Great Expectations (1917) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • "Pip," an orphan, lives with his sister, whose husband runs a country blacksmith shop. The boy's life is a drab one until, in an effort to escape his sister's wrath, he runs into a graveyard where he is seized by an escaped convict, Provis, who threatens him with instant death if he does not give him food and a file with which to remove the ball and chain from his ankle. Pip does as he is bid, only to have the convict captured and brought to the blacksmith shop, when poor Pip nearly expires for fear he will be apprehended. But the grateful Provis lies to save him. The next step in the history of Pip is the arrival of Mr. Jaggers, a London lawyer, who is so struck by his gentility that he selects him as a companion for Estella, the adopted daughter of his client, Miss Havisham, a most secretive and peculiar woman. The companionship of the two youngsters ripens into love as they grow older, until Pip learns to his dismay that Miss Havisham has deliberately encouraged them with the purpose of breaking his heart. The young lovers are separated and Pip is made the beneficiary of a legacy which enables him to go to London, live as a gentleman and be thoroughly educated. He does not know the source of this income, but believes that Miss Havisham is secretly making amends for her cruelty. He finally discovers the whereabouts of Estella and they plight their troth. That night Pip is dashed to the depths of despair by the arrival of Provis, the convict, who reveals the fact that it is he who has been supplying Pip with money. The poor boy believes that Estella will scorn him when she learns the truth, but he has reckoned without the finer qualities of Estella who comes to his assistance and even helps the convict in his fatal effort to escape the police. Over his dead body there arises the vision of a new romance as the two young lovers pay homage to the better side of this remarkable man's character.

    - Written by Moving Picture World synopsis
  • Charles Dickens' classic tale of Pip, a poor orphan who befriends an escaped convict and who grows up in the company of a bitter old woman, Miss Havisham, and her haughty young ward, Estella. Pip learns the rewards of both vindictiveness and gratitude as a result of these events.

    - Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>
  • A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.


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