Great Expectations Essays

Great Expectations Essays

Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations was first published in 1860 and became one of the most popular works of the writer.

The first publication took place in the magazine "Round the Year", which was published by the author himself. The chapters of the novel were published for several months: from December 1860 to August 1861. In the same year, 1861, the work was translated into Russian and published in the journal "Russian Herald".

A seven-year-old boy named Pip (full name Philip Pirrip) lives in the home of his cruel sister, who constantly bullies him and insults him in every way. The grumpy woman makes trouble not only for the tribesman, but also for her husband, blacksmith Joe Gargery. Pip's parents are long dead, and the boy often goes to the cemetery to visit their graves. One day Philip meets a runaway convict. The man, intimidating the boy, demanded that he bring him food. Pip was forced to obey the order and sneak whatever was required of him from the house. To Pip's luck, the convict was caught.


The Woman in the Wedding Dress

Miss Havisham, an old maid, wants to find a friend for her adopted daughter Estella. Years ago, this woman was deceived by her fiancé by robbing her and not showing up at the altar. Since then, Miss Havisham has been sitting in a gloomy room in a yellowed wedding gown, longing for retribution for all men. She hopes to achieve her goal with the help of Estelle. Her adoptive mother teaches the girl to hate all male persons, to hurt them, and to break their hearts.

When Miss Havisham is recommended to Pip as a playmate, the boy begins to frequent the old maid's house. Pip likes Estella very much. He thinks the girl is beautiful. Estella's main flaw is her arrogance. She was accustomed to it by her foster mother. Philip used to be fond of blacksmithing, which he learned from his uncle. Now he is ashamed of his hobby, afraid that his new girlfriend will ever catch him at the blacksmith shop doing dirty work.


The Mysterious Benefactor

The Mysterious BenefactorOne day Joe's home is visited by Jaggers, a capital lawyer, who informs him that his anonymous client, wants to take care of Philip's future and do whatever he can to arrange his fate. If Philip agrees, he will have to move to London. Jaggers himself would then be appointed Philip's guardian until the age of 21. Pip is convinced that the client about to become his benefactor is Miss Havisham, and that with a favorable outcome, he will succeed in marrying Estella. Meanwhile, Pirrip's sister is attacked by an unknown assailant, striking her in the back of the head. The perpetrator has never been found. Philip suspects Orlik, who worked as an assistant at the blacksmith shop.

In the capital, Pip rents an apartment with his friend. The young man quickly settles into his new place, joins a prestigious club and spends money without looking. Herbert, the friend with whom he lives, behaves more cautiously. Pip goes to visit Miss Havisham and meets the now grown-up Estella. The old maid is left alone with the young man and asks, no matter what, to love her adopted daughter.


The truth is revealed

Unexpectedly, Pirrip meets Abel Magwitch, the same fugitive convict he tried to help against his will years ago. Pip is horrified by this encounter, fearing that Abel will try to kill him. His fears were in vain. Magwitch turned out to be the mysterious benefactor who hired Jaggers' lawyer and decided to take care of Pip. The convict escaped from Australia, where he had been sent into exile, and returned home, even though such an act threatened him with hanging.

Magwitch tells of his comrade Compeyson, with whom they "went into business" and then tried to escape and were sent to Australia. Compeyson was the very fiancé of old maid Havisham. Magwitch is Estella's birth father. Soon Pip discovers that his sweetheart has married Druml, who is reputed to be a cruel man, at an arranged marriage. Philip visits Miss Havisham. The old maid's dress accidentally catches fire from the fireplace. Pirrip rescues the woman, but a few days later she is dead anyway.

Philip is sent an anonymous letter in which an unknown person demands a meeting at the lime factory at night. Upon arriving at the factory, Pip sees the blacksmith's assistant, Orlik, who tries to kill the young man. Pip, however, manages to escape. Pirrip is forced to prepare to flee abroad. Magwitch also wants to flee with him. The attempt failed: the friends were intercepted by the police. Magwitch was convicted and then died in a prison hospital.


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Theme of Social Class in Great Expectations

One theme from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations is the great difference in social classes. Throughout the story the main character, Pip, goes from living in a small, poor village, destined to be a blacksmith to becoming a wealthy gentleman who lives in a large home …

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How does Charles Dickens create an atmosphere of crime and death in ‘Great Expectations’?

