October 5

“I saw no shadow of another parting from her.”

Please finish reading Great Expectations and be sure to read both endings.

Dickens was persuaded by his friend and fellow novelist, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, to rewrite the ending to Great Expectations. Why do you suppose his friend objected to the original ending?  How do the endings differ?  Which ending do you prefer?  Why?

Make sure you include many specific details to support your opinions and to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #17


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Posted October 5, 2018 by equinson in category Great Expectations

43 thoughts on ““I saw no shadow of another parting from her.”

  1. Myles Ng

    We have finally come to the end of Pip’s adventure. There are two endings. One happy and one sad. I believe that Dickens’s friend objected tot the original ending because it just ended having Pip losing everything and not become someone better. The original ending left us with no real resolution. Pip ended heartbroken, broke, and alone. He did not change from his adventures. After all that he just ends up like that. I would have liked to see him have at least a half decent ending. The second ending fulfills that. Pip ends up fulfilling his childhood dream of marrying Estella. In my opinion the second ending was much more clearer and full of detail. It also had a change is Estella for the best. Even though she lost everything and only had the Satis property she was a better person. She ended up getting rid of the things she learned from Ms. Havisham like the morals and ways of life she learned from her. I believe that this ending was the best. It was detailed, clear, and had a happier ending than the first one.

    Reply
    1. mikaylaf

      I agree with your analysis of the first ending, in terms of how Pip is feeling, but I think he has changed a great deal from his adventures! For instance, he and Joe have become great friends again, and he has made up with Biddy. In addition, Pip and Herbert made a great business, from which Pip greatly benefited from.

      Reply
    2. trinityt

      I agree with your respond, and would prefer the second ending as well. It has a much happier ending, along with a satisfying feeling. It shows a greater change in Estella than in the original. The second ending was more detailed and clearer as well. Even though some didn’t like the original ending very much, I kind of like how Dickens wrote two endings. Therefore, we can all have our own opinions, and sees what this story would be like if it takes a different turn.

      Reply
    3. Hannah Pitkofsky

      I agree with your analysis of both endings 100%, and I also enjoyed that Estella changed in the second, alternate ending.

      Reply
  2. mikaylaf

    We have finished reading Dickens’s Great Expectations. As unusual as this is, especially for his time, Dickens has written two endings to his great work of literature. After finishing his novel, Dickens visited his friend and fellow novelist, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who eventually persuaded him to rewrite the ending of Great Expectations. I think Dickens’s friend objected to the original ending because he, like the rest of us, find it satisfying to read a book with a happy ending. Great Expectations did not have such a great ending for Pip. It seems as if all the other characters got great endings to their story. Herbert married Clara and did well with his company. Wemmick married Miss Skiffins and they led a good life. Joe married Biddy and they lived graciously with their kids. Everyone but Pip and Estella lived ‘happily ever after.’ In addition, the original ending leaves no room for even the most optimistic of readers to believe that Estella and Pip would get married. For example, in the first ending it says, “‘We are friends,’ said I, raising and bending over her, as she rose from the bench.
    ‘And will continue friends apart,’ said Estella.” (page 484) On the other hand, the second ending implies that Estella and Pip may have a second chance with their relationship. In this version, Pip realizes that Estella does in fact have a heart, which leads him to believe that she might love him. Pip says, “I was very glad afterwards to have had the interview; for, in her face and in her voice, and in her touch, she gave me the assurance, that suffering had been stronger than Miss Havisham’s teaching, and had given her a heart to understand what my heart used to be.” (page 508) In this ending, Estella has a heart, which means that she can finally understand what Pip has undergone in terms of his love for her, and how his heart was broken.

