Great Expectations By Charles Dickens Book Summary

Part II

In London, Pip meets with Jaggers and his clerk, Mr. Wemmick. Wemmick brings Pip to the apartment of Herbert Pocket, who, Pip discovers, is the Pale Young Gentleman he fought at Miss Havisham's. Pip is to study with Herbert's father, Mr. Matthew Pocket, to learn how to be a gentleman. Pip and Herbert become good friends and Herbert nicknames Pip, Handel. Pip spends part of his time with Herbert and part of his time with the Pocket family. Also living at the Pocket's family home are two other "gentlemen students," Startop and Bentley Drummle. Drummle and Pip do not get along, especially later, when Drummle becomes involved with Estella.

Pip is embarrassed when Joe visits him in London with a message from Miss Havisham and cannot wait for Joe to leave. When Pip returns home to see Miss Havisham, he avoids Joe's forge. Miss Havisham informs Pip he is to accompany Estella to London where she will live with a wealthy society woman. Pip is convinced Miss Havisham intends Estella for him. In London, he spends his time visiting with Estella, spending too much money with Herbert, and joining a group of useless rich men called the Finches. He also makes friends with Jaggers' clerk, Wemmick, and realizes that the stiff legal clerk has a different, kinder personality at home. Pip also realizes that he is harming Herbert financially with their debts, and with Wemmick's help, secretly arranges to set Herbert up in business with a merchant named Clarriker.

During this time, Pip's sister dies. He returns for her funeral and is remorseful over his abandonment of Joe and Biddy. He promises he will visit more often and is angry when Biddy implies that she does not believe him.

On a stormy evening back in London, Pip's world changes dramatically with the arrival of a ragged stranger whom Pip realizes is the convict from the marshes years ago. The convict, whose name is Magwitch, had been sent to Australia and was to never return to England under penalty of death. The convict made a fortune in Australia and has risked death to return and tell Pip that he is the source of Pip's expectations. Pip is disgusted and devastated, something Magwitch, in his happiness to see his "gentleman," does not notice. Pip now knows that Miss Havisham has not been preparing him for Estella, and that with his money coming from a convict he can never have Estella. He also realizes he deserted Joe for a convict's money.

Continued on next page...

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