Great Expectations Dickens Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

imprisoned angle of human character Charles Dickens has presented in his novel Great Expectations mainly through its central and self inspired character of Pip.

Great Expectations (Dickens)

Charles Dickens is without a doubt one of the most finest and hugely admired of the British 19th century writers. To this popularity two factors mainly contributed, the first being the quality his writing. Secondly his work was widely adapted for both the stage and the screen. Additionally the writer was involved in an extremely triumphant second career as a public performer in recitals of extracts from his own writings. Great Expectations presents the world from an imprisoned angle.

With the book being titled Great Expectations the confidence within the writer surfaces along with the standard he has set for himself. The mastermind that Charles Dickens was it in unlikely that he selected the title as part of a marketing gimmick. It is rather more likely that the author felt within him the talent and capacity to meet such a benchmark. As history showed, the novel one of the shorter writing of Charles Dickens turned out to be one of the most influential.

The narrator and main character in the novel is Philip Pirrip, more commonly referred to as Pip. He lives with his sister and her husband Joe. The latter is painted to be a thoughtful and kind man who was very fair Pip. It is Joe who has build within Pip the characteristics of friendliness, loyalty, sincerity along with high moral values. With age Pip even though financially weak grooms to be a man of good traits and values.

When Pip is introduced to Miss Havisham's adopted daughter, Estella he immediately falls in love, but is imprisoned by the complexes of his financial standing and lack of social stature. On one hand is the very financially well off and beautiful Estella and on the other is himself. The balance between the two he feels is improper. He is humiliated by his standing within society and longs to be monetarily prosperous.

According to the way Pip visions the situation he needs to reach beyond his common mans standing and attain financial fluency. Money be believes is the first step. Once rich social standing will automatically come by. Once he has reached this stage he feels winning Estella's heart will be easy. This is Charles Dickens way of showing his character imprisoned by his own self and surrounding circumstances. Furthermore he delves into the impact of these complexes.

Pip's life turns on its head when an anonymous benefactor provides money and the opportunity to Pip to reside and be educated in London. According to Pip's imaginative mind the benefactor is none other than Miss Havisham. He imagines that she has decided to invest in Pip's life so that eventually she can marry Estella to him. Here another angle of Pip appears jailed. This time it is his dreams that have confined his imagination to only think in one direction. The world apart from Miss. Havisham and Estella are no longer apparent to him and even if they are visible they no longer matter.

To pursue his longing for Estella, Pip leaves his hometown in the next few days. He has great expectations from himself, i.e., to be able to achieve a life far superior than one he is living now. Once in London the fall of Pip's character begins soon. He becomes gluttonous, self-seeking and daft. Pip's aspirations for material gain create ambiguity in his life and huge debts. Here the imprisonment of his character by his love for Estella is obvious.

This incarceration of his childhood values as taught by Joe and love for Estella have made him a new man who lives life differently to say the least. His love and admiration for others is also suffocated. It was not just that he had lost his moral values but also respect for Joe. When Joe comes to London to meet Pip the conversation between the two men is very brief. Even though Joe's visit is short, Pip is able to identify and acknowledge the strong moral character and instantly recognizable decorum of Joe a small part of which was once part of Joe's character.

With Joe, a common man making an impact on Pip the chains of imprisonment seem to be becoming loose. When Pip looks deeper into his character in an attempt to search for his concessions it became evident to him what he is morally lacking. It began to grow on him that he has not been able to attain anything of significance to him in his life. Moreover, he begins to think that he would have been better off had be not met Miss Havisham and rather remained business partners with his bother-in-law, Joe.

Gradually his mental constraints begin to break and it becomes more visible to him that money brought no form of contentment or pleasure to him. To further enhance the process of breaking free Pip finds out that the financial support and opportunity to live and study in London had not been sponsored by Miss Havisham but rather by Magwitch. He was a criminal that had stressed and fraught Pip when he was a young boy. Initially fear and disbelieve set on him, a shadow of his captive past, but as Magwitch begins to narrate his own past Pip becomes more comfortable and believing.

One important aspect that Magwitch reveals to him is his abhorrence for a man named Compeyson who has been attempting to and is still determined to kill him. Here Magwitch is shown to be a caged man. The threat to his life has eaten away his freedom and allowed the fear of death to seep in. Now that Pip has been able to attain emotional freedom Charles Dickens shows him in a position to help others.

