Great Expectations

Literapedia Book Notes for

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


  • Philip “Pip” Pirrip (ch 1)—the narrator.
  • Joe Gargery (ch 2)—Pip’s brother-in-law.
  • Mrs. Joe Gargery (ch 2)—Pip’s sister.
  • Mr. Wopsle (ch 4)—the clerk at the church.
  • Uncle Pumblechook (ch 4)—Joe’s rich uncle.
  • Miss Havisham (ch 8)—a reclusive old lady.
  • Estella (ch 8)—Miss Havisham’s adopted daughter.
  • Biddy (ch 10)—an orphan and tutor to Pip.
  • Camilla (ch 11)—a relative of Miss Havisham.
  • Raymond (ch 11)—Camilla’s Husband.
  • Miss Sarah Pocket (ch 11)—another relative of Miss Havisham.
  • Miss Georgiana (ch 11)—yet another relative of Miss Havisham.
  • Dolge Orlick (ch 15)—Joe’s journeyman assistant.
  • John Wemmick (ch 20)—Mr.Jaggers’ clerk.
  • Herbert Pocket (ch 21)—Matthew Pocket’s son.
  • Belinda Pocket (ch 22)—Matthew Pocket’s wife.
  • Matthew Pocket (ch 22)—Miss Havisham’s cousin and Pip’s tutor.
  • Bentley Drummle (ch 23)—a student of Matthew Pocket.
  • Startop (ch 23)—another student of Matthew Pocket.
  • Molly (ch 26)—Jaggers’ housemaid.
  • The Avenger “Pepper” (ch 27)—Pip’s servant.
  • Trabb’s boy (ch 30)—an employee of Pip’s tailor.
  • Mr. Waldengarver (ch 31)—Mr. Wopsle’s stage name.
  • Miss Skiffins (ch 37)—Wemmick’s girlfriend.
  • Mrs. Brandley (ch 38)—the lady with whom Estella lives in Richmond.
  • Abel “Provis/Mr. Campbell” Magwitch (ch 40)—the true name of Pip’s convict.
  • Compeyson (ch 42)—the second convict and Miss Havisham’s fiancé.
  • Arthur Havisham (ch 42)—Miss Havisham’s brother.
  • Clara Barley (ch 46)—Herbert’s girlfriend.
  • Old Bill Barley (ch 46)—Clara’s sick father.
  • Mrs. Whimple (ch 46)—the Barley’s housekeeper.
  • Clarriker (ch 52)—Herbert’s employer.