    I happen to like the first ending more! Don’t get me wrong, I love happy endings where the protagonist gets what he/she has always wanted from life. However, in this novel, I think the original ending fits the rest of the story better. What I mean by this is that Estella has clearly stated, numerous times, that she has no romantic feelings towards Pip. Pip tells Estella that “‘I have loved you ever since I first saw you in this house.’” (page 362) In response, Estella says, “‘It seems… that there are sentiments, fancies — I don’t know how to call them — which I am not able to comprehend. When you say you love me, I know what you mean, as a for of words; but nothing more. You address nothing in my breast, you touch nothing there. I don’t care for what you say at all. I have tried to warn you of this; now, have I not?’” (page 362) Here, Estella states matter of factly that she feels no love between herself and Pip. Therefore, it seems very unlikely to me that she and Pip would end up marrying each other. In the original ending, Estella says she and PIp are just friends, and Pip agrees. But in the revised ending, there is an opening for the reader to believe that Estella and PIp will live happily ever after, together. This ending just doesn’t seem likely to me. Yet, I do applaud Dickens for writing a second ending to his wonderful novel, which implies a much happier fate for Pip.

    Reply
  3. trinityt

    For the weekend’s reading, we have finally come to the end of the adventure of Pip. The end of “Great Expectations”. Unlike most books, there are two endings in this story. The original ending, where there was an unsatisfying feeling, left readers disappointed (according to page 508). The second ending, which was the one we read before the seeing the original ending, has a more happy and satisfying feeling than the original ending.
    I think Dickens’s friend objected to the original ending because it was sad that Pip didn’t quite achieved his dream, and left an unsatisfying feeling in you after reading it. Also, the original ending didn’t have much and clear details. Unlike the original ending, the second ending was much more detailed and clearer. In addition, Pip seems happy and quite content with his life. “‘…suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but- I hope- into a better shape. Be as considerate and good to me as you were, and tell me we are friends.'” (pg.484). In this quote, we can see that Estella is much kinder than before, and clearly learns her lesson and has become a better person. “…I saw the shadow of no parting from her.” (pg.484). This indicates that Pip and Estella are together, and that they didn’t separate from each other.
    In my opinion, I would prefer the second ending. It’s because the second ending was more detailed and clearer than the original ending. It also shows that Estella has changed for the better. In addition, in this ending, Pip and Estella got together and has a happier ending than the original.
    “Great Expectations” was truly a great work of literature. It brought satisfaction in me to see Pip go through all these changes and obstacles, and in the end, he became a man whose happy and content with his life.

    Reply
  4. Sunna

    Now that Pip’s story has come to a close, only one question is left: Which ending is better? The more satisfying, hopeful ending with “closure”? Or the slightly disappointing ending, where you don’t know what to feel?

    The first ending shows hope for Pip. He has visited Joe and Biddy, and has reunited with Estella. They leave with their hands entwined, knowing that they would never leave each other’s sides again. This seems to be a satisfying ending, with the reader feeling as though Pip and Estella will both finally have happiness with each other.

    The second, and original, ending takes a bit of a different angle. Here we see the same situation, except when Pip is talking to Biddy, he talks about how Estella remarried after Drummle died. She seems to be happy, and he has not found anyone. Nevertheless, he is still happy with his life, but he will always love Estella. It ends here, leaving the reader wondering what will become of Pip. Will he live alone forever? Or will he ever be reunited with his love, Estella?

    Many people probably like the first ending better because it gives the story more “closure” and leaves it on a happy note. I, however, prefer the original. It is more realistic, and leaves you wondering how different Pip’s life would have turned out if he had never become a gentleman, if he had never been in the graveyard that night. Would he be with someone else? Maybe Biddy? Life is unpredictable, and it tends to be disappointing. To say that everyone gets their perfect, happy ending is ignorant, and simply untrue. With this ending, Pip’s “great expectations” have become a common life without Estella, the one person he loves more than anyone or anything. And yet, he is not unhappy. He will always wish that he were with Estella, but that doesn’t stop him from enjoying his life. This ending, in a way, is more satisfying to me and give much more closure. It shows us that life won’t always be your dream, but that shouldn’t stop you from making the most of it. He still has Joe and Biddy, and he knows what type of person he is. Pip is no longer the greedy, selfish man that he once was, who forgot us true family when fortune struck him. He knows what is important to him, even if he may have some regrets, but doesn’t everyone?

