View Poll Results: Which ending of Great expections did you like?

10. You may not vote on this poll
  • The original ending

    9 90.00%
  • The revised ending

    1 10.00%
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Great expections ending....(spoilers)

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Great expections ending....(spoilers)

    I didnt like the ending of great expections.

    Heres how it ended:

    Pip revisits Satis House, now in ruins, and meets a now softened Estella with the "freshness of her beauty gone but its indescribable majesty and its indescribable charm remaining" and sees "no shadow of another parting from her".
    And I took from the last quote that he will develop a bond with Estella and they will possibly end up with each other and marry.

    So why did Dickens change the ending from one(I liked the first ending cuz its more beliviable and apporite) in which they part forever to one where they stay together and apparently live happily ever after?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    The ending was changed from the original because the victorians liked happy endings and romance so they disaproved of the ending.dickens was therefor forced to change the ending to a romantic happy one to satisfy his Victorian audience.

  3. #3
    Hardback Copy! RG57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Somewhere in my own mind.
    Blog Entries
    I prefer the original because not all stories in life end happily after after
    Here were we wretched creatures of men making for each other's throats, and outraging the good earth which God had made so fair a habitation [Prester John - John Buchan].

  4. #4
    Registered User mona amon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    I too like the original ending.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Not necessarily happy ever after

    when it says they will not part again, this might mean they will never see each other again after that, just a thought.

  6. #6
    is book-deprived. Lady Marian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Quote Originally Posted by duverfred View Post
    when it says they will not part again, this might mean they will never see each other again after that, just a thought.
    That sounds to me like something Dickens would pull on an unsuspecting audience of hopeless romantics.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    I thought the second ending always had two implied outcomes. Depending on the viewpoint of the reader, it could be taken to mean that he never saw Estella again or never again parted from her. I believe that was Dickens's intention, too? To appease all of his audience, including his "hopeless romantics."

    I also prefer the original ending; it seems to suit the overall tone of the story much better.

  8. #8
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Reading, England
    I'm with Bulwar-Lytton on this. After finishing it, I felt as if I'd been through a bad break-up myself even with with the revised ending in the garden. The original ending in the street was probably a better, sparer piece of writing. I just wanted Pip to end up with Estella, even if he had to kidnap her. The original ending seems very unfair. Everyone else got their just deserts. Jo and Biddy are married. Orlick is in the county jail, presumably awaiting hanging. Pumblechook has been robbed and humiliated. Drummle's been kicked to death by a horse he was mistreating. Compeyson got his. Lady Havisham had a foretaste of hell before actually dying, while Magwitch died in as nice a way as possible. The only person not to get what they deserved was poor old Pip.

    The book is full of highly unlikely events and outrageous coincidences, so why does it have to get real in the last chapter? If Great Expectations can be compared to a fairy tale or folk tale, then whoever heard of a folk tale with an unhappy ending? It's more like an ending from an early 20th century novel. Dickens has been accused of pandering to his more sentimental readers, but Dickens manipulated his readers all the time to keep them hooked. Dickens wrote beautiful literature and to raise social awareness, but he also wrote to entertain his readers and sell magazines. I don't believe he wrote to win literary prizes.

    The original ending is such a sting in the tale. Bentley Drummle is out of the picture, but Pip's missed out again and now there is absolutely no hope. It is sad for Estella too because she's going to spend the rest of her life in ignorance of all the information Pip has, which she should know. Pip doesn't bother correcting her about the child not being his son because there's no point. He doesn't tell her about Magwitch and Molly, her real parents, because it wouldn't help. No exchange of addresses, no let's have a talk some other time. Estella has known Pip for twenty-six years and has not spoken to him for eleven, yet she treats him as an acquaintance before parting to get on with the rest of her life. The older Pip narrating the story does not seem to be very honest either. He's been honest with himself about everything else, but surely he must have thought more than merely being glad to have had the interview because she seems to be a nicer person now. Pip has matured and put right all the other areas of his life, but his love for Estella seems to have destroyed his ability to form a relationship with another woman. So the old witch's curse could not be lifted.

    I don't think it is impossible that Pip and Estella would eventually get together after Drummle's death. She's never indicated before that she loves him, but she has shown some affection for him. That was a bunker buster of a love speech he gave her on their previous meeting. How could any sane woman not have been affected? It would be a surprise if Pip's warning about Drummle being a brute and his advice to marry a man who could make her happy hadn't rang in her ears during the years she was being abused by husband. Estella was not the kindest of girls, but she was given a terrible task and hardened her heart to do it. Now she's had a lot of time to reflect and is no longer under Miss Havisham's influence. It would be no surprise if she had changed.

    In the revised ending, it is not certain that Pip and Estella do marry. It is deliberately ambiguous. It's all going well and then Estella starts talking about parting and being friends. This is actually quite consistent of Estella, because she has always said that she can't feel love. Perhaps she's a lesbian or asexual. It is only the last line that gives hope: "I could see no shadow of another parting from her." That might mean they marry; or it might mean they part, but that somehow Pip is happy to stay on letter writing terms; or it might mean that this parting will hurt but there is not going to be another. However, it seems more likely they do marry because otherwise the older Pip narrating would have said.

    Actually, I am not sure either ending is as good as the rest of the book. I think that is why it's nearly always changed in every film or television adaption. However, if they kept the original ending, everyone would leave the cinema with tears running down their cheeks.
    Last edited by kev67; 04-17-2012 at 03:50 PM.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    I am glad that we are able to see both endings. Estella has been widowed for 2 years and having had no affection for her husband it is reasonable that she would marry another quite quickly. Also, she hadn't seen Pip for 11 years, knew not where he was and would probably assumed that he was married. She had no reason to wait for him. I cannot really decide which ending I prefer.

Similar Threads

  1. Picture Poetry Contest (...continued...)
    By Petrarch's Love in forum Poetry Games & Contests
    Replies: 1627
    Last Post: 01-18-2016, 08:51 AM
  2. I had Great Expectations of Great Expectations!
    By Meagan in forum Great Expectations
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-16-2012, 08:01 AM
  3. "The Great Gatsby" share us the discussion
    By Ranoo in forum The Great Gatsby
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 10-19-2010, 07:44 PM
  4. What a great book!
    By Unregistered in forum Great Expectations
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
  5. The Great Fitzgerald
    By Maverick in forum General Literature
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-23-2005, 06:39 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts