Great Expectations

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade May 2001

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Trying to have the acclaim of many different readers, all over the world can be very difficult but Dickens is a skilled author and achieves the readers' praise. In Great Expectations, there are two endings, however, in my opinion that the revised ending, is better than the original that Dickens had published. Also true that the second closure is also the one the public had preferred. The revised ending is an improved ending over the original because of a better-tailored idea toward the broad public.

An idea of "karma" is played throughout the book; for example, when Miss Havisham mistreats everyone she meets, turns them away, and "shuts" them out of her life. Even though she does all these horrible things, she in the end receives her "karma" That "end" is a little "insensible" fire that kills her in the closing stages (402). This event parallels the one that happens with Estella, she mistreats Pip and never feels true love.

In both endings Estella is tossed around in the "hand of love" and never experiences this love just the way she had treated Pip. Drummle, who is the one that mistreats Estella, gets his coming also. For "he used her with cruelty" and gets killed by a horse's kick (482). Dickens used the concept of revenge in both his endings and Estella becomes the bottom part of this idea. Even though the original ending has this belief it is not fully expressed as the revised, whereas, in the original it still has Estella in the upper class and remarried.

The revised ending has Pip finally getting Estella's true heart " I saw the shadow of no parting from her" (484). This love always plays on the public's sensitivity, and in-fact mine too. Pip chases Estella throughout the whole book but finally in the second ending does he ultimately catch her. He has overcome so many hardships for her love, such as, Miss Havisham, Jaggers, and Drummle. Contrary, to the first ending, which just has Estella and Pip, having a brush on the street as they walk down. This does not satisfy the common reader or my desire for a happy ending. I like the idea of the main character succeeding his goal, occurring in the revised ending; however, the first ending follows the flow of the book. The book has Pip continually, suffering for his love of Estella "that suffering had been stronger than Miss Havisham's teaching" (509). This plays on the public's sensitive side that through all of Pip's heartaches. He finally receives Estella in the revised ending.

Both endings seemed rushed for they lack a sense of closure, however, the revised ending did give me more of that sense. I did not receive that significance from the first ending, only that Estella suffered in the end and that Pip's "Great Expectation" closed with him living back where he started "lived happily with Herbert and his wife" (480). The revised version has Pip and Estella going off together as a couple " took her hand in mine, and we went out", this could possibly be another "Great Expectations" (484). Pip and Estella have gone through tremendous milestones in their life because of their decline in social classes from high to their present middle class. Their lives are nearly identical to each other and share common relations with the people that they know, such as Jaggers, Miss Havisham, and Herbert . However, in the first ending they do not share these many bonds, Estella is still in her high class and snooty self " they lived on her own personal fortune" (408). The common person enjoys this common feeling toward each other and how these two were made for each other, like a "Disney fairy tail" of happy endings.

I believe that people enjoy their fantasies and would prefer to live that life than the original one that they have set. They read books and watch movies to escape this reality to enter another world, and in Great Expectation, Dickens is able to offer this solitude. But, this fantasy only works with the revised ending where Pip is able to finally able to love Estella. This idea of a happy ending gives the reader self-esteem and they grow to relate to Pip, contrary to, the 1st ending whereas Pip is common again and ends with nothing in his hands. I liked the revised ending because of this escape and the ability to believe that I can relate my world to his.