Why do people suggest that Great Expectations has a happy ending?I just finished the book today. My first impression of the ending is that Estella and Pip reconciled in the final scene, but that is...

Why do people suggest that Great Expectations has a happy ending?

I just finished the book today.

My first impression of the ending is that Estella and Pip reconciled in the final scene, but that is also their final chance of seeing each other, as I read "I saw no shadow of another parting from her".

But when I do some further reading online, it seems most people think it has a happy ending and that Pip and Estella never parted again.

I was greatly confused! I thought Estella said "And will continue friends apart", and some paragraphs before, i was told/informed that "for anything I knew, she(Estella) was married again."

I would certainly love a happy ending... I'd appreciate deeply if someone can tell me that I'm totally wrong with my interpretation of the above two quotes!

Expert Answers
troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are two endings to this novel.  The original ending says that Estella is remarried (after Drummle died) to a Shropshire doctor.  However, the second ending (which Dickens rewrote for his unhappy readers) mentions that they never part again.  After all that both characters (Estella and Pip) had been through, it was only right for them to end the novel in happiness.  He was the only man she ever truly cared for in this novel.  She played games and entrapped men all the time.  But she reveals to Pip that she never did that to him.  At first he was jealous of the looks she gave other men, but what she was really saying to him was that although she had no heart, she did care about him.  And we all know how much Pip cared for her.

So with these feelings for each other, the readers wanted Dickens to alter the ending so that it was happy.  The way I read it (and I want the same happy ending) is that they will never again part from each other.  Estella does say they will "continue friends apart," but I don't think he would let the "apart" happen. 

Pip does state in the last line that "I saw no shadow of another parting from her."  I truly believe that they left that garden together and never parted.  What is neat about the ending is that it's ambiguous.  You can choose your own ending--so if you want happy--agree with my belief.  They stayed together forever.

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Great Expectations

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