    And what could be a more perfect ending than that?

    Reply
  5. Emma Garbowitz

    We have finally finished reading the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens! However he ends the novel with two completely different endings. On one hand, Pip ends up alone with nobody, and nothing. However, in the other ending Pip goes home and fixes his wrong doings and ends up working hard to make a living. I suppose that Dickens’ friend, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, objected the original ending to the novel because he thought that Pip’s story should end in a “happily ever after”. I think Bulwer-Lytton wanted Pip to end up living in happiness because through most of the novel, Pip has an extremely hard time with his feelings, money issues, and how people thought of him. In the original ending, all the other characters end up living great lives. Wemmick gets married to Mrs. Skiffins, Clara and Herbert get married, and even Joe and Biddy get married. The only people who don’t end up truly happy are Estella and Pip in the end of the original ending. As well as this, another reason Bulwer-lytton may have wanted to change the ending would be to have closure between Pip and Estella. This is because in the original ending, it does not talk about Estella at all. The novel ends after Pip visits Joe and Biddy on their wedding day. However, at the end of the second ending, it implies that Pip and Estella may still be together even after saying they will remain friends apart. The text states, I took her hand in min, 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 the shadow of no parting from her.” I think that this provides the reader with closure about what happened between Pip and Estella. It allows the reader to have a better understanding of the two characters and how they changed.
    Personally, I thought that the original ending should have been kept the way it was because it was perfect way to end this novel. The first ending made me think of so many past motifs or themes that were resolved in such a perfect way. For example, one theme that stood out to me especially in the first ending was revenge, or getting what you deserve. Pip finally gets what he deserves. He has nobody, and nothing he has to work if he wants something. Everybody else has someone or something except for Pip and I thought that it suited the situation very pleasantly. The original ending just suited the novel much better than the second one although the second one was much happier. Therefore, Charles Dickens should have kept the original ending of Great Expectations.

    Reply
  6. Rcey Ortega

    There are two different endings in Great Expectations. The first ending was the original. However, a friend of Charles Dickens didn’t like the ending and convinced Dickens to rewrite the ending. I think that Edward (Dickens’s friend) didn’t like the first ending because it was saddening for the readers. In the first ending, Pip gets sick and is visited by Joe. This showed that Joe loved and cared for Pip. In the second ending, Joe and Biddy get married. Not only that but Pip and Estella get along at the end and become friends. Personally, I like the second ending more. However, Pip doesn’t really deserve a good ending. I think the first ending was needed for Pip, so he can see that Joe still loves him even though he abandoned Joe.

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  7. janem

    In “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, there are two endings. The first ending doesn’t mention Estella, and leaves Pip with many struggles, such as being alone, and not financially stable. We see all of the other characters meet definite ending, such as the convict passing away and Herbert getting married. I think the original ending changed because it just doesn’t satisfy the readers. Seeing how far Pip has come, how much his situation has changed, and how much he has changed as a person, the first ending leaves the readers underwhelmed and disappointed that the book just ends flat, it doesn’t make the readers think at all about the characters’ futures. But the second ending shows Estella and Pip talking again. Estella finally proves that she is a different person from when she was a child, and when she was a young adult. She and Pip promise to stay friends with each other, and, unlike the original ending, makes the readers content to know that Estella and Pip will stay close with each other, and makes the readers wonder what could be in store for Pip and Estella’s future.

    Reply
    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree with the reasoning behind why the original ending was changed. Maybe it was because the reader wanted to know more and have closure about all the characters.

      Reply
  8. angelicac1

    “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, came to a conclusion with two endings. Both endings were written by Dickens except one of the endings was written because his friend, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, persuaded him to. In the original ending, Pip is left heartbroken and with financial struggles. Bulwer-Lytton disagreed with this ending and he wanted Dickens to write a different ending with a pleasing ending that had much more of a happier vibe. The second ending had Pip and Estella reuniting after years. The both of them end up being friends.

