Great Expectations By: Alexander charles stewart

Great Expectations had many passages that described the events and direction of Pip's life.

"A great event in my life, the turning-point of my life, now opens on my view. But before I proceed to narrate it, and before I pass on to all the changes it involved, I must give one chapter to Estella. It is not much to give to the theme that so long filled my heart" (235). In this passage Pip is looking back as a man of some age. He is saying that there was a huge event in his life that was about to come, however he couldn't move on to talking about it because he had to talk more about Estella first. He believes he has to do this because she was the person he had be interested in for most of his life. I chose this one because it describes how much he cared about Estella, this girl was one of the largest parts of his life, she was his motivation for becoming a gentleman, and him becoming a gentleman was one of the largest parts of the story. Without Estella the story wouldn't be the same and Pip wouldn't have as much of an adventure to talk about.

"So, in my case; all the work, near and afar, that tended to the end, had been accomplished; and in an instant the blow was struck, and the roof of my stronghold dropped upon me" (245). This is a short couple of sentences, however they are an important metaphor. Pip's stronghold is everything he has worked for, in short becoming a gentleman and living a respectable life, and the blow was what was about to happen. The "work, near and afar" that Pip speaks of is everything he had done in his past, both at home and where he currently lived, in order to get to his current position. He chose the term stronghold because it was not yet a fully completed building, it was still just a strong base for the beautiful building he soon planned on having. That work included his interactions with his family and friends as well. The "blow" Pip mentions is the news he would soon receive that would change his entire life. The news he received was that the convict was his benefactor. I chose this passage because it shows how Pip felt when he got the news. What happened in that section was very easy to summarize but how Pip felt was not, but Pip's words as an old man described how he felt simply and perfectly.

"As I had grown accustomed to my expectations, I had insensibly begun to notice their effect upon myself and those around me. Their influences on my own character I disguised from my recognition as much as possible, but I knew very well that it was not all good... I used to think, with a with weariness on my spirits, that I should have been happier and better if I had never seen Miss Havisham's face, and had risen to manhood content to be partners with Joe in the honest old forge. Many a time of an evening, when I sat alone looking at the fire I thought, after all, there was no fire like the forge fire and the kitchen fire at home" (213).

Here Pip is beginning to think about becoming a gentleman and he wonders if this was for the best. When he says his expectations have had an effect on him he means he has slowly been changing due to his expectations of becoming a gentleman. He realizes that these expectations are changing his character and while in some ways this is good, like his higher intelligence, he knows that he hasn't been changed completely for the better. He starts to wonder if instead of being educated by Miss Havisham, and being raised in the forge, he would've ended up as a better person. He says that sometimes he looks at a fire and feels that it is nothing compared to the fires from his home. I chose this passage because it shows the regrets Pip has about becoming a gentleman. He starts feeling as though there is a chance he was better off without this adventure has has embarked on, to me that is a very important part of the story. The fact that he has gotten smarter as he has continued with his goals has also caused him a slight existential crisis.

At the end of part two of Great Expectations Pip has started rethinking everything he has done so far in his aspiration to become a gentleman. His feelings are all caused by the revelation of the convict being Pip's benefactor the entire time. He starts to wonder if he should continue being a gentleman, and he regrets being snobbish towards Joe and Biddy. He regrets it not only because he is good at heart but also because he now realizes that he truly wasn't going to be a higher level in society than those he once lived with because his money was coming from someone lower than him. He also realizes that he was not entitled to Estella as he thought. He went from a poor boy who wanted to be rich, to an aspiring gentleman who was embarrassed by his poor heritage and relations, to a confused young adult who has lost his compass of social standing completely.

Motifs from Great Expectations:

Tortured heart. This motif was found in Pip's interactions and feelings towards Estella, he found that he felt terrible around her but still yearned for her.

Regret. This motif comes into plat more during part two than part one, however it is still recurring. Pip tends to look back at most of his decisions and wish he had not taken them or rethink why he did what he did.

Strong characterization. Every character in this story has had very unique personalities, no character seems to truly be just an average person.

A theme for this story could be: Childhood dreams don't tend to be as simple and easy as a child expects them to be.

Created By
Alex Stewart


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