sexta-feira, 29 de julho de 2011

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

“The Five People You Meet in Heaven” is a beautiful and easy to read book which tells the story of "Eddie Maintenance" - an old maintenance man at Ruby Park.

In his death Eddie meets five different people that somehow, someway were connected to him and they make him go back in time. Each person shows him glimpses and brings memories of past moments in his life and convey to the reader a lesson, message and overwhelming feeling of impact.

First Person: Blue Man
Connection. We affect each person we meet; encounter or even that passes our way for no matter how short a period of time. Many times we change the entire course of history in someone's life more without ever finding out how great the impact we have caused - be it good or bad.

“That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind.”
"In heaven, there is no judgment, but rather an opportunity to examine our lives-which we touched, the choices we made, and the consequences of those choices." 

Second Person: "The Captain"
Sacrifice. Life is all about sacrifices. God knows how sometimes a personal sacrifice needs to be made for the greater good. One of the most beautiful and touching things in life are those daily sacrifices that are done for others - be they big or small.

"You didn’t get it. Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to. Little sacrifices. Big sacrifices. A mother works so her son can go to school. A daughter moves home to take care of her sick father...”
“When people stop sacrificing for one another; they lose what keeps them human."
“That’s the thing. Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.”

Third Person: Ruby
Forgiveness. Tears welled up in my eyes as I read this chapter. It explains the importance of forgiveness. When we forgive we are set free, we are then ready to continue on with our lives - grudges and bitterness only eat up our insides and the one who is being most affected by wanting to hold on to the past is none other than ourselves. Forgiveness is something everyone should do - be it be it once in a lifetime or all throughout your life.

 “Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves."

Fourth Person: Marguerite
Love. Of course this book wouldn't be complete without this lesson. Yes, it’s one of the largest, hardest and most polemic topics that have been and ever will be. Despite their conflicts, hardships, moments of tension, disagreements and even broken dreams love is able to override all that and prove it's true strength. So much that even after death there it remains: solid, strong and the same. Love also has many forms. We never stop loving someone we have truly loved, the heat of the love that was held and shared will always be there - be it a small spark or a burning fire. Love is the one thing that is immortal - not a relationship or marriage but yes, its essence. 

“Lost love is still love, Eddie. It takes a different form, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it."
"People say they 'find' love, as if it were an object hidden by a rock. But love takes many forms, and it is never the same for any man and woman. What people find then is a certain love. "
"Love like rain, can nourish from above, drenching couples with soaking joy. But sometimes, under the angry heat of life, love dries on the surface and must nourish from below, tending to its roots, keeping itself alive." 
"Every life has one true love snapshot." 

Fifth Person: Tala 
Self-Acceptance. Tala is the fifth and last person Eddie meets in Heaven. She is the little girl from the Philippines that he unknowingly kills. She helps him forgive himself and shows him all the good he did throughout his life helping others and keeping other children safe by working so many years as the maintenance man in Ruby Park. The story ends with Eddie going to a beautiful new Ruby Park surrounded by all the many people he "saved" during his life, enjoying the ferry wheel with his wife.  

"This is the greatest gift God can give you: to understand what happened in your life. To have it explained. It is the peace you have been searching for." 
"Heaven can be found in the most unlikely corners." 

"All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time." 

