Great Expectations Study Guide

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THE GLENCOE LITERATURE LIBRARY

Study Guide for Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Meet Charles Dickens
In addition to writing short stories and novels, Dickens wrote essays and journalistic pieces, and edited a weekly periodical filled with fiction, poetry, and essays. First titled Household Words, the magazine was later retitled All the Year Round. Dickens contributed to this publication several serialized novels, including Great Expectations, and writings on political and social issues. Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He was the second child and eldest son of eight children. Dickens’s father, who worked as a clerk in the Navy Pay Office, was a spendthrift who often mismanaged the family money. In 1822 the family moved to London and soon found itself in financial crisis. The family was forced to live in poverty, and Dickens was no longer able to go to school. One of the most traumatic periods of his life began in February 1824, when his father was sent to debtors prison. Young Dickens, only twelve years old, was forced to go to work for several months pasting labels on bottles. This experience was painful and socially humiliating to him, and images of the factory haunted him for the rest of his life. These images provided a backdrop to much of his fiction, which often focused on class issues; the plight of the poor and oppressed; and lost, suffering children. As an adult, he championed social and political causes designed to help the poor, prisoners, and children. Dickens became a reporter in 1832, and in 1833 he began publishing short stories and essays. In 1836 he married Catherine Hogarth. The couple had ten children, but their marriage was unhappy and ended in 1858. Dickens’s successful career as a novelist began in 1837 with the publication of The Pickwick Papers. Other novels include A Christmas Carol,…...

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...Dickens’s Demonstration of Social Class According to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, a religious text in Sikhism, “What good is social class and status? Truthfulness is measured within. Pride in one’s status is like poison- holding it in your hand and eating it, you shall die.” Charles Dickens, a famous author from Victorian England, shares a message very similar to this with his book Great Expectations. Although some people are born better off than others, Charles Dickens demonstrates through his portrayal of Miss Havisham, Magwitch, and Pip that social class should never measure one’s character, esteem, or happiness. Dickens criticizes the idea that a person’s social class displays an accurate representation of his or her character. Many of the upper class citizens in Great Expectations seem cruel and lack compassion, while the lower class act loving and kind. Wealthy Miss Havisham portrays this. The first time Pip enters Satis House, he notices her obvious lack of morals and empathy. When he meets Miss Havisham in her dressing room, Pip immediately observes, “I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre, and was faded and yellow. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes,” (Dickens 59). The original “white” color of the dress represents innocence and happiness, both characteristics of which......

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...tions How does Dickens use of setting suit the characters of Magwitch and Mrs Havisham to the places they inhabit? Born on 7th February 1812, dickens lived through a time when social status was seen to be incredibly important. His book, “Great Expectations”, reflects on social status by showing what it does to people and that it is not as important as it seems. It takes us on a journey through a young, common labouring boys life into becoming an upper class Gentlemen. In Pips journey, there a two people that play a big role enabling him to become high in society. These two people are “Mrs Havisham” and “Magwitch”. Mrs Havisham has high social status living in a big house with money and all you could ever ask for. The name of her house is “satis house” which sounds like an abbreviated version of satisfaction. It gives the reader a sense of whoever living here has everything and no longer needs anything else, they are completely satisfied with life. Ironically, this is not the case with Mrs Havisham. She is completely unsatisfied with life. As a result of this she has become a very strange woman who has never left the house in more than 10 years. Besides the name, the house is very suited to Mrs Havisham. The house is made of and described as “of old brick and dismal”. In a sense, this is also a statement about Mrs Havisham. She is not made of old brick but she is refusing to move on and must stay as the “old brick“ and that she has also turned cold like bricks . Her......

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...Jamie Hupfer 818 Shady Street Oak Tree Town, Florida 33808 10 February 2007 Date Irini Plantenberg Mr. Jake Greer Director of Customer Service for Liftoff Airways Title of recipient 44 Take Flight Way Soaring, Nebraska 27021 Dear u; I just got done reading this wonderful book and i just thought you should read it, If you liked Catcher In The Rye you will love great expectations by charles dickinson. Some of the similarities are that Great expectations is written in standard English with many colloquial and archaic words. As with catcher in the rye, written in American English and also has many colloquial words and is also written as if the main character is speaking (first person narrative) directly to you. Another similarity is that both are fictional autobiographies, narrated personally by the protagonists. Also Both novels are viewed as the protagonists revisiting their past experiences and passing them on to the reader. Some of the differences are the age difference between the two boys, Pip is 7-8 years of age while Holden is 15-16. Another big diffrenece is Great Expectations is a full life story, and you can tell by the very beginning, Pip starts by giving us a full background description of his self and his family, . Holden, on the other hand starts with the very quote " If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and......

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...Nick Vargas Great Expectations On Christmas Eve, young Pip, an orphan being raised by his sister and her husband, encounters a frightening man in the village churchyard. The man, a convict who has escaped from a prison ship, scares Pip into stealing him some food and a file to grind away his leg shackle. This was perhaps the first of Pips many dishonest acts. It gives Pip, who must steal the goods from his sister's house, his first taste of true guilt, and, secondly, Pip's kindness warms the convict's heart. The convict, however, waits many years to truly show his gratitude. | At his sister's house, Pip is a boy without expectations. Mrs. Joe beats him around and has nothing good to say about her little brother. Her husband Joe is a kind man, although he is a blacksmith without much ambition, and it's assumed that Pip will follow in his footsteps. Only when Pip gets invited unexpectedly to the house of a rich old woman in the village named Miss Havisham, does Mrs. Joe, or any of her dull acquaintances, hold out any hope for Pip's success. Indeed, Pip's visits to Miss Havisham change him. Miss Havisham is an old woman who was abandoned on her wedding day and has, as a result, given up on life. She wears a yellowed wedding gown and haunts around her decrepit house, her only companion being Estella, her adopted daughter. Estella is beautiful, and Pip develops a strong crush on her, a crush that turns into love as he grows older. But it is unrequited love,...

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Great Expectations

...“My convict looked ound him for the first time, and saw me . . . I looked at him eagerly when he looked at me, and slightly moved my hands and shook my head”( ).The book Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Pip, a young orphan living with his sister and her husband in the marshes of Kent, sits in a cemetery one evening looking at his parents’ tombstones. Suddenly, an escaped convict springs up from behind a tombstone, grabs Pip, and orders him to bring him food and a file for his leg irons. Pip obeys, but the fearsome convict is soon captured anyway. The convict protects Pip by claiming to have stolen the items himself. Pip soughts(adj) to become a gentleman. Pip was ascertain a benefactor which he thought was an old lady name Ms.Havisham, Pip’s real benefactor was a convict name Magwitch who he never would have thought would be his benefactor. After Pip found who his real benefactor was he reacted different towards a lot situations regarding Magwitch. Great Expectations had many examples of irony. Irony is when something goes differently then expected. In the novel Charles Dickens used irony when Ms.Havisham regrets what she had done to Estella, when he revealed Estella’s parents, and Magwitch being Pip’s benefactor. Afterward ,Molly and Magwitch being Estella parents were very ironic. “Dear Magwitch I must tell you, no what last you understand what I say? A gentle pressure of my hand” You had child once, whom you loved and lost “A stranger pressure on my hand.” She...

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