    I have mixed feelings about both of these endings. As much as I love satisfying endings, I felt like the original ending fitted more with the story. I never thought that “Great Expectations” would’ve ended on a happier note so that’s why I side with the original ending a little more than the second ending. Although the original ending fit more with this story (in my opinion), it’s interesting to imagine how the story could’ve gone on a different path and ended on a happier note, like it did in the second ending.

    Reply
    1. Zoe

      I agree that the tone of the story made me feel like there was never going to be a happy ending. However, I know for some readers, it benefits them more to see a conclusion to a love story and a happy theme to live their life by, while others may want to see the deeper meanings in these types of stories. Both ways help you to understand the story better and let you think more about the topic and the themes the author chose. Great paragraph! I really like the way you see both sides of the endings and how they affect the storyline.

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    2. jaclynl

      I agree that with this story, it would be very hard to have a completely happy ending but I also liked the second ending because it had more closure to Pip and Estella’s relationship

      Reply
  9. Zoe

    The two ending that Charles Dickens wrote for Great Expectations differed greatly. The first one he wrote, which was very sorrowful compared to the second one, had Pip left off on his own without a wife. On pages 508 and 509 you can see what he originally wrote and compare it to what ending he decided on in the end. The greatest difference, was that his original left Pip alone, watching Estella share her fortune with a doctor that could have been him if only she had a heart. However, the final ending left you off on the hope that Pip and Estella might fall in love and be together as many readers would have wanted. It definitely gave me a lot to hope as that things happen for a reason and everything will have a great ending result at last, but I know this theme isn’t possibly true. Edward Bulwer-Lytton, although he was looking out for the readers to give them a concluding ending, partly took away Dickens’ original meaning in that not everything goes your way and you can either deal with the pain and find a way to enjoy it or never confront it and live a life of unhappiness. The similarities in the two endings, was that Estella learned her lesson both times. Estella does talk to Pip in both, and she says she as changed, as though the pain with her first husband and her destiny from here on had opened her up to the real world and the way that feelings work. This only goes to show that you always get what you deserve. She finally realizes her mistakes towards Pip and realized her consequences, however, in one she is rewarded with another chance and another she is left heart-broken on her own. Both endings come off with a very powerful meaning, but I believe that Dickens’ original ending leaves the reader with a scene to think about and analyze to understand the story and the themes he is representing in these characters.

    Reply
    1. MadiR

      I like the way you looked at both endings in both positive and negative ways. I think the original ending because it was more like what Charles Dickens would write and went with the book. I also like the second ending that he revised because it gives the reader pleasure. All in all great paragraph!

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    2. Casey

      I agree the second ending proves that Estella has learned from her mistakes and has become a much better person.

      Reply
  10. Hannah Pitkofsky

    Sadly, Pip’s adventures have come to an end, but Dickens ends with one last bang. He writes 2 endings for how Pip’s story should conclude. The first (original) ending is that Pip ends up heartbroken and alone. He doesn’t get Estella or Biddy and he ends up alone because of some of the poor choices he made earlier on in the novel. The second (rewritten) ending has a much happier ending for our protagonist. He ends up with Estella and is successful and happy. Charles Dickens only rewrote the second ending because of his friend, Edward Bulwer-Lytton. He insisted that Pip should have a different and happier ending to his story. Dickens wrote just that and the second, alternate ending was born. In my opinion, I like elements of both endings. I like that Pip got what he deserved in the original ending due to his bad choices. However, I enjoyed it when Pip got Estella and was happy with her. Overall, this novel was very interesting with many twists and turns and it was a very successful novel, in my opinion.

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  11. Hannah M.

    There are two endings to the novel Great Expectations. The two endings are complete opposites of each other. The ending Dickens wrote without suggestions from his friend, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, was sad and Pip lost everything and it made it seem like his adventures were for nothing. The original ending lacked information about Estella. I was really hoping to hear more about her and her relationship with Pip. I the second ending Pip sees Estella and doesn’t lose everything!Throughout the second ending as Pip walks in the garden he thinks of Estella. He has heard that Estella is not very happy with Drummell. One day Pip sees Estella in the garden and she says she considers them as “friends”. This leaves us at a cliff hanger in our knowledge in their relationship.
    I’d say these were well written endings for an incredible coming of age novel, but the first ending should have been more elaborated. In conclusion the second ending was better.

    Reply
  12. jaclynl

    Now that we’ve finished reading “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, there are two endings that are completely different. In the original one, there is no happy ending. Pip is lonely and is having a hard time with life. He does not end up with Estella, but instead he ends up with no one. For me, this was not the ending I would have hoped for. After reading a book like this, I would expect a happier ending to finish it off and make it truly worth reading. With the original ending, I was left feeling sad, thinking that Pip deserved so much more.

    I think that Dicken’s friend felt the same way as many of us did about this ending and convinced him to write the second ending. In this one, there is more of a “happily ever after” approach that was so much more enjoyable to read. Pip and Estella end up seeing each other again after so many years and she now understands how he felt so long ago. They agree to always be friends and with ending, I feel like there is so much more closure to the story. I definitely preferred the second ending after comparing them both.

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  13. MadiR

    We finally finished this amazing novel and the rest of Pip’s life. To my surprise there are two endings of the novel. One ending was very disappointing to the reader. It ended with Estella getting another husband other than Drummle and being happy living off her fortune. The other was a very pleasing way to end. It had Pip going to the garden that he used to walk in at Satis House and seeing Estella there, by the end Pip and Estella part as friends. I think Charles Dickens friend, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, objected to the original ending because after the fantastic novel it just stops and you can’t infer what happens in Pip’s life next. The endings are really different one doesn’t have hope for happiness in the rest of Pip’s life and the other one does. Also, Pip does not have any kind of relationship with Estella in one ending and in the other they part as friends witch leads the reader to believe there is hope in Pip’s later life. I prefer the ending that Charles Dickens friend suggested. I think it ends with the reader feeling happy and satisfied with Pip’s life.

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  14. Brishti Sarkar

    The ending of Great Expectations is unique because it was not originally Dickens’s first concept of the conclusion. In the second version, after all of his friends get married, Pip returns to his home after 11 years and visits the Satis house after a talk with Biddy, and there he finds Estella. He had heard that Estella was abused and unhappy in her marriage with Drummle, and that Drummle had died, leaving Estella unmarried. Now, Estella is still beautiful, but she lost the pride in her eyes and is only left with sorrow. They talk things over, and it is hinted that Estella and Pip might get married. This version is filled with hope and the idea that even if you messed up in your past, there is capacity that your future will be better. It left the story on a bittersweet note, and opened up a new chapter of Pip’s life that we do not know of. However, the original one was much sadder. Instead of going to the Satis house and talking things over, Estella stops Pip in the middle of the street with the young Pip, the child of Joe and Biddy. In this version, Estella is married to a doctor, and there is no chance of her and Pip getting married. This version made me feel very dissatisfied and it left the book feeling unfinished. Dickens’s friend, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, most likely thought this too and told him to leave the book on a less negative note. In my opinion, the second ending feels like a better resolution. It can be argued that the original ending is better because it is “more realistic”, and that “life doesn’t always work out in your favor”, but if that is the case, where do we draw the line? Pip and Estella are inherently good people who have changed for the better, and young children are always taught that if you are a good person, life will reward you. If Dickens had published the original, this would not fit well with the overall theme of the novel which is about getting what you deserve. The second one does a better job at showing how everyone deserves a second chance. And besides, the ending is not sappy, and the novel already does a good job at showing how life isn’t always a fairy-tale with Provis. Most of the characters got what they deserved, like Joe, Biddy, Herbert, and Wemmick, with the exception of Provis (though it could be argued that he was better off dead than living the rest of his life without freedom), and it would be cruel of Dickens to let Pip live the rest of his life without a chance for a happy ending. Overall, I think Dickens did a good job with the final ending. It seemed to balance the sadness and loss out with hopefulness, without making it cheesy.