sábado, 16 de julho de 2011

Committed - Elizabeth Gilbert

This is one great book. A book that all my words could never even come close to describing the fantastic and fabulous feeling you get out of reading it. Well, for starters we all know that Elizabeth Gilbert is one hell of a writer. Not only is she one hell of a writer but the subject she picked to research and then impart to us in great detail is one of the most polemic, confusing, age-long topics ever: MARRIAGE!
Elizabeth explains the many, many facets and sides of marriage all summed up in her observations, researches, books she's read, interviews made and of course, her personal life experience as well.
One thing which makes Elizabeth's book so enthralling is her narrative and descriptions of the different ways cultures all over the world see marriage, child-rearing, wedding celebrations, divorce, sexual taboos, and the list goes on. 
One aspect which I at once felt a kindred spirit towards Elizabeth when reading is how she mentions that when she doesn't understand  what to do or have a clue on that subject or even when she is afraid of some new or unknown thing to her she, instead of running away from it does the exact opposite. She researches it, goes after knowing all she possibly can about it, asks others advice on the topic and basically forces herself to know the whole story from top to bottom as this takes away her fear of the unknown and still gives her courage to adopt that subject as part of her life - and in this aspect I pretty much have always felt the same - and so being that was one of the reasons I wanted so bad to read this book as I believed it would give me a  better and clearer outlook on the complicated and crazy subject of marriage which constantly enters some piece of my mind and just frightens me out making me just want to run away from it and once and for all!!! And so the main explanations for me having read this book (and also of course I had already read "Pray, Eat, Love and had become Elizabeth's huge fan after the book having had amazing changes over me.)
A lot of things spoke to me in this book and made me feel like a whole new dimension was being opened to my once closed and pre-made conception of marriage.
To start off one of the main truths Elizabeth writes is how nowadays people marry and then expect their wife/husband to "complete" them. Their expectations on the other person are so very high that when that person can't continue to make them feel on a constant roller-coaster ride of joy, personal and professional fulfillment, happiness and ecstasy then they suppose they must have gotten married to the wrong person. When the truth is that NO one can make us happy forever because just for starters no one is always happy at every moment and instance of their lives. And so the pressure we receive of our other half waiting on us to make them happy or the responsibility of always having to make that person be happy is something completely unrealistic and impossible to achieve. 
Another very serious part is when Elizabeth mentions how in a recent study researchers found out that the second greatest cause of suffering and turmoil is divorce. Yes, divorce comes before the loss of a loved one (this includes your own child), a terminal illness, a serious accident, loss of all your material possessions, etc. when ranked in the list of what makes people suffer most. How serious is that? Just to show how careless we are to get married at such a young age to take such a large risk of putting ourselves and another person into a situation in which there is a huge chance they (and you as well!) will be soon suffering terribly in just a matter of years. And so I completely agree with Elizabeth when she states that most people should only get married after their thirties and that decreases a huge percentage of the risk of your marriage turning into a divorce in the next few years. 
And last but not least I was impressed when I read the following quote in one of the last chapters of the book: "Married men perform far better in life than single men, married me are happier than single men, married men live longer & earn more money than single men. Married women make less money than single women, married women suffer more from depression than single women, married women don’t live as long, & are more likely to be victims of violence than single women."
As soon as I finished reading the above the first thought that popped into my head was: 
So why in the world are most women crazy to get married while most men are running away from it like the plague?!!! Many answers entered to my head but none of them seemed to be good enough to balance out what I had just read. And that's when I finally received the answer to one of my big questions: There isn't any correct answer to marriage. Marriage is something different for each couple. Marriage is what you make it to be and as much as you try to understand it, put your finger on it or keep it stuck in your head as being one fixed thing that's just not going to happen. Marriage is in constant change and the reason for that is that each couple - realizing it or not - somehow adds to this greater change making marriage what it is right now these days and what it will be in one, five, ten, fifty and even one hundred years from now!!!

Eat, Pray, Marry

Published: January 7, 2010
When exactly was it that “Eat, Pray, Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir about her divorce and subsequent year of travel in Italy, India and Indonesia, crossed from mere best seller — published in more than 30 languages, feted by Oprah — to cultural phenomenon? The film adaptation is due out later this year, with Gilbert played by (but of course) Julia Roberts; some of the people Gilbert wrote about, including her ex-husband, are now working on books of their own; and Gilbert’s second appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” featured such admiring readers as a woman who had actually retraced much of Gilbert’s around-the-world journey. Perhaps most impressive of all, in a sign of what a widely understood reference point the book has become, it inspired a headline in The Onion: “Copy of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Left on ­Elliptical.”