In this essay, I will talk about how Charles Dickens creates an atmosphere of crime and death in ‘Great Expectations’. Charles Dickens was an English novelist of the Victorian era and was considered to be one of English language’s greatest writers; he was acclaimed for …

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Not All Criminals Are Bad (Great Expectations)

In the novel Great Expectations written by Charles Dickens he tackles various social problems that plagued London in the Victorian era, some of which were Poverty, Hunger, Child Labour and Crime, which Dickens himself endured. Crime as a main source of London’s social problems ran …

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Childhood Influences in Great Expectations and the Kite Runner

Michael Dennedy – Word Count : 1944 How do Dickens and Hosseini present the influence of childhood experiences in their novels ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘The Kite Runner’? The influence of childhood experience is at the core of these novels as both of the main protagonists …

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The Influence of Female Characters on Pip’s Development in Great Expectations

While it may be true to argue that the female characters of Great Expectations have the most detrimental effect on Pip, it would certainly not be accurate to portray them as having had the greatest influence on his development. Although, the tyrannical Mrs Joe, the …

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Opening Chapter of ‘Great Expectations`

In the opening chapter of ‘Great Expectations’ Dickens draws upon a wealth of literary devices which range from the carefully selected word to a rather grand style of writing in long, complex sentences. He focuses these literary devices on conveying setting, character and atmosphere which …

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Great Expectations: Dickens writing is purely political

Charles Dickens was born on the 7th of February 1812, just before the time that is know as the Victorian Era. Dickens was a political journalist before becoming an author, which may well have helped him to deliver his political messages in his books. Dickens …

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Great Expectations: Themes

Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations is not so uncomplicated as to suggest that wealth is a destructive force. Instead it attempts to highlight the apparent dangers associated with becoming preoccupied with money and social status. In Pip, the book’s chief protagonist, Dickens presents us with a …

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Fear and Suspense In ‘Great Expectations`

Welcome to the new monthly section of The Film Watchers’ Journal in which we discuss a question asked to us by a reader. As it is nearly Halloween, our topic for this month will be, ‘What is the best way to create an atmosphere of …

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Havisham’s appearance

This extract is again, informing about the characters. Pip is similarly portrayed as obedient and impressionable, however the reader learns that Pip is impressed by money and wealth and aspires to be rich, “pretty large room; prominent draped table; fine lady’s dressing table”. Pip, although …

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Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

The text under consideration presents an excerpt from the novel “Great expectations” by Charles Dickens who is one of the world’s greatest novelists of the 19th century famous for his criticism of the bourgeois society of his time with its evils and contrasts of wealth …

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Great Expectations

l. How does Pip get his name? Where is he at the beginning of the story? Pip gets his name because his father’s name is Pirrip and his real name is Philip and when he was little he couldn’t say the name so he called …

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Great Expectations Critical Analysis

“Great Expectations” was written in the mid 19th century by the world famous novelist Charles Dickens. Of key significance is the relationship between Pip (a growing young man) and Magwitch (an escaped convict) In Chapters One and Thirty-nine we read about the first and second …

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Great Expectation Coursework

The first visit Pip had to Miss Havisham’s house frightens and intimidates him ‘the passage were all dark, and that she had left a candle burning.’ Dickens uses dark imagery to show a bit of clue to the audience the kind of person Miss Havisham …

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The Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

The Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, a novel released in 1861 about social criticism, is a story of a young boy named Pip who was in struggle to find his fortune or to be successful rather than to be confined on being a common man of …

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Moral Struggle in Great Expectations

Moral Struggles of Great Expectations Pip is the main character of the novel desires to fulfil his expectations and the world he lives in does not gladly provide an easy way to his dream. Joe is his brother-in-law and his angry sister’s husband who treats …

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Being a Gentleman – Great Expectations

Great Education Many describe Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations as a Bildungsroman ” a novel tracing the education and spiritual growth of a young hero, in this case Philip Pirrip, better known as Pip. Pip’s thoughts on education change throughout the course of the story, beginning …

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Narrators Role In Hard Times And Great Expectations English Literature Essay

As the voice of a fictional and, sometimes, nonfictional literary work, the storyteller is frequently the cardinal characteristic in literary plants and is given a figure of duties. Depending on how the storyteller is attached to the peculiar narrative or book, these functions include assisting …

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Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

The evolution of a person can be complicated when one has “great expectations. ” In Charles Dickens’ finest novel, “Great Expectations,” a young boy named Phillip Pirrup known as Pip who’s great expectations are a dramatized exploration of human growth and the pressures that distort …

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Great Expectations Study Guide

Throughout these early scenes it Is clear that there Is a feeling of evil pervading. The evil comes not so much from Magnetic or even the Terrible young man’ that PIP so fears as a young lad, but rather the presence of the gibbet and …

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Magwitch protects

When Magwitch and Pip first met, Magwitch told Pip to retrieve him food and a file so that he could take off the manacles that he was wearing around his legs. After the completion of the first chapter, the reader then discovers that Pip retrieves …

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Words 3637
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Disappointments and Downfalls in Great Expectations: Pip’s Encounters with Reality

In the novel great expectations, there are many downfalls and disappointments that Pip encounters during his lifetime, if you read on you will see some of them. A few are, when Pip realizes who his benefactor is, when he realizes Joe is not a gentleman …

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Great Expectations Critique Essay

Have you ever wonder how wealth can bring a person happiness and how it can change a person or does it make that person a better person who was once poor? Driving to a local grocery store for an example, to buy some food for …

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Great Expectations: A Character-Driven Novel

The novel, Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens is heavily a character-driven novel due to the fact that the sequence of events in the novel are causes and effects of the actions of the characters as well as the interactions between them. The novel mainly depicts …

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Great Expectations and Brighton Rock

The novels “Great Expectations” and “Brighton Rock” concern themselves, at least initially, with a young male protagonist. These are among some of the most memorable characters in literature. Both Pip in “Great Expectations” and Pinkie in “Brighton Rock” are summoned to meet characters that are …

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Havisham She Wanted Revenge

The opening line portrays the order of events. “Beloved sweetheart bastard. ” The man she describes was someone special but soon became someone she hated. She has longed for revenge as the reader is told, “Not a day since then I haven’t wished for him …

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GE Bildungsroman

The first stepping stone in Pip’s coming of age is finding a place to belong. A quote that shows the fact that Pip did not know where his place was is when he says “l am ashamed to say it,” I returned, and yet it’s …

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Great Expectations Dickens

How does Dickens create sympathy for Pip in the opening chapters of Great Expectations? Charles Dickens was born during the Victorian times, he wrote ‘great expectations’ in a weekly instalment, every week he sold one part to maintain the reader’s interest. He wanted people to …

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Words 772
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Pip, Magwitch, Miss Havisham and Estella in Great Expectations

Compare and contrast the presentation of Pip, Magwitch, Miss Havisham and Estella in the opening chapter of Great Expectation Compare and contrast the presentation of Pip, Magwitch, Miss Havisham and Estella in the opening chapters of ‘Great Expectations’. Explain which characters you feel sympathy for …

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Words 1119
Pages 5
Havisham’s appearance

This extract is again, informing about the characters. Pip is similarly portrayed as obedient and impressionable, however the reader learns that Pip is impressed by money and wealth and aspires to be rich, “pretty large room; prominent draped table; fine lady’s dressing table”. Pip, although …

Great ExpectationsMiss Havisham
Words 909
Pages 4
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Great Expectations is the thirteenth novel by Charles Dickens and his penultimate completed novel. It depicts the education of an orphan nicknamed Pip. It is Dickens's second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person.
Release date

January 30, 1998 (USA)


Alfonso Cuarón

Music by

Patrick Doyle; Ron Wasserman


Ethan Hawke; Gwyneth Paltrow; Hank Azaria; Chris Cooper; Anne Bancroft; Robert De Niro

Box office

$55.5 million

Adapted from

Great Expectations

Frequently asked questions

What Is The Genre Of Great Expectations
The genre of Great Expectations is a novel. It was written by Charles Dickens and was first published in 1860. The novel follows the life of an orphan, Pip, from his humble beginnings to his eventual rise in society. Along the way, Pip meets a number of colorful characters who help to shape his life.
What Is The Main Message Of Great Expectations?
The main message of Great Expectations is that hope and expectations are important, but they need to be kept in check. The novel follows the story of Pip, a young boy who is given a large sum of money by an anonymous benefactor. With this money, Pip is able to move to London and begin a new life. However, as he becomes more successful, Pip starts to lose sight of what is truly important to him. He becomes obsessed with wealth and status, and he neglects the people who have always been there for him. In the end, Pip learns that it is more important to be kind and humble than to be rich and famous.

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