A Tale of Two Endings of Great Expectations

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A Tale of Two Endings of Great Expectations When Charles Dickens first drafted Great Expectations, his original ending to the novel provided a concrete conclusion for the story. However, when his editor asked him to revise the ending, he did so, stating that the revised ending was a “pretty… little piece of writing.” (Appendix A) The ambiguity of the revised ending, however, leaves much to be desired. In the original ending, when Biddy questions Pip about his current feelings toward Estella, he claims strongly that he is “sure and certain” that he is over Estella (Appendix A). In the revised ending, however, Pip makes a weak assertion on behalf of his unhealed heart, stating when asked if he ever thinks of Estella, “O no – I think not, Biddy.” (490). This is then followed by an introspective admission, showing the reader Pip’s true emotion for Estella. This sets the stage for an emotional encounter between the two in the final scene. Within the context of Pip’s actual meeting with Estella, ...
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