Illustration by Monika Aichele
So self-aware, accommodating and generally good-natured a writer is Gilbert that in “Committed” she gives us what we want by addressing the “Eat, Pray, Love” business right away — as in, before the new book even officially begins, in a prefatory note to the reader. No, she tells us, she had no idea how big “Eat, Pray, Love” would be (a claim believable in part because of that book’s candor about topics like constipation, masturbation and two-way conversations with God). Yes, after the success of “Eat, Pray, Love,” she was freaked out and self-conscious and wondered if she was finished as a writer, in spite of the fact that she’d written three earlier books, all well received and one nominated for a National Book Award. And no, she doesn’t think she can replicate the popularity of “Eat, Pray, Love,” but here’s the book she needed to write this time around.
Once that’s out of the way, we pick up pretty much where “Eat, Pray, Love” left off, with Gilbert in the arms of the boyfriend she pseudonymously calls Felipe — a debonair Brazilian gemstone importer who had become an Australian citizen and met Gilbert while he was living in Bali. He is older, 55 to her 37 when “Committed” starts in the spring of 2006. They’ve established a happy rhythm in which they mostly share a rented house in suburban Philadelphia, but in order to comply with visa restrictions Felipe leaves the country for several weeks every three months; for two inveterate travelers and independent personalities, this routine is no big deal. Felipe also has been through a divorce, he has adult children and he’s as determined as Gilbert not to ruin the good thing they have by marrying.
Alas, their agreeable arrangement is upended when the couple is returning together from a trip overseas and Felipe is detained at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. A Department of Homeland Security officer explains that Felipe’s repeated three-month stints in the United States in fact violate the terms of his visa. He must leave the country immediately, and the fastest way for him to return on a permanent basis is for the couple to get married.
With Felipe jailed overnight then sent to Australia, Gilbert continues alone to Philadelphia to pack up their rental house. The couple reconnects in Southeast Asia (it’s cheap there, and “Eat, Pray, Love” hasn’t yet hit it big) with a plan to travel for the next 10 months while waiting for the paperwork required for Felipe’s new visa to go through. Since they’re headed toward a wedding whether they like it or not, Gilbert will also use this time to figure out the institution of marriage, not only by researching its history but also by discussing the subject with everyone with whom she has contact — from her own family members to Hmonggrannies in rural Vietnam.
As a tour guide to both Asia and matrimony, Gilbert is consistently entertaining and illuminating and often funny. That said, something about the premise and structure of this book feels off. Gilbert’s pattern is to chronicle a firsthand experience during her and Felipe’s “exile” and then use that experience as a point of departure for delving into various aspects of marriage. At an Internet cafe in Luang Prabang, Laos, for instance, she notices that the young Buddhist monk checking his e-mail at the computer next to hers has received a message from a person named Carla containing this eyebrow-raising sentence: “I still long for you as my lover.” Gilbert doesn’t speak to the monk, nor does she see him again — and Gilbert being Gilbert, she has the good manners to chide herself for reading his e-mail in the first place — but this one glimpsed sentence prompts her to ponder, for the next 40 pages, infatuation, adultery and divorce.
While her musings are usually interesting, some of the connections between her brief firsthand experiences in Asia and the larger phenomena they’re meant to illustrate seem tenuous. And this, in turn, accentuates the neither-fish-nor-fowl quality of “Committed,” a criticism Gilbert anticipates by self-mockingly referring to it as “another memoir (with extra socio-historical bonus sections!).” She’s right, though — the book is rather chatty and personal to be so heavy on research, but it’s rather researched to be so chatty and personal. Gilbert is equally likely to quote Plato or her friend Ann, and equally keen to discuss how attitudes toward marriage changed from the Old to the New Testament, how important — according to evolutionary biologists — the vasopressin receptor gene is in determining male fidelity, and how her own parents have managed to stay together for more than 40 years. While such shifts between the factual and the subjective shouldn’t be inherently problematic, they made me feel lost as a reader: where in the history of marriage were we, and were we moving forward chronologically or thematically, and how long had Gilbert and Felipe been traveling, and what month was it again?
Because of the nature of the couple’s sojourn — as they wait for Felipe’s American visa, they are, Gilbert mentions more than once, “killing time” — a slackness permeates their days, and soon permeates the pages as well. In “Eat, Pray, Love,” Gilbert was on the run from an ugly divorce, and her story contained the forward momentum of a quest and the juicy tension of unanswered questions: Would she attain personal equanimity? Would she put aside her doubts and give in again to romance?
The central question of “Committed” is less of a nail-biter: Will Gilbert be able to overcome her aversion to marriage in order to live in the same country as the man she deeply loves? If they had to marry but she didn’t deeply love him — if, say, she hated him yet was secretly drawn to his broad shoulders and rakish ways — well, then you’d have the plot of more than one of the bodice-rippers I devoured in adolescence. But it’s not giving anything away to say that of course Gilbert reconciles herself to remarrying — the book’s subtitle announces as much. This foregone conclusion means that “Committed” often seems an intellectual exercise, an internal rather than external journey, whereas “Eat, Pray, Love” was both.
And yet, if the sum of the parts in “Committed” add up to an awkward whole, many of those parts are nevertheless terrific. Gilbert provides an abundance of interesting factoids: ancient Roman law recognized marriage between aristocratic males, she says. Divorce rates skyrocket when arranged marriages give way to “love marriages.” Papua New Guineans have a special category of songs about “marriages which never came to pass but should have.” Gilbert also shares practical tips, including a remarkably clear and simple recipe, drawn from the research of the psychologist Shirley P. Glass, on how not to cheat on your spouse (the short version: Don’t confide in anyone else more than you do in him or her). And Gilbert has written some wonderfully memorable scenes, among them a description of the life of her maternal grandmother, Maude Edna Morcomb Olson, who was born in 1913 in central Minnesota with a cleft palate. Assumed by those around her to have no shot at marriage, Maude was allowed to stay in school longer than other rural children and then travel, work, accumulate money, acquire a wine-colored coat with a real fur collar and finally, defying expectations, get married after all to a “staggeringly handsome” farmer with whom she had seven children.
Another strong section is Gilbert’s brutally honest depiction of an excursion to Cambodia she takes without Felipe. Her frankness about the fact that the trip is a disaster is all the braver given that Gilbert clearly prides herself on her ability to navigate foreign countries. Then there’s the delightful digression on “aunties,” or women who don’t have children — Gilbert is childless by choice — and the important role they play for their literal and figurative nieces and nephews; it should be copied and given as a present to all such women.
By the end Gilbert had indeed convinced me that “the book that I needed to write was exactly this book.” Because really, in the wake of “Eat, Pray, Love,” wasn’t she damned if she did and damned if she didn’t? If this book were too similar to that one, some readers would say it was repetitive. If it were a complete departure, other readers would say she ought to have stuck to what she does well. By bringing along some elements, like exotic international locations, and leaving behind others, like a certain emotional rawness, she will no doubt displease those who will think she brought along what she should have left behind and left what she should have brought. But I’ll bet most fans of “Eat, Pray, Love” will be quite content, book clubs nationwide will have a grand time debating “Committed,” and even those of us with grouchier dispositions — including those of us who review books — can appreciate the closure of knowing that Gilbert and Felipe live happily ever after. Gilbert generously permits us to be virtual guests at her wedding, and for all her before-the-fact reluctance (she compares planning a wedding to waiting for a colonoscopy), the scene is as sweet and satisfying as the end of any movie where Hugh Grant plays the groom.
And so with “Committed” Gilbert has gotten something out of her system, allowed her readers to do the same, and now can move in a different direction. Personally, I think Grandma Maude’s life would make a fantastic novel.

