Chapter one – The convict
Pip was an orphan and lived with his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, wife of the blacksmith. One day he was in the churchyard looking at his parents’ tombs when a terrible voice reached him and told him to be quiet. Ha was a man, dressed in grey, with a great iron on his leg; he was completely wet and he was trembling for the cold. The man asked his name and emptied his pockets. He then asked who(m) he lived with, and he found out that Pip lived with the wife of a blacksmith. He ordered Pip to bring him a file the day after and not to say a word, or he would kill him or let his companion do it. Pip swore it and full of fear he ran home without stopping. When he arrived home, the forge, which was next to the house, was shut down and Joe was sitting in the kitchen. Mrs. Joe prepared some slices of bread and butter but Pip didn’t eat them, putting them down the leg of his trousers. Later he found out from Joe that two prisoners had escaped from the Hulks, the prison ships. Before dawn, he went downstairs and stole some food and brandy that he then diluted with some tar-water; then he got a file from the forge and ran to the churchyard.
He saw another man dressed in grey with an iron on his leg, who disappeared in the mist, and then he found the right man and gave him the food and the file. But when the man heard from Pip that there was another man like him, he wanted to find him and kill him. Pip ran away and came back home. Mrs. Joe was getting the house ready for Christmas and looking for her porkpie, when suddenly some soldiers arrived, asking Joe to help them repairing some handcuffs. When Joe had finished, Pip proposed going with the soldiers, wondering what his convicts would think if they found them. In fact, they found the convicts in the bottom of a ditch, fighting. The other convict said that Pip’s convict had tried to murder him. While they were waiting for the boat to come from the prison ship, Pip’s convict admitted that, not to starve, he had stolen a dram of liquor and a pie from the blacksmith’s. When the boat arrived the prisoners were taken on board and disappeared.
Chapter two – Miss Havisham
Pip went to the evening school in the village, which was kept by Mr. Wopsle’s great aunt, but he was learning more from Biddy, who was Mr. Wopsle’s great aunt’s granddaughter. One day, uncle Pumblechook was asked by miss Havisham if he knew of a boy who could help her, and so he offered her to take Pip. Miss Havisham was known as a very rich and grim lady who lived in a large and dismal house.
The next day they went to Miss Havisham’s. The house was old and dismal, and the courtyard was barred so they had to wait outside for someone to open it. A young lady came: she was beautiful but she seemed very proved, and while she led Pip to the house, she was very scornful of him. Inside, the house was dark and full of passages. Pip entered a large dressing room where there was a very strange woman, dressed all in white, with a long veil hanging from her hair. After having talked for a while, Miss Havisham told the girl – Estella – to play cards with Pip. Estella did it but she was very contemptuous and always insulted him. At the end of the play, Miss Havisham told Pip to come again after six days and ordered Estella to give him something to eat. She took him some food but gave it to him as he were a dog. Pip felt very humiliated and hurt. He knew that she considered him very ignorant and common. Pip understood that the best way of making him uncommon was to become less ignorant, and he asked Biddy for help.
Coming back from school, he stopped by the Three Jolly Bargeman, the public house, and found there Joe in the company of Mr. Wopsle and a stranger. At the end of the conversation, the stranger gave Pip a shilling folded in some paper; only when he got home, Pip noticed that the paper was a two-pound note. Joe hurried back to the Three Jolly Bargeman to give the note back, but the stranger was gone.
Chapter three – The pale young gentleman
Pip returned to Miss Havisham and on that day there were even three ladies and one gentleman, relatives of Miss Havisham. Pip went to Miss Havisham’s door and she told him to go into the opposite room and wait for her. It was a dark and airless room and everything was covered with dust and mold. When Miss Havisham reached him, they walked round and round the room for some time, then she told him to call Estella, who arrived with the three ladies and the gentleman. One of the ladies was called Sara Pocket, the other one Camilla and the gentleman’s name was Matthew. They all talked for a while then they went away, and Pip and Estella played cards again with Miss Havisham watching them. When Pip went downstairs to have something to eat, he met another gentleman, who strangely asked him to fight with him. After this fight, and having Pip won, the gentleman simply disappeared.
