Art Expectations 364-366 Fever Dreams

Dreams

She's Alive!

Great Expectations Sketch

It’s a lot to take in, three pages at once. These three sketches are also from the road. Getting closer to the end!

{Day 364 Page 389} The 32 accused are all formally doomed, sentenced to death. Some need help walking out, some saunter out with haggard bravery and some shake hands with others. The audience looks down on them, pointing and accusing. Pip prays that Magwitch will die on his own before the sentence is carried out. In the meantime, Pip spends his time writing appeals, explaining that Magwitch came back to London on his behalf. He reaches out to men of authority, the Home Secretary of State and even to the Crown. He is restless and wanders the streets at night, hoping his letters of appeal are working. He is not able to visit Magwitch as much now. The guards are not hard on him or on Magwitch. What would be the point? They chat with Pip about Magwitch’s worsening condition.

{Day 365 Page 390} Magwitch lies in his cell looking placidly at the ceiling. Sometimes he is unable to speak. Ten days have passed since his sentencing. He thanks Pip for not deserting him. Pip lays his hand on Magwitch’s chest and tells him there is something he must tell him. ‘You had a child once, whom you loved and lost.’ Magwitch squeezes Pip’s hand in acknowledgment. ‘She lived and found powerful friends. She is living now. She is a lady and very beautiful. And I love her!’ Remember that Magwitch is Estella’s father. Her mother is the maid for Jaggers. Wow. It’s a little confusing.

{Day 366 Page 391} After Pip tells Magwitch that his daughter is alive and well, Magwitch raises Pip’s hand to his lips and then back on his chest. A placid look comes again to his face and he passes away. Hopefully he died happy. Pip says, ‘O Lord, be merciful to him, a sinner.’  Chapter 57 starts. Pip gives notice of his plan to leave his home at the Temple. He won’t be able to afford it much longer. He starts to look seriously at his debt (finally!) and becomes alarmed. He has ignored his own health while caring for Magwitch. And the stress has taken its toll on him.  He falls into a fitful sleep, having feverish dreams. He dreams of groping for his boat in the dark (it’s sunk at the bottom of the river), someone coming up the stairs after him and seeing Miss Havisham burning in his fireplace. Horrific!

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