sábado, 2 de julho de 2011

Great Expectations

What I loved most in this book were the distinct characters and their varied personalities. Pip for once makes your head take turns as you read his innermost thoughts and ramblings since he was a kid until the end where he has grown something under his young head. Miss Havisham is another figure that you can never quite put your finger on - how she forces suffering on herself and all others around her and how her life ends in such a sad way that you can't help but pity her. Estella...never really liked her but as I was pondering her queer way of acting I couldn't help but somewhat understand her. Joe - by far my favorite character in the whole book!!! His old-fashioned, meek, humble and backward way of acting made me completely fall for him. His loyalty is impressive and despite his unlearned ways he still has a deep sense of insight that makes him all the more admirable. Herbert is also a complete love: the perfect image of what all good friends should be. Weimmick, Mr. Jaggers, The Aged, Mr. Wopsle, Orlick and Clara are also great descriptions of Charles Dickens creative and fantastical mind. And last but not least: Magwitch/Provis/The convict is and will always be a great mystery to me. In my mind he symbolizes what a little act of kindness (even though Pip most certainly didn't act the least bit of kindness) might propel someone to do. How even the smallest good deeds in life always return a hundred fold somehow. 
I could put myself very well in Pip's place and see how sometimes when we grow in life and great things fall in our laps we forget our roots, our heritage and where we came from. We leave behind important people because we feel they may embarrass us or shine light on our true identity and what we once used to be. But when we find ourselves at the end of the rope and when the going really gets rough that's when we see and discover who is really around for us and who'll stick to use despite the shortcomings life may hand us. 
Good book, Great read! Charles Dickens ability to write describe makes you want to pick the book up from the very beginning once again just so that you don't have to feel like that your great read is done!!!

