Part the Final!
Remember last week, when I said I wasn't at all sure Pip was going to end well, that maybe there was more comeuppance coming his way? Nailed that one, didn't I? And how bittersweet that Biddy married Joe. Joe certainly deserves every happiness in the world, but Biddy would have been the best choice for Pip, and he would have been so happy with her.
Which brings us to the two endings. In the published version, he meets Estella again, and the ending is left ambiguous, yet optimistic. That's the romantic ending. The original ending, not so much. He meets Estella, but she seems pretty much wrecked by her life.
Which do you prefer? I prefer the original. Yes, it's a downer, but to me, it fits the overall tone of the book better. Practically from page 1, Pip makes it clear that he regrets much of what he's done in his life and the way things have gone. If he did meet up with Estella, and she'd changed, and they lived happily ever after, it seems like that would have colored his memories more.
I may be prejudiced by the fact that Dickens was influenced to make the change by none other than Edward Bulwer-Lytton--yes, that Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Oh, Mr. Dickens, your fictional instincts were perfect--why did you let that man whisper in your ear so persistently??
I hope you enjoyed this little read-along. It's been suggested that we do another Dickens book. I'm thinking January would be a good time to start another, and will post some ideas of which books soon.