Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Great Expectations, the final chapter.

Joe & Biddy, Herbert & Clara, Wemmick & Miss Skiffins, they all get conveniently and neatly married at the end of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. All the relationships are tied up in a neat bow. 
Even Jaggers the lawyer has his wild housekeeper, whom he seems to tame and also maintain. Oh, did you know that…(SPOILER ALERT)...she turns out to be Estella's mother? 
Or that…(SPOILER ALERT)…Provis, Pip's benefactor, turns out to be Estella's father? Or that Compeyson, Provis' mortal enemy throughout the book, who is responsible for Provis' capture and sentence of death and who was killed by him, is the…(SPOILER ALERT)…man who jilted Miss Havisham at the altar decades earlier and turned her into a vengeful recluse? 
Even the leg iron that Provis the convict sawed off his ankle years earlier during his first escape attempt, using the file that Pip the child brought to him from Joe's blacksmith forge, was used by Orlick the mean apprentice to kill Mrs. Joe, Pip's older sister, in a dastardly murder. That's a lot of interweaving and wrapping up of all the moving parts. In the revised ending, Pip gets the girl in the end.
Estella, the breaking moonlight touching the tears dropping from her eyes, says to Pip at their chance encounter, "'I have been bent and broken, but--I hope--into a better shape. Be as considerate and as good to me as you were, and tell me we are friends.'
"'We are friends,' said I, rising and bending over her, as she rose from the bench. 'And will continue friends apart,' said Estella. 
"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."

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