Wikipedia on "Great Expectations:"

Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens. It was first published in serial form in the publication All the Year Round[1] from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. It has been adapted for stage and screen over 250 times.[2]
Great Expectations is written in the first person from the point of view of the orphan Pip. The novel, like much of Dickens' work, draws on his experiences of life and people.

Plot summary

On Christmas Eve, around 1812,[3] Pip, a boy around the age of six, encounters an escaped convict in the village churchyard while visiting his mother and father's and younger brothers' graves. The convict scares Pip into stealing food for him and a file to grind away his leg shackles. He warns Pip not to tell anyone and to do as he says or his young friend will cut out Pip's heart and liver. Pip returns home, where he lives with his older sister Mrs. Joe, whose name is later revealed to be Georgiana Maria, and her husband Joe Gargery. His sister is very cruel and beats him as well as her husband with various objects regularly; however, Joe is much kinder to Pip. Pip's sister, called Mrs. Joe throughout the novel, often reminds Pip that she was the one who "brought him up by hand". Early the next morning, Pip steals food and drink from the Gargery pantry (including a pie for their Christmas feast) and sneaks out to the graveyard. It is the first time in Pip’s life he’s felt truly guilty.
During Christmas dinner with the minister Mr. Wopsle, Mr. and Mrs. Hubble, and Uncle Pumblechook, Pip and Mrs. Joe's moderately wealthy uncle, nobody notices the missing food or brandy until Uncle Pumblechook drinks some brandy and spits it out. Pip realizes that he filled the brandy jug not with water, but with tar-water, (a foul-tasting tonic made of pine tar and water often used for medicinal purposes), instead. He had brought some of the brandy to the convict and had to replace it somehow. Pip sits at the table being told how lucky he is by all the relatives all the while in fear that someone will notice the missing pie. However, the moment his sister goes to the pantry to retrieve the pie and discovers it is missing, soldiers approach the house and ask Joe to repair their handcuffs and invite Joe, Pip and Mr. Wopsle to come with them to hunt for some escaped prisoners from the local jail. As they hunt through the marshes outside the village, they accost two convicts while engaged in a fight. One of them is the convict helped by Pip; the convict freely confesses to the theft of the file and "some wittles" (i.e. victuals) in order to shield Pip. The police take the two to the Hulk, a giant prison ship, and Pip is carried home by Joe, where they finish Christmas dinner. A while after Pip’s encounter with the convict, Pip's life returns to normal. He continues to attend the local school which is run by Mr. Wopsle's great-aunt, and becomes friends with Biddy, an orphan who was adopted by the Wopsles; even though no more was said of the incident with the convict and he has been absolved of any wrong doing, he still feels guilty for the theft. A wealthy old woman named Miss Havisham asks Pip's Uncle Pumblechook to find a boy of a certain age and bring him to her home to play. Pumblechook immediately selects Pip and brings him to Miss Havisham's, who lives in the village in Satis House. Miss Havisham is a spinster who wears an old wedding dress with one shoe on and has all the house clocks stopped at 20 minutes to nine. She has not seen sunlight in years and claims that she just wants to see Pip play cards with Estella, a young girl she has adopted.
Pip's first encounter with Miss Havisham and Estella is a strange one. He discovers Miss Havisham is a shut-in who has boarded up the windows around the entire house so as not to allow any light in. She remains seated in a tattered chair where she instructs Pip to play cards with Estella. Here, Estella is cruel to Pip, calls him names and laughs at him. Miss Havisham seems to delight in this ill-treatment of Pip and asks him repeatedly what he thinks of Estella in turn by whispering it in her ear. Miss Havisham continuously praises Estella for her pride and her beauty. Hurt and angry, Pip leaves Satis House to walk the grounds and cries. Estella brings him food however she begins to make fun of him again as she sees that he has been crying and teases him for doing so.

Miss Havisham with Estella and Pip. Art by H. M. Brock
After this first meeting, Pip frequently visits Miss Havisham and Estella, with whom he soon realizes he is in love. He begins to tenaciously learn everything he can from Biddy in school, with the hopes of becoming more educated and refined, in an effort to win Estella's affections, who had called him a "common, labouring boy". One day, when Pip goes to the town pub to pick up Joe, they are approached by a messenger sent by Pip's convict who gives Pip two one pound notes before leaving, however, upon returning home with the notes, Mrs. Joe takes the money from Pip and places it in a jar with the intention of sending word to the pub the next day, as she believed that the messenger made a mistake and did not mean to give such a large amount of money to Pip. Soon after his encounter with the messenger, Pip returns to Satis House to visit Miss Havisham on her birthday where she shows him her wedding cake, which is being eaten by mice, and the place where she will be laid out when she is dead, a death she looks forward to. He also meets the Pockets who give him a chilly welcome. Outside, Pip is accosted by a young man of about the same age who tries to engage him in a fight. He calls Pip out but Pip refuses to fight with him at first, however, after this has gone on for a time, Pip swings at and strikes the young man, knocking him to the ground. The young man repeatedly encourages Pip to hit him even though he is clearly losing and becoming increasingly battered and bloody. After the fight is over, the two part ways; Estella, having seen the fight, lets Pip kiss her, excited that two young men are fighting for her, and he returns to the forge.
Miss Havisham requests an interview with Joe during which she inquires whether he still wishes Pip to be apprenticed to him as a blacksmith; Joe confirms this and she gives Joe 25 pounds, money Pip has earned keeping her company, and releases him from her services. Pip works with Joe for a few years in the forge, doing work that he once looked forward to however now despises as he begins to see it as "common" and "low". After making an agreement with Joe, Pip receives a half-holiday and visits Miss Havisham one final time on her birthday. This causes Joe's only other employee, a journeyman named Orlick, to become angry and demand a half-holiday as well. Joe grants this and declares a "half-holiday for all." Upon hearing this, Mrs. Joe goes into a violent fit, angry that Joe is losing money by giving Pip and Orlick time off and closing the business early. Orlick and Mrs. Joe get into an argument during which they threaten each other and Orlick calls her a "shrew." She demands her husband punish Orlick for his actions and Joe and Orlick get into a short altercation after which Orlick is subsequently let go from his job. When Pip returns home, he discovers that Mrs. Joe had been attacked. The attack left her seriously injured and as she was struck in the head with a blunt object several times, the brain damage left her an invalid. Pip feels guilty again when the police believe escaped criminals attacked Mrs. Joe. The detectives from London however do not discover anything more about the suspected attacker and thus no one is ever apprehended.
After her attack, Mrs. Joe spends her days calling for Orlick and drawing a capital "T" on a slate. Biddy believes that the "T" represents a hammer and that Orlick is the attacker. When Orlick arrives however, Mrs. Joe is very pleased to see him and soon after Orlick regularly comes to keep company and entertain Mrs. Joe. Meanwhile Biddy, being given the task of nursing Mrs. Joe, moves in with the Gargerys leading Pip to confide in her his true feelings for Estella. When Pip and Joe are listening to Mr. Wopsle read a murder trial from a newspaper, a London lawyer, Mr. Jaggers, approaches Pip, revealing very startling news: Pip has been given a large sum of money by an anonymous benefactor. The conditions of the receipt of said money require him to leave for London immediately, buy new clothes, always keep his name Pip, and become a gentleman.
Pip behaves badly in society (mostly over jealousy of Estella) and squanders his allowance, running into debt. He is rescued on his 21st birthday, when he is notified by Jaggers that he is awarded 500 pounds (equal to £36,000 today) and an increased steady allowance, until such a time as his benefactor will appear and make himself known to Pip.

