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Free Study Guide-Great Expectations by Charles Dickens-Free BookNotes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 58

Summary

Pip returns, only to discover to his disappointment that Biddy and Joe are to be married to one another. He wishes them well and decides to take the job offered by Herbert. After a few years of hard work, he becomes a partner; Clarriker tells Herbert the great favor that Pip had done for him by setting him up at as a partner long ago.

Notes

The novel is slowly coming to its end as the major plot lines come to a gradual close. Pip's love for both his friends is clear from the fact that he shows no disappointment at Biddy's marriage with Joe. In fact he regards them to be the best husband and wife and worthy of each other.


Pip starts a new life with his job as a clerk and lives with Herbert and his wife Clara. Clarriker divulges to Herbert that the important financial impetus to their company was given by Pip. This strengthens the bond between the two friends. Later, Pip's hard work earns him the position of a partner.

CHAPTER 59

Summary

Pip returns to visit Joe, Biddy, and their young son, Pip. He learns that Drummle abused Estella and that she left him. Later, Drummle was killed in an unfortunate accident of his own doing, since he was mistreating his horse. Estella remarried.

Pip goes to Satis House, full of memories and regrets. The house is gone, and as he stands on the property, he sees Estella in the distance. They talk as old friends, acknowledging the strange twists their lives have taken. When they part, it is as friends. Pip realizes he will never stop thinking of Estella; in a sense, she will always be with him.

Notes

The final chapter is quintessentially Dickensian. The author neatly resolves all the plot lines and secures a happy resting-place for all his characters. Pip returns to Joe and Biddy after a necessary absence during which he has re-grown, and finds that they have remembered him fondly by naming their son after him. And he meets Estella one last time during which they can declare their friendship. Drummle is dead, killed by his own insensitivity toward a horse, and Estella is presumably attempting happiness with another husband. Pip realizes with fondness that he will never forget her. It is a poignant and fulfilling ending that neatly wraps up all the loose strings created by the master storyteller.

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