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  15. Casey

    The two endings to the novel, “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, were very different from each other. One left the reader in disappointment, and the other left the reader in satisfactory. The original ending ended with Pip finally returning home, hoping to marry Biddy. Instead, Pip finds out that Biddy taught Joe how to read and write and they are now getting married. This leaves Pip heartbroken. He ends up being lonely for the rest of his life.

    The other ending was written after a friend of Dickens was mad about how the original one was written. The alternate ending ends with Pip returning to Estella and finding out that Drummle has died and Estella was unhappy with the marriage. Pip decides to marry Estella and they walk through the garden and never leave each other which I think is a much better ending than the original. However, I think that the original relates to the theme of getting back what you give. Although it was sad seeing Pip left with no one, he was a pretty terrible person towards the ones who really cared about him. After going to London, he never really returned to Joe, the father figure in his life, but instead, he abandoned him. Even though Pip was trying to help Magwitch, I think he only did that because of the money Magwitch gave him. Joe, on the other hand, raised Pip and gave him a home when he and Mrs. Joe could have easily left him. In my opinion, your life is a lot more important than money. Pip should have realized that money doesn’t by happiness way earlier in the novel, and been happier with what he had.

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  16. Laila Sayegh

    In this weekends reading, we were able to read two different endings to great expectations. I prefer the ending that Dickens friend, Edward Bulwer-Lytton suggested.
    In the original ending, Pip ends up being sad. He is struggling financially and he doesn’t get to live happily with Estella as he had always dreamed of doing. I can see how this would be disappointing to many readers because when you read a novel like this, you can become very attached to each of the characters. Although Pip did have his flaws, as we watched him grow throughout the story we always wanted what was best for him. The fact that he didn’t end up getting closer with Estella in the original ending saddened me because we watched everything Pip had to go through just to feel worthy enough for Estella, and to see that all fail is extremely upsetting.
    In the rewritten ending, Estella and Pip end on good terms and become good friends. This made me very happy because, at this point, I felt as though Pip deserved Estella. When I say this I do not mean that he is finally enough of a gentleman to be with Estella. What I mean by this is that Pip finally learned his lesson. If you think about it, most of the internal conflict in the book was because of Estella. The one thing that made Pip feel insecure was Estella. The one thing that made Pip long to be a gentleman and only care for himself was Estella. But at the end of the novel, we see Pip has changed. Now he does care about other people, like Magwitch, Joe, and Biddy. It just goes to show that there were consequences that come with falling in love with someone like Estella. Once Pip was able to overcome those consequences and learn from his mistakes, he was finally deserving of Estella. That is why this ending was so satisfying.

    Reply
    1. josepha4

      It’s interesting to point out that only when Pip is satisfied with himself does he become close with Estella again. It’s a little ironic because he changed his entire self to be with her and only when he goes back to himself does he get a chance with her.

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  17. josepha4

    The grand conclusion of Pip’s journey has two diverse possibilities. One leaves us with an optimistic finale, where the author guides us to believe that Pip and Estella end up with each other. The other shows us the more realistic ending, of the two characters going off and leading separate lives.

    I think Dickens’ friend objected the sadder ending because it is less appealing to the reader. In the sadder ending, bad things can happen to people who started out innocent, and history has an impact on outcomes, not always a happy story.

