Great Expectations Sample Essay

Dickens is likely the most celebrated. and he is certainly the most darling. writer of those you will read in this category for your fresh assignments. Great Expectations is filled with autobiographical elements. Even though about every chapter reflects some affinity with Dickens’s ain life narrative. Great Expectations is so a extremely shaped work of art. It is to that. the literature ( art ) . that we address our reading. However. if you are interested in Dickens’s life and in how it enters into his trade. you will desire to read Edgar Johnson’s Charles Dickens: His Calamity and Triumph. two volumes ( London: Gollancz. 1953 ) . and Christopher Hibbert’s The Making of Charles Dickens ( London: Penguin. 1983 ) . Great Expectations. like many of Dickens’s novels. was foremost published in a magazine. in hebdomadal installments over an eight-month period. Thus. readers might act upon the way of the secret plan by composing to Dickens. or by non purchasing some of the installments when their involvement diminished. Again. while a survey of such forces of readership and publication manner might supply penetration into the originative procedure. the secret plan. or other facets of the novel. for our intents it is sufficient to establish our analysis on our experience of reading it as a complete novel.

Yet. if you are interested in analyzing the effects of serialisation on the originative procedure. read J. A. Bull’s The Framework of Fiction ( London: MacMillan. 1988 ) . Not until the 1950s was Charles Dickens widely considered by university modules as stuff for serious literary survey. But if one is to judge by the measure of scholarly attending to Dickens’s novels and their prominence in the university course of study around the universe today. Charles Dickens’s illustriousness as an creative person of the English linguistic communication is assured. One of the chief mistakes found in Dickens’s art has been the copiousness of mawkishness. defined as false emotion or emotion that is inordinate to the state of affairs at manus. forced or overdone. Dickens is the maestro of the sentimental. particularly in the contexts of adult females and kids. the hapless. love. and household ties. Pathos. excessively. plays a big function in the sentimental. The hapless we look down upon in the sense of feeling sorry for. as opposed to experiencing with. or empathic. Great Expectations eludes definition. It is neither genuinely amusing nor tragic. It has elements of the love affair. and it can be seen as a fairy narrative. Indeed. it seems to be a fairy narrative wherein a bad want is fulfilled and so the wisher hopes for a reversal of that fulfilment. It is surely a novel about the booby traps of turning up.

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It is an look of psychological pragmatism as it describes the transformative journey toward casting the tarriance guilt and shame of childhood. Of what is immature Pip guilty? Possibly he is merely guilty of being a male child. He is an orphan who is taught that he is a load to his sister ; he is hence guilty of being orphaned. guilty of his parents’ deceases. Pip’s quest for money and breeding. excessively. caused by the mercenary society in which he lives. can be a beginning of guilt. Dickens’s wide wit is ever employed in the service of societal unfavorable judgment. It is the person that Dickens loved ; he detested oppressive and corrupt establishments. With wit. viz. in the signifier of sarcasm. he fiercely took on the turning philistinism of the province and hence the people of 19th century England. He is looked to as one of the greatest reformists of his twenty-four hours. Even cherished and sacred establishments such as matrimony did non get away his critical examination. Whatever and nevertheless much is written about Dickens. it is the experience of reading his plants that endears him to us.

His prose explodes with an steeping energy that carries us into his universe and sustains us there with kaleidoscopic images. We envision a view of the animate and the inanimate ; we indulge in a connexion between reader and character. between reader and topographic point. between reader and action that arises before us. around us. as a tangible ambiance that we retain everlastingly. “Dickens’s England” suggests a specific historic period and civilization about every bit strongly as the phrase “the Victorian period. ” Great Expectations was begun in 1860. at the tallness of Victorian optimism. England was flashing its wealth and spread outing its rule around the universe. Its “expectations” were non simply “great. ” they were boundless. Therefore Great Expectations. with its moral form showing the futility of nescient secular aspirations and its classical and scriptural equation of sorrow with wisdom. constitutes an oblique but dark discourse to a people who thought they could mount to heaven by constructing a tower or gold.

Suggested Further Readings

Leavis. F. R. and Q. D. Dickens the Novelist. London: Chatto and Windus. 1970. Schwarzbzch. F. S. Dickens and the City. London: The Athloone. 1979. Smith. Grahame. Dickens. Money. and Society. Berkeley: University of California. 1968.

Written Assignment

Choose one of the undermentioned subjects and compose a 2 to 3 page essay.
1. Discuss Dickens’s usage of symbolism in the novel.
2. Compare and contrast two characters in the novel.
3. Discuss an of import subject in the novel.
4. Discourse the importance of a minor character in the novel.
5. Pip as an grownup tells us about the significance of the manner he was brought up. Remark on his dependability. You might concentrate. for illustration. on Pip’s recollections of his love for Estella.
6. Analyze the “pathetic” in the novel as opposed to the “empathetic. ”
7. One critic says that Great Expectations is Dickens’s repentance for subservience to false values. Explain that.
8. Some say that the Victorian novel’s intent was to reenforce readers’ credence of the position quo. Refute that. demoing how Great Expectations is insurgent sociologically.

English 1 H

Journal/Reading Log

As you read Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. you should maintain a journal/reading log. This will construct your vocabulary and will assist you to
reappraisal rapidly for tests and treatments. You may utilize the same diary you used for your first fresh diary if you like. Please utilize a coiling notebook or one that is bound for your diary. Use blue or black ink merely. Your diary will be due the same twenty-four hours the paper is due. Tuesday. June 1. Your diary should be divided into the undermentioned subdivisions:


As you read each set of chapters. compose any ideas or thoughts you may hold. Make certain you have many remarks and inquiries. non merely one or two.


