hailing the German ship,
a police boat pulls out and stops them. Magwitch spots
Compeyson, the informer, in the boat and knocks him
overboard. Compeyson drowns, and Magwitch is taken to
prison. Pip, who has grown to love Magwitch, sticks with him
until the old man dies in prison, before his execution.

Pip falls ill. Joe nurses him through his sickness, pays his
debts, and then disappears, not wishing to be in his way. Pip
now appreciates Joe's loving loyalty and follows him home,
planning to marry Biddy and settle down; but when he gets
there Biddy has just married Joe. Pip decides to leave,
accepting a job in an overseas branch of Herbert's office.

Returning to England many years later, Pip visits Miss
Havisham's house, which has been pulled down. Estella is
there, too. Her husband Drummle, who treated her badly, has
died. Suffering has given Estella human feelings at last, and
she is kind to Pip. As they walk away hand in hand, it looks as
though they will finally get together.

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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - Barron's Booknotes
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