    Most people, myself included, prefer the happy ending of two people whom destiny would never place together finding each other. This ending makes us feel that anything is possible, and a poor boy can grow to become a gentleman, and even if we make terrible mistakes, it can all be OK in the end. In this version, Pip is able to say, “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 the shadow of no parting from her.” This quote shows that Pip expects the two of them to be in each other’s lives, for better or worse, for a long time. Also, I think that when they come out of the ruined place it symbolizes them leaving behind the mess of the past that they share, and going into the mist, or the unknown future. It has hope. Although it takes a long time for Estella to develop emotion towards anybody she succeeds and we are happy that she has eventually outgrown the cold teachings of Miss. Havisham. This ending is “all wrapped up in a bow” for the reader.
    I prefer the optimistic ending where Estella and Pip have a possibility of being united because I prefer the closure and completeness it provides.

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  18. Sophie

    The two different endings to Great Expectations were very different. The original one consisted of an unexpected sad lonely life for Pip. However Dickens colleague named Edward Bulwer-Lytton, must have taken a stand for all the disappointed readers because he persuaded Dickens to re write the ending. Dickens agreed, and the second one was much more satisfying and happy. Not only did Pip live back home with his family, but he was with Estella – the girl who has been the center of his life for all these years. Estella turned out to be a much more important character than I predicted, which is why I was disappointed when the first ending had nothing to do with her. Although I do indeed like it when books have sad and sudden endings, I don’t think that such an action packed book like this should finish with unresolved loose ties. Dickens friend must have agreed too. Great Expectations is such an amazing book, that it must have been such a shame to not have everything come together at the end. Throughput the entire book, the most fascinating part has been Dickens ability to tie together every aspect into one big picture. The fact that the conclusion left out so many of the characters and events in his life, didn’t make a lot of sense. Overall, I prefer the second ending because it satisfied me the most. All along Pip has gone through adventure after adventure to be with Estella, and now that they are finally together definitely made everything worth it.

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  19. Emily

    At the end of the novel, we are left with two very different endings. One of them is very happy, and the other is sad. I much prefer the sad one because it is more realistic.

    Even though the original version is much less cheery that the re-written version, I like it better. In this version everyone gets a happy ending except for Pip and Estella. Mr. Wemmick and Miss Skivens get married. Herbert and Clara get married. Even Joe and Biddy get married and have a child! It seems like everyone is content in life except for Pip and Estella. Even though I want Pip and Estella to be happy, I do not think that it is possible for them to ever be together. In real life not everyone gets a happy ending and I think that in order for this novel to be realistic Pip and Estella can never be together.

    Reply
    1. maxwellw

      I agree that despite the sadder tone of the original ending it’s better for the more realistic portrayal it has of what would happen.

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  20. stephaniec

    After finishing Great Expectations, the reader is left with two endings to this novel. The first ending was unsatisfying but made the most sense. Everyone but Pip and Estella found their true love. Joe and Biddy were happily married each other, along with Mr. Wemmick and Mrs. Skiffins (now Mrs. Wemmick), and even Herbert and Clara. Although Pip was happy for all his friends, he never ended up marrying his true love, Estella. Instead, Pip and Estella met for the last time and agreed to just be friends. Edward Bulwer-Lytton, a fellow colleague thought the conclusion would be disappointing for the reader. Therefore, Dickens’ wrote a second ending to the novel. It was evident, that Dickens’ friend thought the readers would be dissatisfied by the way Estella and Pip ended their relationship. The second ending gave the readers hope that Estella and Pip would end up with each other, or maybe just give the reader closure that Estella had grown as a character. “I was very glad afterwards to have had the interview; for, in her face and in her voice, and in her touch, she gave me assurance, that suffering had been stronger than Ms. Havisham’s teaching, and had given her a heart to understand what my heart used to be.”(page 509). I prefer the second ending because I think it gives the reader more room to interpret the outcome of the novel.

