- Term Papers and Free Essays

Great Expectations

Essay by   •  March 5, 2011  •  1,435 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,999 Views

Essay Preview: Great Expectations

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6

Great Expectations

The title of this novel is Great Expectations and was written by Charles Dickens. Dickens wrote and set this novel in near the mid-1800 in London, England. Great Expectations is about a young, common boy named Pip that blossoms into a gentleman with high expectations of himself.

The main and supporting characters are Pip, Estella, Miss Havisham, Magwitch, and Jaggers.

Pip is the protagonist and narrator of the novel. The novel spans the time in which he was a young boy through his age in which he is recognized as a true man of the world. Pip has immature tendencies in which he will believe that he deserves better than what he gets in life. Although everyone should have a certain level of self-esteem and respect, he holds himself in high regard against other people. Pip feels that he should be able to move up into high society. After meeting Estella, he wants nothing more than to gain the respect and hand of her through becoming a gentleman. Through a serious of very fortunate events, beginning with showing the convict in the first chapter kindness, he is able to fulfill his expectations and hopes. As the story progresses, maturity overcomes Pip. He realizes that being a gentleman will not always get him what he wants in life, including Estella.

Estella is introduced to Pip through Miss Havisham. Estella plays antagonist to Pip through the course of his life. Miss Havisham adopts Estella as more of a puppet rather than a young girl. Miss Havisham was stood up on her wedding day and refuses to let go of that moment in life, so Miss Havisham uses Estella as a human form of unrequited love and revenge on Pip. Not only that, but Miss Havisham uses her social status as a means of an excuse to treat anyone as she feels. This is why Estella turns out to be cold-hearted to Pip. She flaunts her wealth in his face, she treats him like he is nothing but common trash, and she toys with his emotions. Unbeknownst to her, social status is not everything. She thought she could get the best with her social status, but in the end, she wound up with the worst. As for Miss Havisham, she gets a taste of reality also. Miss Havisham realizes that the past is the past. She is remorseful about the way she has raised Estella to treat Pip and also the way she has treated him.

Abel Magwitch, formerly known as the convict, is Pips secret benefactor. He, along with Jaggers, brings Pip to high society. Magwitch confronted Pip at the beginning of the novel and wound up having compassion for him due to his kindness. Using the kind-hearted and powerful Jaggers as a mutual medium, Magwitch funds Pip's basic needs into rising to gentleman's status. Jaggers has connections with the lower class crooks, and he is known to make dirty deals with those convicts.

The story begins with Pip in a graveyard near his home. There he is encountered by Magwitch, the convict. At this point in the story, it is not revealed that the convict is of any importance. For now, he just seems like a scruffy ruffian trying to escape justice. The convict threatens Pip for a bit of food and a file under the condition that he will be eaten if he does not comply. Pip promptly gets the convict his supplies.

Soon after, Pip's Uncle Pumblechook pays him a visit bearing news of fortune through a wealthy woman by the name of Miss Havisham. This is where she is first introduced into the story as Pip's means of riches. He attends numerous visits being lustfully pleased with the view of the young Estella. Although Pip has his eye on her, he realizes that he has no chance with gaining any advancement towards being with her as his status of a commoner, especially since she was raised with the harshness of Miss Havisham's attitude towards males. Estella continually mentally and physically - not too harsh on the physical as the mental - abuses him. Pips reasons that the only way to win her over is to become a gentleman. Here, Pip begins to have high expectations of himself. He now believes that he deserves better at any cost.

Pip is then apprenticed to Joe, his brother-in-law. Through the highly powerful lawyer Jaggers, Pip receives news that he is to be brought up as a gentleman. Although this strange man tells Pip that he will be raised into high society by a secret benefactor of whom he knows no detail, he follows Jaggers' words. He is tailored into bourgeois clothing with extra money in his pocket, bids Miss Havisham a farewell, and sets off into "training" to become a gentleman. Pip's first great expectation is met.

As Pip is being raised in London by through the teachings of Matthew Pocket, he evolves in society and devolves in integrity. He begins to forget his roots and his past. At one point, Pip is so ashamed that instead of staying in his old house, he demands a room in the inn.

After purposefully losing more of his past, he is finally confronted



Download as:   txt (8 Kb)   pdf (99.5 Kb)   docx (11.6 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2011, 03). Great Expectations. Retrieved 03, 2011, from

"Great Expectations" 03 2011. 2011. 03 2011 <>.

"Great Expectations.", 03 2011. Web. 03 2011. <>.

"Great Expectations." 03, 2011. Accessed 03, 2011.