‘Great Expectations’ Ending, Explained: Why Did Pip Decide To Marry Biddy?


Directed by Brady Hood and Samira Radsi, “Great Expectations” follows the life of a young boy named Pip, who was not born in a privileged environment but dreamed of walking alongside the elites of society as a gentleman. Pip’s life had been nothing short of a miracle, and he had certain coincidences in his life that would have seemed too good to be true if they hadn’t happened in reality. In the first five episodes of “Great Expectations,” we saw that Mr. Jaggers had taken the young boy under his wing after he was taught some of the nitty-gritties of the world of gentlemen by Miss Havisham.

Pip fell in love with Estella the moment he saw her, and ever since then, he had wanted to marry her one day. After Pip moved to London and started working as an assistant to Mr. Jaggers, he realized that the rich and the elites not only lived a dishonest life but were far too hypocritical. At times, Pip didn’t like the way things functioned, but the desire to become a gentleman overpowered everything else. Pip left his ethics and principles and did everything that he could to become rich, but life had other plans for him. Soon, he found himself stranded in the dark, and he no longer had an option to choose from, so he decided to take life as it came. So, let’s find out what happened to Pip at the end of “Great Expectations” and where life took him.

Why Did Pip Attempts To Commit Suicide?

Compeyson was searching for Pip everywhere, and he had come to Joe and Sara’s house in Gravesend because he thought that Pip would be hiding there. Although Pip was not there, Joe told Compeyson that he might arrive in a couple of days, and that is why Compeyson decided to stay back in the town. Meanwhile, Pip had a tryst with his own fate, and he came to know that Captain Dorget’s ship had sunk in the storm along with his and Jaggers’ investment. The ship had sunk before it could take the illegal cargo, so that meant that it had to be indemnified, and Drummle and Co., together with Jaggers and Pip, incurred huge losses. Pip couldn’t understand how his life had changed overnight and how the storm had ended his quest to become a gentleman so abruptly.

When Pip got the news from Mr. Wemmick, everything became blurry for a few moments, and he realized that there was nothing left to look forward to in his life. Pip didn’t want to go back to Gravesend, so he decided to commit suicide and put an end to his misery by hanging himself from a bridge. Mr. Wemmick arrived at the right moment, cut the rope, and managed to save Pip. Mr. Wemmick didn’t know whether Pip had actually been saved or not, so he went to Mr. Jaggers and informed him about what had happened. Mr. Jaggers was very attached to Pip, and the news devastated him. Mr. Jaggers somewhere blamed himself for what had happened, and he hoped and prayed that Pip was still alive. Pip was miraculously saved by a sailor who had found him floating on the river. The boat was heading to Gravesend, and Pip came to the realization that no matter how much he tried, he would never be able to run from his past.

Why Did Magwitch Come To Meet Miss Havisham?

Magwitch finally met Miss Havisham after more than two decades and told her that he knew about the whereabouts of Compeyson. Miss Havisham hadn’t uttered that name from her mouth since she had been abandoned on the day of her wedding. It stirred a lot of emotions inside Miss Havisham and brought back a lot of old memories that she had locked away in her closet in the hope that she would never have to face them again. She asked Magwitch why Compeyson hadn’t turned up for the wedding, to which Magwitch replied that there was no specific reason and that Compeyson was the kind of man who was not only narcissistic but had absolutely no regard for the feelings of any other person.

Miss Havisham said that she would help Magwitch in whatever capacity she could because she was dying to take revenge on that ruthless man who had broken her heart and ruined her life. Miss Havisham was wrecked from within, and she had worn her wedding gown every single day since that fateful day so that it served as a constant reminder of how treacherous somebody could be. The day had finally arrived when she could put the portrait of Compeyson that had been kept in her mansion on fire. It was a cathartic moment for Miss Havisham, and she was finally ready to let go of that suffocating feeling and move on in life.

Was Compeyson Able To Take Back His Money From Pip?

When Pip realized that Compeyson was in Gravesend, he immediately went to find Mr. Jaggers, who had also arrived in the town earlier that day. Pip bumped into Magwitch, who told him that all of them wanted the same thing, i.e., to kill Compeyson as he had wronged each and every one of them in some capacity. Magwitch and Jaggers went to the bar where they knew they could find Compeyson, but the shrewd man had already left the place and reached Miss Havisham’s mansion to take money from her at gunpoint. Compeyson, after all those years, had the audacity to tell Miss Havisham that she should be happy about the fact that, at last, he had returned to where he was supposed to be 21 years ago. He called Miss Havisham by her first name, i.e., Amelia, and the old woman felt very strange as people didn’t refer to her by that name any longer. Soon, Magwitch, Jaggers, and Pip arrived at the mansion, and together they entered into a deadly scuffle with Compeyson. Compeyson killed Magwitch, and he was charging toward Pip when Miss Havisham put a bullet in his head and took revenge for what she had felt for all those years. It felt befitting that out of all those people, she was the one who killed Compeyson since her wounds were deeper and more severe than anyone else’s. Her mansion, which had become a symbol of hate and all sorts of negative feelings, was also burned to ashes.

‘Great Expectations’ Ending Explained: Why Did Pip Decide To Marry Biddy?

Pip realized that Estella didn’t love him, and even if he ended up marrying her, they would never be happy. Estella had very strange sensibilities due to the time she had spent in that dungeon with Miss Havisham. Her theories about love were influenced by the perspective Miss Havisham had, and obviously, they didn’t align with what Pip wanted in life. In “Great Expectations,” episode 6, when Estella met Pip after a long time, she told him that whoever loved more in a relationship was always at a loss. She said that a person was in the best state if they were indifferent to things like love and attachment.

All these philosophies stemmed from the experiences that Miss Havisham had in her life, and because she had been betrayed by a man, she had stereotyped the entire dynamics of two people coming together and sharing a beautiful relationship. Pip told Estella that she should marry somebody of her own class and let Pip go because they were not a suitable match for each other for multiple reasons. Pip had realized that Biddy loved him unconditionally and that he had been very unsympathetic towards her feelings. Earlier in “Great Expectations” episode 6, Pip had revealed his intentions to Biddy, and it felt like she was not averse to entertaining the possibility of them spending a lifetime together. Towards the end of “Great Expectations,” Pip got married to Biddy. From Estella to Mr. Jaggers, everybody attended their wedding and celebrated a union that was always meant to be. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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