Magwitch makes himself known to Pip
Pip originally believes Miss Havisham is his benefactress (and so the reader is led to believe, as well) for several years as he begins to learn to be a gentleman, helped by the now grown Herbert Pocket, (whom he discovers is the young man he fought at Satis House as a boy), who is assigned as his companion. Pip returns to the village often, however rarely visiting his family and instead visiting Miss Havisham. For several years Estella had been studying abroad in Europe (a fashionable tradition of women's education for the wealthy at the time). Upon her return, Pip finds Estella much changed and her attitude refined. She apologizes for her earlier cruelty however, seeing Pip's affections warns him that he should not fall in love with her. Pip ignores these repeated warnings as he long harbored the belief that Miss Havisham (as his benefactress) intended them for each other. Estella continues to warn him that her heart is cold and cannot love him and entreats him to take her seriously, but he refuses, still believing they will be married and that her heart is not as cold as she claims.
During this time, Mrs. Joe dies. Pip returns home to the funeral where Biddy confides in him that Orlick has made several unwanted advances toward her. Pip is infuriated and warns Orlick to stay away from Biddy, however Orlick continues to harass Biddy after Pip is gone.
Pip returns to London, heavily in debt which increases by the day. Having led Herbert into debt as well, Pip feels a deep sense of remorse for his irresponsible actions. In one of Dickens' famous plot twists, Pip's benefactor turns out to be instead Abel Magwitch, the convict whom Pip helped, who had been transported to New South Wales, where he had eventually prospered and become extremely wealthy.
Magwitch left all his money to Pip in gratitude for that kindness and also because Pip reminded him of his own child, whom he believes to have been killed by her mother over two decades prior. The revelation of his true benefactor crushes Pip. He is ashamed of Magwitch's criminal past and deeply saddened by the realization that Miss Havisham merely allowed him to believe she was the source of his expectations and never intended for Pip to marry Estella. However, Magwitch now expects to spend the rest of his life living with Pip in England. Pip, very reluctantly, lets Magwitch stay with him. Pip is unhappy in his new found knowledge and the danger and uncertainty it brings. Pip, at one time entertained the idea of running off and joining the military to avoid Magwitch and his expectations. There is a warrant out for Magwitch's arrest in England and he will be hanged if he is caught in the country. Pip becomes increasingly suspicious of being watched and tells his landlord and all other close acquaintances (save for Herbert) that Magwitch is an uncle by the name of Provis. Eventually, it is understood that Magwitch cannot afford to stay in England much longer as the probability of Magwitch's arrest increases with each day he remains in the country. A plan is hatched by Herbert and Pip which involves fleeing the country by boat.
During these events, it is revealed to Pip that Estella is the daughter of Mr. Jaggers' housemaid, Molly, whom he defended in a murder charge and who gave up her daughter to be adopted by another of his clients, Miss Havisham, in return for his service in allowing her to be acquitted of the charge. Pip later realizes Magwitch is Estella's father. When Pip lays the claim before him, Mr. Jaggers does not outright confess to anything, however gives Pip a hypothetical situation in which these events transpired. He also hints that Molly, Estella's mother used to be jealous and wild and that in order to keep her wildness in check he beat her regularly and severely. These hints are proven true by Molly and Mr. Jaggers' interactions. Molly appears to be very much afraid of her master.
Shortly before Magwitch and Pip are scheduled to flee, Pip receives an unsigned note at his home telling him to appear at the marshes near his old home that night at 9pm. Pip is timid at first, but the letter mentions his "Uncle Provis" and threatens his safety. Pip is lured in by the threats to his benefactor and leaves for the village by carriage immediately. On the marshes, Pip is struck on the head by a blunt object, rendering him unconscious for a period of time. When he awakens, he finds himself bound in a small shack far away from any other residences. It is revealed that both the author of the anonymous note and his attacker is Orlick, who admits that he was in fact the one who attacked Mrs. Joe. Orlick confides that he intends to kill Pip as he was always jealous of young Pip when he worked with Joe and for Pip's intervention with his advances on Biddy. Pip is sure he is going to die though he refuses to cry out or beg for mercy.
Nevertheless, before Orlick can exact his revenge, Pip is rescued by Herbert, a village shop boy and their old friend Startop. Herbert discloses that Pip accidentally left the cryptic note at their home which is how he knew where to find Pip. Orlick flees but it is decided not to alert the police as their situation with Magwitch is too precarious.
Meanwhile, out of spite for Miss Havisham, Estella has married Bentley Drummle, a boastful rival of Pip's whom he very much dislikes. Mr. Jaggers hints that he believes Drummle will beat Estella into submission so as to prove who is the stronger in the marriage. Pip is incensed and dejected although he refuses to believe that Drummle would do such a thing.
Before Pip flees with Magwitch, he makes one final visit to Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham realizes that she created a monster out of Estella by encouraging her vanity and her coldness towards others but especially Pip. Miss Havisham claims that she adopted Estella for the sole purpose of saving someone else from the heartbreak and misfortune she herself suffered as a young woman. She instead taught Estella to be cruel, prideful and vain. It is revealed that Miss Havisham was convinced into buying her half brother out of his share of the brewery at Satis House by a young man who claimed to love her. The young man proposed Miss Havisham and arrangements were made; however on her wedding day, shortly before the ceremony the young man never showed up—she had been jilted. After this heartbreak Miss Havisham shut herself in her darkened house where she sits in her bridal gown amongst the rotting wedding cake for several years. Miss Havisham avowed never to be heartbroken again and use Estella as a tool with which to exact her revenge on all men by encouraging her vanity and her meanness and her constant misleading of men.
However, seeing how much these teachings have corrupted Estella and broken Pip's heart she asks him for forgiveness. Pip confronts Miss Havisham with Estella's history and present circumstance in an unhappy marriage, blaming Miss Havisham for teaching Estella to be cold and unloving. After the confrontation, Pip comes back into the house once more to discover Miss Havisham standing too close to the fire and it ignites her dress. In effort to save her, he removes his overcoat and throws it around Miss Havisham. The fire is put out, however he and Miss Havisham are both badly injured, Miss Havisham infinitely more-so as she eventually succumbs to her injuries.
Pip, Herbert and another friend, Startop, make a gallant attempt to help Magwitch escape, but instead he is captured and sent to jail. Pip is devoted to Magwitch by now and recognizes in him a good and noble man and is ashamed that he had formerly looked down on Magwitch as his inferior. Pip tries to have Magwitch released but Magwitch dies shortly before his execution. Under English law Magwitch's wealth forfeits to the Crown, thus extinguishing Pip's "Great Expectations".
During an extended period of sickness, Pip is nearly arrested for his numerous unpaid debts to several creditors; however, due to his condition, which includes fever, he is not arrested at that time. During this illness, he is looked after by Joe and he eventually returns to good health. Joe leaves early one morning leaving Pip with only a note of well-wishes, believing that as Pip had not visited him in years since, he would not visit him then and that he likely would never see Pip again. Pip is greatly saddened by this turn of events and realizes how thankless and ungrateful he had been over the years. His guilt is compounded by the discovery that he was not arrested for debt to allow him time to recover, but because Joe had paid all of his debts in full. Pip returns home to ask Biddy and Joe for forgiveness and to thank Joe for his unprovoked kindness and unfailing love for which Pip felt unworthy. When he arrives in the village, he finds that it is Biddy and Joe's wedding day. He congratulates the couple, but tells them that his visit is only temporary, for he intended to pay Joe back every penny of the money he paid the creditors. Afterwards, Pip goes into business overseas with Herbert. After eleven relatively successful years abroad, Pip goes back to visit Joe and the rest of his family out in the marshes.

[edit]Original ending

Pip meets Estella on the streets. Her abusive husband Drummle has died. Estella and Pip exchange brief pleasantries and Pip states that while he could not have her in the end, he was at least glad to know she was a different person now, changed from the coldhearted girl Miss Havisham had reared her to be. The novel ends with Pip saying he could see that "suffering had been stronger than Miss Havisham's teaching and had given her a heart to understand what my heart used to be."