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Analysis of Dickens Great Expectations

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           Dickens Great Expectations

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                           Dickens/ Great Expectations

       Great   Expectations     is     a   novel   by   Charles     Dickens     first

serialized in All the Year Round from 1 December 1860 to August

1861. The action of the story takes place from Christmas Eve,

1812, when the protagonist is about seven years old, to the

winter of 1840.

       Great Expectations is written in a semi-autobiographical

style, and is the story of the orphan Pip, writing his life from

his early days of childhood until adulthood. The story can also

be considered semi-autobiographical of Dickens, like much of his

work, drawing on his experiences of life and people.

       The    story   is   divided     into    three    phases     of   Pip's   life

expectations. The first "expectation" is allotted 19 chapters,

and the other two 20 chapters each in the 59-chapter work. In

some editions, the chapter numbering reverts to Chapter One in

each expectation, but the original publication and most modern

editions number the chapters consecutively from one to 59. At

the end of chapters 19 and 39, readers are formally notified

that   they    have   reached    the       conclusion   of   a    phase   of    Pip's
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expectations.           In       the    first       expectation,           Pip    lives         a   humble

existence with his ill-tempered older sister and her strong but

gentle husband, Joe Gargery. Pip is satisfied with this life and

his warm friends until he is hired by an embittered wealthy

woman, Miss Havisham, as an occasional companion to her and her

beautiful but haughty adopted daughter, Estella. From that time

on,    Pip    aspires            to    leave       behind      his    simple      life      and       be   a

gentleman.         After         years       as     companion         to    Miss      Havisham            and

Estella, he spends more years as an apprentice to Joe, so that

he may grow up to have a future working as a blacksmith. This

life is suddenly turned upside down when he is visited by a

London attorney, Mr. Jaggers, who informs Pip that he is to come

into    the       "great         expectations"            of     handsome        property           and    be

trained      to     be       a    gentleman         on     the       behalf      of   an    anonymous


       The second stage of Pip's expectations has Pip in London,

learning the details of being a gentleman, having tutors, fine

clothing,         and    joining             cultured       society.        Whereas        he        always

engaged      in     honest            labour       when    he    was       younger,        he       now    is

supported by a generous allowance, which he frequently lives

beyond. He learns to fit in this new milieu, and experiences not

only friendship but rivalry as he finds himself in the same

circles      as    Estella,            who    is    also       pursued     by    many      other      men,

especially Bentley Drummle, whom she favours. As he adopts the
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physical and cultural norms of his new status, he also adopts

the class attitudes that go with it, and when Joe comes to visit

Pip and his friend and roommate Herbert to deliver an important

message, Pip is embarrassed to the point of hostility by Joe's

unlearned ways, despite his protestations of love and friendship

for Joe. At the end of this stage, Pip is introduced to his

benefactor, again changing his world.

       The third and last stage of Pip's expectations alters Pip's

life from the artificially supported world of his upper class

strivings and introduces him to realities that he must deal

with,   including   moral,      physical   and   financial    challenges.       He

learns startling truths that cast into doubt the values that he

once embraced so eagerly, and finds that he cannot regain many

of the important things that he had cast aside so carelessly.

Pip was a young boy and having absorbed the first shock of the

convict's coming, Pip considers what he must do to deal with the

convict's    presence,    considering      the    dangers     they     both    are

facing. He and Herbert no longer have a servant, but they have a

nosy    cleaning   lady   and    her   niece,    so   Pip   resolves    to    tell

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