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Charles Dickens' Great Expectations - review

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Introduction

Great Expectations Charles Dickens' Great Expectations tells the powerful story of a young orphaned boy, Pip and his journey through childhood to adulthood, following the life changing events, which challenge him along the way. We see how he develops into a young man, engulfed in aspiring to achieve his ambitions. Lacking parental love and support due to an early death of his parents, he lives under the mercy of his elder sister Mrs Joe. An abrupt, hot-tempered woman lacking sympathy for others, viewing Pip as an unfortunate hindrance with which she is burdened. Her husband, Mr Joe Gargery, An uneducated Black Smith, has quite the opposite temperament to his wife. He appears rather inadequate in her presence, sharing the same childlike fear of her unusual female dominance as Pip, rather than daring to show his own male assertiveness. Pip forms a strong bond with Joe throughout his childhood. Pip is originally set to become an apprentice to Joe as a blacksmith. However, when he receives a request to attend to Miss Havisham at Satis House, an archetypical bride jilted at the alter. Mrs Joe sees it as a grand opportunity for Pip to earn his fortune. Upon his arrival to Satis House, the young and beautiful Estella greets Pip. Who is in the care of Miss Havisham. ...read more.

Middle

This of course inspires Pip's longing for her, although he is perfectly aware that there is a remaining distance between them where social status is concerned. When Miss Havisham decides that it is time to let Pip go, she gives him a sum of money for his apprentice ship to her and tells him to return to his original apprentice ship as a black smith. Pip, and Mr and Mrs Joe are slightly mystified by Miss Havisham, as they had been confident that she was to be pip's benefactor and make his fortune, yet this did not appear to be the case. After leaving Miss Havisham's, returning to the forge with Mr and Mrs Joe, Pip becomes restless, remaining discontented with his life and apprentice ship to Joe. Wanting to seek a better fortune aspiring to greater expectations... After Pip had remained at the forge for sometime, they received a visit from a respectable lawyer from London, named Mr Jaggers. Pip immediately recalled seeing him attending Miss Havisham's during his visits to Satis House, and concluded that he had been sent on her behalf. Mr Jaggers proceeded to inform Pip that he was to come into a "handsome property, and must be removed from his current sphere of life, and brought up as a gentleman with great expectations" " My dream was out; my wild fantasy was surpassed by sober reality; Miss Havisham was going to make my fortune on a grand scale." ...read more.

Conclusion

Without warning, long after Pip has become comfortable with his new life style, he receives a visit from an elderly gentleman. Pip is unable to recognise him, but is shocked to discover that he is an escaped convict, Magwitch whom Pip had helped as a young child, by bringing him food and not betraying him. He is astonished to be informed that as a repayment, it was the convict whom had been his benefactor, and not the suspected Miss Havisham as he had been lead to believe. This is an extraordinary twist in the book, but a truly successful one, which is not divulged until the last moment. I appreciate how Pip had been lead to think Miss Havisham as his benefactor throughout, as their were multiple connections with her and her family and she never revealed to him the true source of his fortune, but instead kept him alight with the possibility that it maybe her, throughout his childhood. As an audience, we watched Pip develop from an insecure child, achieving his goals and dream of becoming a true gentleman, showing us how it is easy to become absorbed in the effects of wealth and social status, without realising the true source of our achievements. Charlotte Kingsley-Brooks English Course Work ...read more.

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