A period of eight or ten months passed. Miss Havisham asked Pip questions about his life. When she knew that Pip was going to be apprenticed to Joe Gargery, she invited him to her house. Miss Havisham asked Joe to apprentice Pip immediately, and gave him twenty-five guineas for his premium.
Pip was quite depressed. He didn’t like Joe’s trade anymore, and he was thinking about Estella.
Chapter four – Great expectations
Pip had learnt from Biddy everything he could, and he tried to teach what he knew to Joe, in order to make him less ignorant, but Joe wasn’t able to learn a piece of information.
One Sunday, when he and Joe hadn’t much work, he asked Joe if he could visit miss Havisham, to thank her for her help. Joe agreed to leave him a half-day holiday.
Joe kept a journeyman named Orlick, who was a swarthy fellow of great strength and has never liked Pip. When he knew that Pip had had a half-day holiday, he wanted one too, and Joe agreed. Mrs. Joe, who had listened to the conversation, accused her husband of giving too many holidays. Mrs Joe and Orlick started fighting, and in the end Mrs. Joe fell down unconscious and Joe got over Orlick. When Pip arrived at Miss Havisham’s, he thanked her but Estella wasn’t there; she was abroad to be educated as a lady. When he got home, he found his sister lying senseless, knocked down by a blow on the back of the head. The police found a convict’s leg-iron on the ground, but never found the culprit. For a long time, Mrs. Joe was ill in bed: her sight and hearing were damaged, and she could hardly speak.
One night at the Three Jolly Bargeman in the fourth year of Pip’s apprentice, a stranger arrived looked for an apprentice named Pip. Pip recognized the stranger as the man he met at Miss Havisham’s, but the stranger didn’t recognize him. His name was Jaggers and he was a lawyer in London: he communicated that Pip would come into a large property and that Pip was going to be brought up as a gentleman. There were only two conditions: Pip had to keep the name Pip and the name of his benefactor had to remain a secret. Pip accepted the conditions, even if he thought that his mysterious benefactor was Miss Havisham. Mr. Jaggers even gave him a tutor for his education, a man called Matthew Pocket, who Pip had already met at Miss Havisham’s. Mr. Jaggers also gave him twenty guineas to buy some clothes before leaving for London. Before leaving, he went to say goodbye to miss Havisham, persuaded that she was his benefactor, but miss Havisham didn’t say anything that could reveal her identity. Pip left on Sunday, excited by his new future, but even afraid and he burst into tears thinking about everything he was leaving behind.
Chapter five – London
When he arrived to London, Pip went to Mr. Jaggers’ offices. His clerk Wemmick accompanied him to young Mr. Pocket’s rooms at Barnard’s Inn, where he was supposed to stay until Monday, when he would go to his father’s house to meet his tutor.
When he saw Mr. Herbert Pocket, he immediately recognized him as the young pale gentleman he had fight with at Miss Havisham’s. Herbert was an attractive man with a frank and easy manner. Pip told him his story and when they sat down to dinner he asked about miss Havisham’s story. Herbert told him that her mother died when she was a baby and that her father denied her nothing, but she had a half-brother who was bad tempered and always wasted money. So his father disinherited him, and even if he left him some money before dying, he didn’t leave him as much as he left to miss Havisham. Then a man started courting miss Havisham as he was intended to marry her. She was sincerely in love and gave him everything he wanted, including great amount of money, and didn’t listen to her friends’ warnings.
The day of the wedding came, but not the bridegroom: he wrote a letter that she received at twenty minutes to nine, while she was dressing for the wedding. Nobody knew what was in the letter, but since then miss Havisham let the house go to ruin and never saw the sunlight again. It was said that there was a conspiracy between this man and her half-brother. Estella was later adopted.
