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Great Expectations By Charles Dickens Essay

2040 words - 9 pages

Biographical Information:
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812. He spent the first nine years of his life in Kent, England. When he was nine, his family moved to London. He was one of eight children and his family was deep in financial troubles. These financial troubles caused him to be withdrawn from school in 1824 and begin work in a boot-blacking factory when his entire family, except for Charles, was sent to a debtor’s prison for 3 months. After they were released, Dickens attended a private school for three years. After his education he became a solicitor’s clerk, mastered shorthand, and then became a Parliamentary reporter. In his early twenties Dickens began to publish ...view middle of the document...

Plot Overview:
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is a novel that focuses around the main character Pip, and his “great expectations” he has for his life. The novel begins when Pip is visiting his parent’s graves. He is an orphan who is raised by his sister, Mrs. Joe, and her husband Joe Gargery, the blacksmith. On his return home Pip runs into a convict who demands that Pip bring him food, water, and after learning that Joe is a blacksmith, a file to remove his handcuffs. The convict tells Pip that he has someone watching him and will get him if Pip doesn’t do what he asks. Pip is very frightened and runs back to his home. The next day Pip steals brandy, pork pie, and a file and brings it to the convict. On the way there he ran into a different convict. He believes that he was the main the original convict warned him about, but this was not the case. Pip is very worried that his secret will be discovered. Throughout the novel Pip seems to be always quality about something. He is terrified that his family will discover what he stole. While eating Christmas dinner guards enter the house. Pip believes that they have learned what he has done and are here for him; however, they learned that Joe was a blacksmith and need him to fix their handcuffs. When the convict is captured he lies for Pip and tells the guards he stole the file himself.
Pip’s Uncle Pumblechook informs him that he has arranged a play-date with Miss Havisham’s adopted daughter Estella. Miss Havisham lives in Satis house. Satis house is a decaying mansion that hasn’t change at all since the moment Miss Havisham learned that her fiancé abandoned her on her wedding day. Miss Havisham’s clocks are stopped at twenty minutes to nine. She wears her wedding dress every day and the wedding feast is untouched on the table. When Pip meets Estella he is immediately infatuated with her. Estella however doesn’t seem to care for Pip. She is very cold towards him and looks down on everything about him, from his social status to his clothes. Pip continues to visit and play with Estella for months with very little change in her demeanor towards him. However, one day he meets a boy in the Satis house garden who is wishing to fight. Pip punches him and Estella allows him to kiss her cheek, impressed by what he has done.
The entirety of Great Expectations is Pip wanting to become a gentleman to win Estella. Everything he does is for Estella’s love. He believes that Miss Havisham will pay for him to travel to London to become a gentleman. Instead she buys his apprenticeship with Joe at the forge. Pip is very disappointed with this outcome and suffers through it for years. He is miserable at the forge. He wants to become a gentleman and the last thing he wants to be doing is working there and being harassed by the other worker Orlick. Around this time Mrs. Joe is injured and has brain damage from being hit in the head. Biddy, a housekeeper around Pip’s age comes to live with and take care...

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