Author(s): Charles Dickens
Orphaned Philip Pirrip - known as Pip - lives with his tyrannical elder sister and her kindly blacksmith husband. After surviving a terrifying churchyard encounter with an escaped convict, Pip is invited to visit embittered, reclusive spinster Miss Havisham. Jilted on her wedding day, Miss Havisham delights in using the beautiful Estella, whom she has adopted, as an instrument of revenge. Pip falls for the disdainful, cold-hearted Estella, and vows to better himself in the hope of winning her over. A windfall raises his expectations but proves to be no panacea, as wealth alters his values and brings little contentment. Along the path to wisdom and enlightenment, Pip also learns the identity of his mysterious benefactor. In Great Expectations, his penultimate completed novel, Dickens examines class, social mobility and the corrupting power of money, while adding to his gallery of unforgettable characters.