One Monday, Pip was taken to Hammersmith to meet Herbert’s father: Mr. Pocket showed him his room and introduced him to two other people, Startop and Drummle. Mr. Pocket told him he was meant to be educated to be independent, and he was a very enthusiastic teacher, but Pip decided to keep his bedroom at Barnard’s Inn, and Wemmick gave him some money to buy some furniture. Drummle was a very lazy and proud man while Startop was kinder; Pip liked him but his great companion was Herbert. On day Camilla, Mr. Pocket’s sister, and Georgiana, a cousin, turned up: they hated Pip but fawned on him in his prosperity. One day, Mr. Jaggers invited Pip, Herbert, Startop and Drummle to his house for dinner. There Pip saw Molly, the housekeeper, who was a graceful and pale woman who seemed very strong. A month later, to the great relief of all, Drummle finished his studies and came back home.
Chapter six – Estella
Pip received a letter from Biddy which informed him that Joe would be in London on Tuesday and that he would visit him. When Joe arrived at Barnard’s Inn, he hardly recognized Pip. He gave him news from home and a playbill for a small theatre, where Mr. Wopsle would performance. Suddenly Herbert came into the room and Pip introduced them. They sat down to eat and Joe seemed very embarrassed. When Herbert left for work, Joe told Pip that Estella had come home and wished to see him. The next day Pip left for his town, but stayed at the town’s hotel, not to be an inconvenience at Joe’s. when he was waiting for his coach, he saw two convicts and recognized one of them as the man he gave him two one-pound notes at the Three Jolly Bargemen. He then found the same convicts sitting in front of him on the coach. Pip fell asleep during the journey, and when he woke up he heard one of the convicts told the other that a man had asked him to find the boy who had fed him and give him two one-pound notes.
The next morning he went to visit Miss Havisham; he was persuaded that Miss Havisham would bring him and Estella together. He found Orlick working for Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham sat with an elegant lady he then recognized as Estella. She was going to London and it was decided that he would meet her from the coach. When Estella arrived in London she was even more beautiful: she told Pip she was going to Richmond and that he had to take her. In Richmond, there was a lady who was supposed to introduce her to society. Pip had to come and visit her in Richmond.
Chapter seven – Pip comes to an age
As he grew up, Pip noticed that he lived in a state of chronic uneasiness; he visited very frequently Richmond: he loved Estella but felt unhappy with her. One evening he received a letter which informed him that his sister had died on Monday and that he was requested at the funeral. When he arrived to his town, he found the house full of people: after the funeral he, Joe and Biddy had dinner together. Pip asked to sleep in his own room and had a talk with Biddy: he asked if there was any news about his sister’s attack, but there wasn’t. The next day Pip left, knowing he would not see Joe and Biddy again.
After some time, the day before his twenty-first birthday, Pip was invited by Mr. Jaggers to his office: Mr. Jaggers gave him a sum of five hundred pounds. Pip decided to use part of this sum to help Herbert get into commercial life. With the help of Wemmick, he found a man, Claniker, who needed capital and a partner. Pip gave him half of the five hundred pounds and signed a secret contract of which Herbert was the subject. Pip didn’t want Herbert to know he had anything to do about it.
One day Pip and Estella went to Miss Havisham’s. She was even more fond of Estella. At a ball, all men hang around Estella, especially Bentley Drummle. Pip showed Estella his jealousy, and she admitted that she deceived and entrapped a lot of men but him.
Chapter eight – Magwitch
One stormy and wet night, when Herbert was away in business and they had moved in the Temple, Pip heard a footstep on the stairs. It was a sixty-year-old man who was muscular and had a hard skin as a sailor. He was looking for Pip and when he saw him, he behaved as he knew him. Pip invited the man to come in, and suddenly recognized him: he was the convict he had helped and fed when he was a child! He started worrying about what would happen if police would find a convict in his house, so he wanted the man to go away. But suddenly the man revealed his identity: he was the secret benefactor! He told Pip that after getting his liberty, he started working for himself and became rich, and decided to send the money he earned to Mr. Jaggers to make Pip a gentleman.
