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  • A young orphan named Pip lives with his sister and brother-in-law, the village blacksmith. One night, Pip is walking through the churchyard when he meets an escaped convict who threatens him into bringing him food and a file to break his leg-irons. The day after, the convict is recaptured.
  • Pip is sent to entertain Miss Havisham, a wealthy old lady who lives in a mansion. Miss Havisham is a bitter woman who was jilted on her wedding day long ago. Her adopted daughter, Estella, is beautiful, and Pip instantly falls in love with her, but Estella is cold and despises Pip.
  • Pip is dismissed from working for Miss Havisham and becomes an apprentice to Joe as a blacksmith. But Estella had made him shameful for his "commonness". He longs to be a gentleman, not a blacksmith. Until one day, he learns that an anonymous benefactor has left him an enormous sum of money. He is to move to London.
  • In London, Pip will be trained to act as a gentleman by Mathew Pocket and becomes friends with his son, Herbert. Jaggers, a lawyer, will oversee his inheritance. Pip is certain his mysterious benefactor is Miss Havisham, and believes he is being trained as Estella’s future husband. He is ashamed of his life and family back in Kent and wants little to do with them.
  • One night, Pip learns that his benefactor is not Havisham, but the convict from long ago. He realizes that Havisham was not trying to marry him and Estella. He also realizes that he has mistreated his loyal friend Joe, who was always faithful to him. Though Pip is ashamed of the convict, he is loyal, so he commits himself to protecting Magwitch from the police.
  • The convict is injured and caught, and soon dies. Pip discovers that adopted Estella is the convict's daughter. Pip goes to Joe and Biddy, who have married one another since the death of Pip’s sister and ask for their forgiveness. The novel ends when Pip meets Estella after many years. She and Pip part as friends and on good terms.
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