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  21. maxwellw

    As “Great Expectations” ends and we’re left to ponder over which ending truly was the best, we must first understand why Dickens chose the ending he did. A reason may have been to contrast the rest of the book. The novel is an extremely serious book to just be made a happy one. It’s filled with constant hardship and conflict and a conventionally good ending would create a twist in the general vibe. Now for the scrapped ending. The second ending continues the patterns of union and separation and reconciliation, the connection between the past and the present, with Pip and Estella’s meetings at Satis House. The lovers deserve to be happy because they have suffered deeply; their suffering has changed them so much that they are no longer the same people. It is appropriate that Magwitch’s daughter finds happiness with Pip. Even as we contemplate the two endings Dickens has created, another question is brought up. Should the novel have stopped before Estella’s final appearance? Miss Havisham referred to Estella’s marriage many chapters earlier so that there is no need to bring her up again; her fate is known. Not having Estella’s final appearance would also show that Pip has developed in a way that he can now live happily as a bachelor. It’d show that he is able to move on past Estella without being trapped under the entrapment of her beauty.

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    1. Kate Ma.

      I agree about the idea you brought up regarding Pip would be happier as a bachelor instead of still obsessed with Estella for the rest of his life.

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  22. Kate Ma.

    In the two endings of Great Expectations, I think that the original ending gets Dickens point across better than the second one. The original ending results in Pip having nothing and never finding a happy ending like marriage or love. In the second ending Pip doesn’t lose everything and is still friends with Estella but not a couple. The second ending doesn’t make much sense because we all know how deeply in love Pip is with Estella, and just being friends will never work. In the original ending, Pip’s story fits the book better. It fits more because Estella was so hard to get Pip never got her. It shows how Pip basically wasted his life on some girl who never wanted him in the fist place and now Pip finally realizes how he was so dumb by not realizing who his true friends were in the first place. Dickens theme of loyalty and what comes around goes around really comes out in these final chapters. Pip gets what he deserves and so does everyone else in the book in the original ending.

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  23. johnh1

    Chapter fifty nine is the last chapter in “Great Expectations”. This chapter and the book originally had a different ending. The true ending has Pip meeting up with Estella and them leaving together with the idea that they might marry. The final words of this ending are “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 the shadow of no parting from her.” The original ending had a sadder tone. Estella gets remarried after Drummle dies and Pip doesn’t get a happy ending in the form of marriage to Estella. “”I had heard of the death of her husband (from an accident conse

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  24. johnh1

    (Sorry accidentally pressed enter) consequent on ill treating a horse), and of her being married again to a shropshire doctor…” . I think this ending was replaced because it was too sad and it was thought that the public would like a happier ending. I personally prefer the true ending. While the original does sum up the book quite well and gives a good reason for Pip meeting his friends again earlier and has Pip accepting his life a bit more I will side with the true ending for one reason. That reason is that it ends Estella’s story better. Earlier when Estella marries Drummle she does it because she feels she is to awful to make Pip suffer with in marriage. This shows that deep down inside, Estella does care about Pip. Also, earlier Pip told Magwitch that he loves Estella much. He seems like he is going to do something about it too. I fell it is just better for what has been written earlier with the real ending.

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  25. Maddie

    In this book there are two endings. In the first ending that is actually in the book, Pip finds Estella in the yard of Miss Havisham’s house, which is no longer a house. Estella and Drummle are separated, and Estella is remarried. Estella says she is to take leave of Pip and is “very glad to do so.” Pip is once again disappointed in this, though he is glad that they will always be friends. I did not like this ending because Estella is so happy to leave Pip. I would think that through all of her years of hardships, and changes she has gone through, she would grow to love Pip, and realize that he loved her, too.
    In the second ending, however, their meeting is different. Pip is walking with little Pip in London, and a pony carriage pulls up. A lady says to them that the person inside would like to talk to them and that person is Estella. When they see Estella, she gives the little boy a kiss and says that she is greatly changed. She now has a heart, and is kind, and understands Pip. I like this ending better because we see the possibility of Pip and Estella being together. Also, Estella is much kinder, and instead of wishing to take leave of Pip, she wishes to come speak to him.
    Overall, this was a great novel, and though both endings were extremely well written, I would prefer the second one.

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