Briefly sum up each set of chapters:

Chapters 1-10
Chapters 11-20
Chapters 21-30
Chapters 31-40
Chapters 41-50
Chapters 51-59

Fictional characters

Jot down the names and a brief description of any new characters that are introduced in the set of chapters. Besides remark on any alterations former characters experience.


Finally. for each set of chapters. jot down any words with which you are non familiar. Subsequently look up the definitions to these words. and compose them in your journal—a lower limit of five words per set of chapters ; you need to include the parts of address. ( Remember a good vocabulary is a cardinal to success. ) There were rather a few subjects associated with the narrative Great Expectations. One of the most delicious subjects dealt with “infatuation and how it compares to and relates to love. Infatuation is fundamentally an compulsion of a individual. There is truly no specific ground behind their infatuation. therefore this feeling is frequently a short period of clip. The individual doesn’t know what these feelings are. this is usually why they mistake it for love. Love. on the other manus. is an strong affectionate apprehensiveness for another individual. You can measure the difference between love and infatuation with the stating “All that glisters is non gold” . the glister psychotic belief being infatuation and the gold being love. the existent thing. As a individual grows up and experiences their ideas with many other people. the difference between love and infatuation becomes clearer.

This is because the individual can compare feelings they have felt in the yesteryear. with their present feelings. In Great Expectations we notice how Pip’s captivation for Estella is “short in duration” . as most infatuations are. Even though Estella is chesty and rude. Pip is non merely enamored with her good expressions and wealths. but besides about envies it. In fact the embarrassment Estella puts Pip through. causes Pip to experience really lowly of himself and the manner he has been brought up. It makes Pip’s outlooks to alter from anticipating to be Joe’s blacksmith novitiate. to analyzing to develop into a gentleman noticed and accepted by Estella. As old ages pass. Estella continues to play with Pip’s bosom. and Pip continues to wholly still have feelings for her. Later. Estella marries a adult male named Bently Drummle. merely doing Pip to. yet once more. squeal his love to Estella. Estella tells Pip “I know what you mean as signifier of words. but nil more. ” ( Dickens. 892 ) She knows what Pip is seeking to state her. but she doesn’t see how he could love her.

Apart from of that. and the fact that Estella is to be married. Pip still continues to woolgather about Estella. Soon. Pip starts to derive cognition about her. and her yesteryear. from Miss Havisham. These negotiations with Pip aids make Miss Havisham into a kinder and happier person. He feels that he can non win Estella. and that the universe around him has changed. Pip decides to suggest to Biddy. He doesn’t even have a ground to get married Biddy. except for the fact that he feels a failure and misplaced. and weak. However. in his hunt to look her. he finds another thing. He is shocked that Biddy is already married. to Joe! Pip leaves non yet accepting with neither Biddy nor Joe. Several old ages after that. Pip pays a visit to see Joe and Biddy. He eventually settles everything with them and run into their boy. small Pip. This shows that Pip has matured. and is prepared to get down a fresh. happier start with the people from his yesteryear. Soon after. Pip goes to the Satis House and sees Estella after so many old ages. For the first clip. he saw the defeated. softened visible radiation of one time proud eyes. and felt the friendly touch of so one time insensible manus ( Dickens 935 ) . Of class this means Estella has changed excessively.

Her experience with her unsuccessful matrimony with Drummle has taught her how it feels to be hurt. Being tormented so many old ages was a stronger effect than Miss Havisham’s instructions. These experiences have given her the bosom to acknowledge what Pip’s bosom once was. Even though it is non certain whether the two characters do finally fall in love. in the terminal they both have found a province of contentment. Another good illustration of a character’s experience separating love and infatuation is with Dickens’ character. Biddy. Though Pip has ever seen his relationship with Biddy as brother and sister like. Biddy has seen it in a whole different manner. She has ever had a enormous crush on Pip. but she doesn’t truly know why she feels this manner about him. Possibly it’s because they grew up with one another. and exhausted clip with one another. but she truly has no definite reply. These factors allow this crush to seemingly fall under the class of infatuation. Throughout most of Great Expectations she tries to prosecute Pip. but he ne’er falls for her.

The ground being that he’s non merely non interested in Biddy. but besides because he is continually seeking to be the sort of gentlemen that will do Estella notice him. To add to that he leaves for London. These actions made by Pip finally become factors that make Biddy recognize that the “strong” feelings that Pip has for Estella will ever be a portion of his character. She will ever keep a topographic point in his bosom. This besides makes Biddy recognize she truly has no definite ground why she likes Pip so much. Meanwhile. with Pip gone. Biddy and Joe find that they have more clip to pass with one another. Biddy teaches Joe to read and compose. With their relationship at a higher degree. they realize they portion many of the same values and ethical motives.

This causes the two characters to get down to go closer. Biddy’s experiences with Pip and Joe has made her recognize what love and happiness truly is. and she finds those feelings in Joe. In decision. love and infatuation have both their positive and negative effects. Infatuation may misdirect you to believe that’s you’re in love. But most significantly it provides “experience for people to turn and larn about what sort of qualities they cherish and what sort of people they like to pass clip with” ( “Infatuation” ) . Infatuation besides teaches us that it is genuinely what is in the interior that counts. In the long tally. it is what is skin deep supports that keeps old feelings seem so new. As both of the relationships analyzed above show. infatuation helps you realize that passion without ground is merely a waste of clip. So. why settee for all that glisters. when you can hold gold?


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