Pip was still shocked. He didn’t expect this men to be his benefactor, he was afraid to hide a criminal in his rooms and he even saw his hopes to be brought together with Estella fall into pieces, because Miss Havisham had never had any plan for him!
Pip asked the man if he wanted to sleep and gave him Herbert’s room. The next morning, he understood he couldn’t keep the man hidden in his rooms, so he decided to announce that his uncle had come to visit him and was going to stay with him. When the man woke up, they decided he would be called uncle Provis, but his real name was Abel Magwitch. They also decided to dress him like a prosperous farmer and cut his hair short. Then Pip went to Mr. Jaggers, who confirmed that his benefactor was a man called Abel Magwitch.
Chapter nine – Revelations
One evening, Herbert came home. Magwitch made him swear on the Bible not to say anything to anyone, and then he and Pip told Herbert everything. When Magwitch went to his accommodation, Pip and Herbert talked together about what to do: the best thing was to get Magwitch out of England, and there try to get free of him. The day after, Pip asked Magwitch to tell them about his past and the man he fought against in the ditch.
Magwitch was a very poor boy, and when he became a man, he met a man called Compeyson. He was a criminal who was involved in swindling, handwriting forging, stolen banknote passing, but he was even handsome and a smooth talker, so he persuaded Magwitch to become his partner. The other man who worked with him, Arthur, was dying. Magwitch became his slave, and when he and Compeyson were arrested, he had to sell everything he had to pay Mr. Jaggers as a lawyer. During the trial, Compeyson looked as a gentleman and was recommended to mercy on account of good character and bad company, whereas Magwitch was considered as a wretch and guilty. He got fourteen years while Compeyson only got seven. Magwitch swore he would make Compeyson pay for it. He hit him on the prison ship and then managed to dive off the ship and escaped to the churchyard where he met Pip. When he knew that even Compeyson had escaped, he wanted him to go back on the ship, and fought against him. After this story, Herbert told Pip that Compeyson was Miss Havisham’s lover.
Before going abroad, Pip went to visit Estella and Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham confessed she had let everyone believe she was Pip’s benefactor only to punish her relatives. Pip told Miss Havisham that Mr. Matthew Pocket and Herbert weren’t like the others, and to think about them when she would spare the money. Then he told Estella that he loved her and not to waste herself marrying Drummle. Then he left and when he arrived home he found a note by the night porter that said: “Don’t go home”.
Chapter ten – Pip learns the truth about Estella
Pip found a bed in Convent Garden for the night. The next day he went to Wemmick, and he told him that he had heard that Pip’s room in the Temple had been watched, so Herbert had got Magwitch out of the way and had taken him in the house by the river where his fiancé lived with her bed-ridden father. Before leaving Wemmick, Pip asked him if he knew Compeyson and if he was in London. Wemmick nodded at both questions. After some time, Pip reached Herbert and told him everything. Herbert had an idea: he proposed to take Magwitch down the river without hiring a boat and a boatman and, to avoid suspicion, Pip would keep a boat at the Temple and start the habit of rowing up and down the river.
So Pip soon got a boat and started practicing, and after some time nobody took much notice of him. One evening Pip decided to go and see Mr. Wopsle performing at the theatre. After the play, Mr. Wopsle reached him and took his hands, and asked him who was with him. Pip was surprised by the question because he was alone, but Mr. Wopsle explained that he could swear that sitting behind him there was one of the two convicts they had seen fighting that night, the one who had been beaten.
One day, Mr. Jaggers invited Pip and Wemmick to dine with him. Wemmick gave Pip a note of Miss Havisham, which said that she wanted to see Pip on a matter of business. He decided to go the day after, while Mr. Jaggers was talking about the marriage between Drummle and Estella. During the dinner, Pip was able to observe carefully Molly, the housekeeper, and thinking about her eyes, her flowing hair, her hands, he suddenly knew that she was Estella’s mother. After the dinner, he asked Wemmick about Molly’s story: Mr. Jaggers had been her lawyer when she was accused of having killed a woman being jealous of her husband; she was even supposed to have killed her three-year-old child by this man to revenge herself upon him.
