Great Expectations

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Date Submitted: 06/06/2008 03:23 AM

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'I deliberated with an aching heart whether I would not get down when we changed horses and walk back, and have another evening at home, and a better parting. We changed, and I had not made up my mind . . . . We changed again, and yet again, and it was now too late and too far to go back, and I went on. And the mists had all solemnly risen now, and the world lay spread before me.'

These words reveal the thoughts of one of Dickens’s most famous character as he starts a new life with great expectations as well as doubts.

The book Great Expectations is a wonderful novel. It carefully dissects the growth of a young boy and the expectations that he has of himself and how these expectations can change dramatically throughout his life.

This book is about a young boy, Pip who, having lost his parents at a young age grew up with his sister, Mrs. Joe and her husband, Joe in a small but safe home in the marshes. But, Pip was not to remain happy in this cosy home for long because of his meeting with a rich lady named Miss Havisham.

It is from this point in the novel that Pip really begins to find that he is not happy with what he has in his small house. He becomes ashamed of Joe, and how ‘common’ the family was in comparison to Miss Havisham and her adopted daughter, Estella whom Pip has fallen for.

Like the title, one of the major themes in this novel is the notion of having expectations, of oneself but more precisely the expectations that the society seem to impose on you.

The novel is riddled with many different types of expectations for example when Pumblechook and Mrs. Joe hear that Miss Havisham wants Pip to visit. Their excitement betrays their belief that Pip will only rise in status, with the aid of someone else's money and status.

We can also see that through just one day at Miss Havisham's, (especially one day of listening to Estella make fun of him for being common), has completely changed Pip's expectations for his own life. When Pip is...