Great expectations by Ch. Dickens

19th century

Great anticipations

By Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870) was an English writer whose works are distinguished by social criticism and is considered one of the greatest novelists of the Victorian era.

Great expectations by Charles Dickens

It is reported that some of the characters in Dickens’ fiction novels are inspired by his personal experiences and his various works focus on the unbearable harsh social conditions in the Victorian era suffered by the working class. The events take place in the cities of England and after the villages.

The novel contains three volumes and 554 pages that one cannot help but enjoy reading.

At nightfall near the marshes, Pip goes to visit his parents’ grave, and meets a prisoner who wears handcuffs. Pip was so afraid of this unknown man who was so mean to him.

The hungry prisoner threatened to kill the little boy if he did not bring him food or if he reported the event. Pip got back home and managed to find some food and a tool to enable the prisoner to unload the chains. Fortunately,the sister hasn’t found out what Pip had stolen from the kitchen.

Pip and Joe attended the prisoner tracking organised by the soldiers. The convict was found and was put into a small boat. Did Pep report to his family? An exchange of looks between the convict and Pip proves that the latter was brave and supportive of the prisoner. This work, inspired by both pity and fear, as we shall see later, will be greatly rewarded.

The temperamental sister, despite her stubbornness, and her sympathetic blacksmith husband Joe nurtured the orphan Pip. And he worked as an apprentice with Joe the thing that the humble blacksmith rejoiced in.

Pip started to come to Mrs. Havisham’s house and got used to these visits, and she asked him to entertain her. He also began to learn to read and write and was a passionate learner. Pip met Estella for the first time and fell in love with her, but she showed arrogance and sarcasm towards him, which hurt his feelings and even raised his fear he would be harmed by her.

On the left, Charles Dickens. On the right, Queen Victoria


Among the dreams that Pip had is to become a gentleman. He paid a visit to Miss Havisham to thank her for her services, and at her home he met Herbert, who will become his best friend, the kind man who would come to his aid when Pip was in adversity. Pip did Herbert a favour, who was preoccupied with his future career. The reader should know that Miss Avisham is an elderly woman whose marriage was set to fail: her would-be husband was only interested in her fortune and separated on the day of the wedding. This partly explains her bitterness and whims. Estella has been adopted and raised according to morally critical principles that induced her to seduce men and play with their feelings. For a long time and in all societies, writers, poets, playwrights, etc. dealt extensively with seduction and sought to illustrate it with fictional characters. Dickens paints a physical and moral portrait of Estella. Her beauty dazzles Pip, but he has to succumb to her whims.
It seems that Pip’s dream of becoming a gentleman has come true. In fact, Mr. Jaggers, the lawyer, met him, told him and stressed that a benefactor, who asked to remain anonymous, would provide him with money to achieve his goal. Distressed and nostalgic, Pip leaves the home of his sister and brother-in-law Joe to go to London. And there he lives somewhere with his friend Herbert and another tenant who does not agree with him at all, but rather hates him very much. Pip began to get used to living in London and after a few months, he returned to Joe’s house after learning of his sister’s death, attended the funeral and then returned to London again. Pip complains without exaggeration about his « miserable life ». He had to take out a lot of debt on the basis of his future wealth. Is this rational behaviour? He is under pressure from creditors. Pip is in love. The writer describes the heartbreaking scene brilliantly, in which Pip first admonishes and blames Mrs. Havisham and secondly appeals to Estella to love him or at least to abandon her marriage to the man he detests most. Estella refused and said calmly and indifferently to Pip’s pain that the marriage had taken place. Pip left the place heartbroken. Something so disturbing happened that Pip won’t be able to deal with


Among the people who, during his childhood, Pip knew in his village for a long time, the writer mentions Biddy, an orphan girl like him, and their relationship developed into a close friendship. Biddy taught Pip to read and moved to Gargery Joe’s house for help when his wife died. The convict visited Pip on a stormy night (see pp. 361-362 of the novel) The reader should know that the fugitive who returned from his travels abroad is the man whom Pep helped by providing him with some food and a tool for cutting his chain: see Part (1/3). Pip is confused and does not know how to deal with the return of the convict whom he once met as a child in the marsh. It turns out that the convict is a benefactor of Pip. The unexpected turn of events caused Pip to be disappointed and surprised and even afraid to get involved. Pip visits Miss Avisham whose clothes caught fire while they were talking. Pip burns his arm as he intervenes to save the old lady. Pip and his friend Herbert had no alternative but to come up with an escape plan for the donor who pretended to be Provis or Magwitch. He expressed his deep appreciation and gratitude to Pip. There was scheme consisting of sending him abroad in a boat, and maybe Pip would go with him. However, the day before this adventure, Pip received a note from a stranger asking him to come urgently to a certain place at night. In fact, poor Pip was tricked because the man was one of the despicable and brutal workers that Joe got rid of. It was this wretch who had committed the crime of striking Joe’s wife by surprise on the back of her neck. The victim, who had not shown any sympathy for this savage before, never recovered. Fortunately, Pip escaped death thanks to the intervention of people living in the village and his close friend Herbert. Without this rescue, Provis’ escape plan would have failed and the consequences would have been dire, to say the least. Pip learned that the criminal responsible for his sister’s poor health had been thrown into prison.
Provis the benefactor was injured while the escape plan was being carried. His days are numbered. Pip was by his bed and told him about his wife and and daughter. It’s Estella. Provis died. Pip fell ill immediately after the death of the benefactor. He was alone in his room, and when he woke up one morning he found with indescribable joy and deep relief that Joe was there. The reader should note that Joe was not mentioned yet. Pip has completely forgotten his village and Joe who whom he loves so much. Pip expresses remorse but Joe remains the same: caring, tolerant and affectionate. Joe returns early to the village, leaving a short message. Pip is glad that Joe learned to write thanks to Biddy. Pip returns to his home village and discovers that Joe and Biddy are getting married, and this news makes him happy.
Pip has never forgotten Estella, whose marriage was a fiasco. He made one last visit to the Miss Havisham’s. However, the house was destroyed after her death. There he met someone who inflames his feelings, Estella. She got married a second time. He showed no resentment and agreed to be her friend. Pip returned to London, and met his friend Herbert, whose business has flourished. Pip was hired as a clerk by his friend and was able to pay back the rest of his debts knowing that Joe had already paid part of it. Unlucky Pip: He, as the beneficiary, would not receive any inheritance from the deceased convict Provis given the Victorian law. This is how Pep’s story ends.

Auteur : Salahdnl

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