Great expectations theme analysis

In his fiction, Dickens found it necessary not only to orphan himself of the parents who shamed him but also to re-create them in ideal shapes—and sometimes, too, to be fair to them. That is what happens in Great Expectations.

Great expectations theme analysis

At least four known orphans—Mrs. Joe, Magwitch, Estella, and Pip himself—have suffered loneliness, but each character reacts differently. Pip himself is often threatened with death by his sister and again by his convict, Magwitch. Even Orlick, the town lout, tries to kill an adult Pip.

Likewise, as Magwitch confesses to Pip, his childhood on the streets of London was such a nightmare that he cannot even remember how he once learned his own name, and it is no wonder he has had to turn to a life of crime. Joe is another character who is antisocial.

She lives on the marshes among rough, working class men and has no friends but Joe and no female acquaintances whatever. Aside from these obvious loners, each struggling to find his or her place in the world, Jaggers also stands alone, an upholder of the law but to an inhuman degree.

He never lets down his guard, as though he were likely to be sued if he relaxed, misspoke, or reacted at all with emotion. No matter how openly Pip offers friendship, Jaggers maintains a distant attitude and instead admires the wealthy but evil Bentley Drummle for knowing Great expectations theme analysis he wants and getting it.

Great expectations theme analysis

Only when Pip has exhausted his expectations and has no other direction to turn does he realize that he is quite lucky to have two good friends who love him for himself and can forget about his social status. By doing this, Pip is the one character who works his way out of alienation and loneliness into a socially active life that is enriched by love shared with friends.

Search for Self As a child, Pip is small for his age and quite weak, physically and temperamentally. An orphan living with his sister in near poverty, he dreams of great wealth.

Meanwhile, finding ways to avoid abuse from his sister becomes his daily lesson. He submits to the insults of Mrs.

Joe, Uncle Pumblechook, Mr. Pip is terrified of Miss Havisham when she first orders him to play a game as she watches him and he realizes that he is too miserable to play at anything.

Later, he is anxious and delighted to escape that life and go to the city where he can establish a new identity as a gentleman in his own right.

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Indeed, from his first day in London he is addressed as "Mr. Pip" and treated well. He finds, however, that he has little to back up that esteem except money that he has not earned and only squanders on expensive clothes, decorations for his apartment, and a servant boy he calls "The Avenger.


Pip is likewise mortified by Magwitch. However, Pip neither returns to the humble forge to visit Joe nor sends any message to him.

In time, Pip is ashamed of that and apologizes to both Magwitch and Joe. Also, he forgives Miss Havisham for her early cruelty with a kiss on her deathbed. But this cannot happen until he has endured greater suffering and pangs of conscience than he ever knew as a weakling boy on the marsh.

Once cruel, she ends by suffering from the realization that she has wasted her life on hatred and vengeance, yet it is too late for her to enjoy her change of heart.

Pip adds this to his lessons on gaining respect and peace in his own life. Another good model comes from Wemmick, who adores his old father and shares care of the Aged Parent with Pip on at least one occasion when, ironically, Pip is avoiding contact with Magwitch.

Nevertheless, Pip attends Magwitch in his last days as tenderly as Wemmick tends his own father and as lovingly as Joe nurses Pip back from death. When Pip finally returns to the marsh to propose marriage to Biddy and to thank Joe, he finds them already married.

Pip finally takes charge of his future and enjoys the love of his family and friends, realizing that they are his most precious wealth.Charles Dickens' iconic novel, Great Expectations, explores universal human themes.

The novel is a bildungsroman, tracing the life of Phillip Pirrip, 'Pip', from childhood into adulthood.

In Pip's feelings for Estella, Dickens explores the theme of the driving, all-consuming power of love. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.

A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic High school Diocese of Wollongong - Albion Park Act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God Micah A summary of Motifs in Charles Dickens's Great Expectations.

Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Great Expectations and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. A summary of Themes in Charles Dickens's Great Expectations. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Great Expectations and what it means.

Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Great Expectations: Theme Analysis, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.

The theme of Social Class in Great Expectations from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes