Book Notes

Chapter 59: For Estella's Sake... Notes from Great Expectations

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Great Expectations Chapter 59: For Estella's Sake...

Pip passes eleven years abroad, and then one day decides to visit Joe and Biddy. He walks in the old house to find Joe with a little boy on his lap, his and Biddy's child, which they have named after Pip. The little boy takes a liking to Pip, and the two pass the next day together, the older Pip leading the younger Pip around some of his old haunts out on the marshes.

Biddy and Pip get to talking about whether Pip will ever marry, and Biddy asks him if he ever thinks of Estella. Pip says of course he has not forgotten her, though that "poor dream... has all gone by" (563). He's heard some news of Estella--her marriage to Drummle was a bad one, and ended when he got killed by a horse he'd mistreated. He knew nothing of her fate since then.

After dinner that night, Pip decides to take a walk to Satis. He finds that all the buildings have been cleared away, though it seems no one is building anything new there. Exploring there under the moon and stars, he sees a figure that he recognizes immediately as Estella.

The woman still takes his breath away. She tells him that she owns the property, and soon will build on it. Estella says she has often thought of Pip, and Pip says she too always has a place in his heart. She hopes, she says, they can be friends now, and that they will continue to be friends apart. Pip takes her hand, and they walk around the grounds, the world perhaps endowed with a new expectation. The novel ends:

"I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left the forge, so, the evening mists were rising now, and in all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw no shadow of another parting from her." Chapter 59, pg. 566

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