The novel begins with the main character, Pip, encountering a runaway convict. Pip procures supplies for the man from his house. The convict then gets into a fight with another runaway convict and is take back to jail. Pip is soon after invited to the house of Miss Havisham, a rich, eccentric old lady who lives in isolation. Pip gets to know her adopted daughter Estella during his visit and begins to have feelings of love for her. However, it is not easy for him to deal with these feelings because he becomes self-conscious about his own low social standing. He wishes to be more polished and better mannered, and strives for his goal of becoming a gentleman. One day, amidst many tragedies and hardships, a lawyer, named Jaggers, approaches Pip. He informs Pip that he is the benefactor of a great fortune. Pip believes his sudden thrust into high society is an action of Miss Havisham. Pip, seeing the opportunity to become a gentleman, turns his back on his loving family, even Joe, the gentle, caring husband of his older sister who used to be Pip's best friend. His family embarrasses him because they are commoners. Estella reenters his life in London when she comes to live there. She has numerous men that are courting her and torments each one of them as she was taught by Miss Havisham. Of all the suitors, she chooses Bently Drummel, an aristocratic man born into great wealth. Pip is outraged but she assures him that she is not capable of loving anyone. One night, Pip receives a visit from a gruff looking man. The man turns out to be the convict that Pip helped in the beginning of the story and he tells Pip that he has been the secret benefactor all along. Pip is disheartened because he had always believed that it was a plot by Miss Havisham for him to marry Estella. He is also mortified that the source of his wealth is neither legal nor aristocratic. Magwitch, the convict, tells Pip the story of how he was...
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