The next day Pip went to Miss Havisham and asked her information about Estella. Miss Havisham wanted a child to bring up and love, so Mr. Jaggers took her a two or three-year-old orphan and she adopted her. Pip was convinced that Molly was Estella’s mother.
When Pip met Herbert, Herbert explained him what Magwitch had told him about his life. He was married to a young, jealous and revengeful woman who was tried for murder, but they had a little girl who vanished when her mother swore she would kill her. So Magwitch was Estella’s father.
Chapter eleven – The escape
On Wednesday, there was a steamer for Hamburg, so they decided to try what they had planned. Herbert should prepare Magwitch to come down the stairs on Wednesday. Pip then found a letter when he got home which said to come to the sluice house on the marshes at nine the next day. When Pip arrived at the place, someone threw a noose over his head from behind and pushed him against the wall. It was Orlick! He wanted to get his revenge because he had lost his work at Miss Havisham’s; he also admitted to have attacked Pip’s sister and to have the intention to kill him and to burn his body in the kiln. Pip tried to free himself and shouted. Suddenly there were shouts, figures and a ray of light: Orlick ran out the door and Pip fainted. When he awoke there were Herbert and Startop. Herbert had found Orlick’s letter in Pip’s rooms, and together with Startop he followed him. They decided to hurry back to London. On Wednesday morning, they went on board and cast off; Magwitch went on board too without being seen. They went down the river slowly for all day. At night, they noticed they were followed and stopped to a tavern, where they ate and slept for a few hours. The next morning they arrived at the right point and wait for the steamer to arrive, but it arrived late, and there was also a small boat, with four rowers and two other men. Quickly, they hold onto Pip’s boat and a man put his hand on Magwitch’s shoulder, but Magwitch leaned across him and grabbed a man who was on the other boat: it was Compeyson. He and Magwitch fell into the water. After some time only Magwitch came back. He was injured to the chest and had a cut to the head. He was taken on board and manacled.
The next day, he was taken to the Police court. He lay ill in the prison infirmary for the whole month before his trial, when he was found guilty. Pip visited him daily and finally he revealed him that his daughter was alive: she was a beautiful lady and she was even the woman he loved.
Chapter twelve – Reunions
After all these events, Pip fell very ill. One day, two policemen came to arrest him for a debt of one hundred and twenty-three pounds, but he was so ill that they let him on the sofa. When he opened his eyes again there was Joe beside him. He had looked after him all the time. He told him that Miss Havisham was dead and that she had left her properties to Estella and Mr. Matthew Pocket, and that Orlick was in prison for stealing. When Pip recovered, Joe suddenly went away, after having paid Pip’s debt. Pip was so grateful and repentant that he wanted to return to the forge immediately. He also wanted to ask Biddy to marry him.
When he arrived in town, Biddy and Joe had just married. Pip was sincerely happy for them and wished them all the happiness in the world.
Pip then left England and joined Herbert as a clerk to Clarriker and Co. He worked hard to pay his debt with Joe and to earn his life. He lived happily with Herbert and his wife Clara. One day after some years, Clarriker revealed that Pip was Herbert’s secret benefactor: Herbert was very surprised and happy and he and Pip became even more friends. After eleven years, Pip visited Joe and Biddy and saw their little girl, who was called Pip. While he was in town, Pip decided to visit Estella: he knew she had had a very unhappy life, she had been treated very cruelty by her husband, who had then died. She had remarried. He saw her in the garden of Satis house: she was still beauty and elegant. She admitted she had thought about him many times, and that she regretted the way she had wasted his love. She said that he would always have a place in her heart, and so said Pip. They parted as friends while the evening was falling upon them.