Chapter Summaries

  1. In the church graveyard on Christmas eve, Pip encounters an escaped convict who demands help.
  2. Pip returns home to Joe and his sister, and that evening he steals out of the house with supplies.
  3. Pip first meets a different convict, but he then finds the first convict, who expresses gratitude.
  4. After church, Mr. Wopsle, Mr. & Mrs. Hubble, and Uncle Pumblechook come over for Christmas dinner.
  5. Soldiers interrupt the dinner, and Pip and Joe witness the strange capture of both convicts. Pip’s convict recognizes him and protects him.
  6. They all return that night and speculate on the break-in. Pip is put to bed.
  7. Pip begins his education. Pip and Joe discuss learning and Joe’s marriage. Mrs. Joe comes home with news of Pip’s invitation to Miss Havisham’s house.
  8. After spending the morning with Uncle Pumblechook, Pip goes to Miss Havisham’s house. There he meets Estella.
  9. Pip tells extravagant lies to his sister and Uncle Pumblechook about his day with Miss Havisham. Joe advises Pip to always be truthful.
  10. Pip asks Biddy to teach him all she knows. At the Jolly Bargemen, Pip meets a stranger who shows by a sign that he knows the escaped convict.
  11. Pip goes again to Miss Havisham’s house, and he meets her relations. Pip gets into a fight with a pale young gentleman.
  12. Months pass, and Pip continues to visit Satis House. Miss Havisham asks to meet Joe.
  13. Miss Havisham gives Joe money for Pip’s indenture, which happens that afternoon.
  14. Pip explains his feelings about his apprenticeship.
  15. Pip takes a half-holiday from the forge to visit Miss Havisham and finds Estella gone. After spending time in town with Wopsle and Pumblechook, he returns home to find his sister had been assaulted.
  16. The crime remains unexplained, and Biddy comes to the house to take care of Pip’s sister.
  17. Pip shares with Biddy his desire to be a gentleman.
  18. Pip and Joe are visited by Jaggers, and Pip is made aware of his great expectations.
  19. Pip is scolded by Biddy and wooed by Pumblechook. After a final visit with Miss Havisham, Pip leaves for London.
  20. Pip arrives at Mr. Jaggers’ office and meets Wemick.
  21. Wemick takes Pip to Barnard’s Inn, where he is introduced to Herbert Pocket.
  22. Herbert tells Pip the story of Miss Havisham. Later, Herbert takes Pip to his father’s house and introduces his family.
  23. Pip meets his fellow students and then experiences his first dinner in the Pocket household
  24. Pip visits Jaggers, and Wemmick shows Pip around the office.
  25. Drummle and Startop are described. Pip visits Wemmick’s home and meets the Aged P.
  26. Pip brings Herbert and his fellow students to dine with Jaggers, who takes a liking to Drummle.
  27. Joe comes to London to visit Pip. Joe tells Pip both of Wopsle’s change of vocation and that Estella wishes to see him.
  28. On the way out of London, Pip encounters the man, now a convict, who had delivered the two one-pound notes to him years before.
  29. Pip arrives at Satis House, where Orlick is now the porter, and talks to Miss Havisham and Estella. Jaggers later joins them.
  30. On the way out of town and back to London, Pip encounters Trabb’s boy. Pip shares with Herbert his feelings for Estella, and Herbert tells Pip about Clara.
  31. Pip and Herbert go to see Mr. Wopsle on stage.
  32. Wemmick takes Pip on a tour of Newgate prison.
  33. Estella arrives in London, and Pip takes her to tea.
  34. Pip and Herbert take account of their debts.
  35. Pip returns to his village for the funeral of his sister. Afterwards, Pip and Biddy talk.
  36. Pip turns twenty-one, but Jaggers comes no closer to naming Pip’s mysterious benefactor.
  37. Pip visits Wemmick at Walworth and meets Miss Skiffins. With Wemmick’s help, Pip contrives a way to find Herbert a job.
  38. Pip is witness to Estella’s visits to Miss Havisham. Pip becomes incensed at Estella’s interest in Drummle.
  39. On a dark and stormy night, Pip learns the identity of his mysterious benefactor.
  40. Magwitch explains his situation to Pip, who later confirms it with Jaggers. Herbert is brought into confidence.
  41. Herbert and Pip ask for Magwitch’s life story.
  42. Magwitch relates his early life and then how he fell in with Compeyson and Arthur Havisham.
  43. On the way to Satis House, Pip meets Drummle.
  44. Pip meets with Miss Havisham and Estella and makes his feeling plain. On the way home he receives a note from Wemmick.
  45. Pip learns from Wemmick that Magwitch is being hunted by Compeyson and the authorities.
  46. Pip visits Magwitch, who is hidden at the Barley household. Pip and Herbert decide to procure a boat and begin planning the escape.
  47. Weeks pass. Pip goes to the theater, and Mr. Wopsle tells him that Compeyson is on his trail.
  48. Pip dines with Jaggers and Wemmick and recognizes Molly as Estella’s mother. Later, Wemmick confirms this.
  49. Pip visits a repentant Miss Havisham, who becomes accidentally burned.
  50. Pip returns to London and speaks with Herbert. Pip realizes that Estella is Magwitch’s daughter.
  51. In Wemmick’s presence, Pip confirms the details of Estella’s adoption with Jaggers.
  52. Pip receives a mysterious note telling him to go to the marshes.
  53. Pip is captured by Orlick and rescued by Herbert, Startop, and Trabb’s boy.
  54. Pip, Herbert, and Startop take Magwitch by boat. After spending the night at an inn, they are caught by the authorities and Compeyson, who is subsequently drowned.
  55. Magwitch is held by the authorities. Herbert leaves for Egypt, and Wemmick is married.
  56. Magwitch is condemned to death. Before he dies, Pip tells Magwitch of Estella’s existence.
  57. Pip falls ill and is nursed by Joe, who tells him of Orlick’s arrest and Miss Havisham’s death before he leaves.
  58. Pip returns to his village and is confronted by Pumblechook. Pip learns of Joe and Biddy’s marriage and then leaves for Egypt.
  59. After eleven years Pip returns to his village and meets his namesake, Joe and Biddy’s son. At Satis house Pip unexpectedly meets the recently widowed Estella and “saw no shadow of another parting from her.”

Book Note Creator

Hal Waller, instructor