When Pip finds out that Compeyson is London he feels the want to help Magwitch escape to protection. To be able to help Magwitch he had to see what he was today and rather than what he had been in the past. Pip successfully takes this leap. While making a failed effort to escape, Magwitch kills Compeyson and is brutally wounded and hurt himself also.

Pip felt a responsibility towards his benefactor, Magwitch. In recognition of what Magwitch had done for Pip, Pip stays with him in the hospital. Here Pip informs Magwitch that his daughter Estella is still alive. Despite the efforts to save Magwitch he dies. Post his death Pip is taken into custody by the authorities for his unpaid debts. He is not however put in jail owing to bad health. At this point Joe comes to his rescues and nurse him back to health. Not just this but Joe also pays off his debts. In this way Joe supports Pip to resume the values that were once part of his character.

Once Pip has regained his health the two men, Pip and Joe undertake a rebuilding process. A route to recreate and re-establish their relationship. The two spend time conversing and in the process enjoying each others company. Pip remains with Joe till he has fully regained health and then leaves Joe with his new wife, Biddy to enjoy time. This time he that he had spend with Joe had a lasting effect on Pip mentally.

Through the time Pip had spend with Joe he was not only able to identify the powerfully morality in the latter's character but was also able to comparatively analyse his own values. This helped him mould his character further after he left. The most important lesson he learned was that financial ease and social stature were meaningless and useless if the individual lacked strong values and honesty.

At this point certain analogy must…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Great Expectations Dickens" (2004, May 02) Retrieved October 28, 2016, from

"Great Expectations Dickens" 02 May 2004. Web.28 October. 2016. <>

"Great Expectations Dickens", 02 May 2004, Accessed.28 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Great Expectations Dickens Judges His Characters Not

    Great Expectations Dickens judges his characters not on social position or upbringing but on their treatment of one another Character, class and social status in Great Expectations The world in which Charles Dickens wrote was one in which class and social status was a determining factor in establishing the quality of an individual's life. Social status was an element of nineteenth century society, like the legal system, that Dickens continually exposed

  • Great Expectations Appearance vs Reality in Great

    Great Expectations Appearance vs. Reality in Great Expectations In Great Expectations Pip is frequently affected, effected and influenced by appearances. The very nature of his life is dictated by his view of the appearance of others and his own self and outward appearances. The work itself demonstrates a major theme associated with not judging by appearance as it simultaneously demonstrates how much those very appearances actually mean to the individual characters and

  • Great Expectations Charles Dickens Novel

    Howard Bloom, a literary critic notes, "That is, Dickens portrays Havisham and the convict as social products who self-defeatingly embrace the ideology of the class that has unjustly destroyed their innocence and happiness" (Bloom 258). Estella is another example. She is a member of the upper class, a ward of Miss Havisham, but she is really the child of a convict and a cold, calculating woman who only manipulates

  • Great Expectations Passage for Analysis

    The man was limping on towards this latter, as if he were the pirate come to life, and come down, and going back to hook himself up again. It gave me a terrible turn when I thought so; and as I saw the cattle lifting their heads to gaze after him, I wondered whether they thought so too. I looked all round for the horrible young man, and could

  • Charles Dickens Great Expectations Is a Novel

    Charles Dickens' Great Expectations is a novel about the formation of the self in relation to childhood. In this tale, we are met by Pip, first a young boy taken under the wing of a felon who places him with a delusional old maid, then a snobbish young man with expectations of being a member of the aristocracy, and finally as a humbled man who has learned the lesson of

  • Dickens and Hypocrisy an Analysis of Dickens

    Dickens and Hypocrisy An Analysis of Dickens' Use of Arbitrary and Hypocritical Societies in His Works Jerome Meckier observes that "David Copperfield's lifestory could have been included among the hymns to self-advancement in Samuel Smiles's Self-Help" (Meckier 537). While Smiles' work was about the virtue of perseverance, Dickens did more than merely provide a literary backdrop for the sanctimonious espousal of Romantic/Enlightenment era virtue. Dickens used, rather, the arbitrary and hypocritical societies

  • Great Expectations and Oliver Twist

    Charles Dickens As the Child Is Brought Up Charles Dickens wrote tens of thousands of words in his life on a handful of subjects, returning again and again to the questions that first compelled him to write. These subjects -- primarily poverty and the ways in which its tentacles spread injustice through all levels of society -- are taken up in both Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. The two novels run in

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved