Great Expectations Chapters 1-59

A short chapter summary of key events for each chapter in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Perfect for AS AQA English Literature revision.

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Preview of Great Expectations Chapters 1-59

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`Great Expectations' Chapter Summaries:
Chapter 1: Main character Pip introduced. He sits in the isolated churchyard, staring at his parents' tombstones.
Suddenly, a horrific man, growling, is introduced from behind the gravestones and threatens Pip. This escaped
convict demands he brings him food and a file with which he can saw away his leg irons.
Chapter 2: Pip runs to the house he shares with his violent sister and Pip's hero, the blacksmith Joe Gargery. His
sister, whom Pip calls Mrs. Joe, threatens Pip and Joe with her cane, (Tickler) and tar-water. Pip then sneaks the
next morning and steals some brandy, a pork pie for the convict and a File from Joe's smithy.
Chapter 3: Pip finds another convict in the marshes, who tries to strike him. When Pip comes upon his `his
convict', he finds him suffering. Pip is kind to him, but the convict becomes violent again when Pip mentions the
other convict. As he scrapes at his leg irons with the file, Pip returns home.
Chapter 4: When Pip is at home, he is overwhelmed with guilt for helping the convict. Joe and Pip then go to
church; Mrs. Joe, despite her moralizing habits, stays behind. Christmas dinner is uncomfortable for Pip, who is
crammed into a corner of the table by his cruel Uncle Pumblechook and the church clerk, Mr. Wopsle. Full of
guilt, Pip panics when Pumblechook asks for brandy and finds the bottle filled with tar-water. His panic worsens
when police officers burst into the house with a pair of handcuffs.
Chapter 5: Despite Pip's fears, all the policemen want is for Joe to fix their handcuffs. The policemen tell Pip and
Joe they are searching for a pair of escaped convicts, and the two agree to help with the manhunt. The two
convicts are found together, fighting furiously with one another in the marsh. Pip's convict protects Pip by
claiming to have stolen the food and file himself. Magwitch's look is important in foreshadowing the book,
our first impression that Pip's kindness has moved Magwitch to strong feelings of loyalty and love.
Chapter 6: Joe carries Pip home, and they finish their Christmas dinner; Pip heads to bed while Joe tells the
scene of the capture to Mrs. Joe and the guests. Pip continues to still feel guilty about the incident because he
has not told the whole truth to Joe.
Chapter 7: Time has now passed and Pip lives with his guilty secret and struggles to learn reading and writing
at Mrs. Wopsle's school. Mrs. Joe bursts in with Pumblechook to reveal that Pip is to go play at the house of Miss
Havisham. Mrs. Joe and Pumblechook hope she will make Pip's fortune.
Chapter 8: At ten, he is taken to Miss Havisham's manor, Satis House. The gate is locked, and a small, pretty girl
comes to open it and sends Pumblechook away. She leads Pip through Satis House to Miss Havisham's room,
where the `skeletal old woman' waits, wearing a faded wedding dress, surrounded by clocks stopped at twenty
minutes to nine. Miss Havisham orders Estella to play cards with Pip although she is insulting to Pip's low social
class and manners. Pip cries when he leaves Satis House.
Chapter 9: When Pip returns home, he lies to Joe, Mrs. Joe, and Pumblechook about his experience. He feels
guilty for lying to Joe and tells him the truth later that day. Joe (who is astonished to find out that Pip has lied)
advises Pip that he can succeed someday only if he is honest.
Chapter 10: Pip loves his education and takes extra lessons from his friend Biddy. Later the same day, he sees a
mysterious stranger stirring his drink with the same file Pip stole for the convict and the stranger gives Pip £2. He
continues to worry that his aid to the convict will be discovered.
Chapter 11: Pip is taken back to Miss Havisham's, where he is put in front of a group of insincere relatives
visiting Mrs Havisham on her birthday. He encounters a man on the stairs, who criticizes him. (Jaggers) He again
plays cards with Estella, and then goes to the garden, where he is asked to fight by a pale young gentleman.
(Herbert) Pip knocks the young gentleman down, and Estella allows him to give her a kiss on the cheek. He goes
home, ashamed that Estella looks down on him.
Chapter 12: He continues to visit regularly for the next several months, pushing Miss Havisham around in her
wheelchair and becoming hopeful that she means to raise him from his low social status to be a gentleman. He
fails to notice that Miss Havisham encourages Estella to torment him, whispering "Break their hearts!" in her ear.
Pip begins to grow apart from his family, confiding in Biddy instead of Joe and often feeling ashamed that Joe is
Chapter 13: Joe visits Satis House to complete Pip's apprenticeship papers; with his rough speech and
appearance, he seems completely out of place in Satis house. Miss Havisham gives Pip a gift of twenty-five
pounds, and Pip and Joe go to Town Hall to confirm the apprenticeship. Joe and Mrs. Joe take Pip out to
celebrate but Pip is disappointed by this turn in his life.
Chapter 14: Time passes as Pip begins working in Joe's forge. He hates working as Joe's apprentice, but caring for
Joe's goodness, he keeps his feelings locked up. He longs for Satis House.
Chapter 15: Pip still tries hard to read and on Sundays, he also tries to teach Joe to read. However Pip resolves to
do as he pleases despite Joe's advice. Joe's forge worker Orlick is vicious and hateful, and he treats Pip cruelly.

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Great Expectations' Chapter Summaries:
Mrs. Joe complains about Orlick taking a holiday, and they launch into a shouting match. She orders Joe to
defend her and Joe quickly defeats Orlick in the fight. Pip visits Miss Havisham and learns that Estella has been
sent abroad. On the way home from Pumblechook's, Pip sees Orlick in the shadows and he learns that Mrs. Joe
has been attacked and is now brain-damaged.…read more

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Great Expectations' Chapter Summaries:
the coach at its first stop. He chooses to stay at the hotel not Joes and he learns that Pumblechook is taking
credit for his rise in status.
Chapter 29: He travels to Satis House the next day and pictures himself as a knight riding to rescue Estella from
an evil castle. He is stunned by Estella's womanly new beauty. Although he still feels as unworthy and clumsy
around her.…read more

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Great Expectations' Chapter Summaries:
manners to obtain a light sentence. Magwitch wanted revenge, and Compeyson was the man Pip saw him
struggling with that night on the marsh. A note reveals that Arthur was Miss Havisham's half brother and
Compeyson was the man who stood her up on their wedding day.
Chapter 43: Ashamed that his rise in statues is owed to a convict, Pip feels that he must leave Estella forever.…read more

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Great Expectations' Chapter Summaries:
Magwitch resurfaces. He claims not to have drowned Compeyson, though he says he would have liked to, but he
is arrested. Now completely loyal to him, Pip takes his hand and promises to stand by him.
Chapter 55: Jaggers is certain that Magwitch will be found guilty, but Pip remains loyal. While Magwitch awaits
sentencing, Herbert prepares to marry Clara and Wemmick enjoys a comical wedding to Miss Skiffins. Herbert
offers Pip a job, but Pip delays his answer.…read more


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