Great Expectations

The hero is an orphan raised in humble surroundings, in the early decades of the nineteenth century, comes into a fortune, and promptly disavows family and friends.
When the fortune first loses its lustre, then evaporates completely, he confronts his own ingratitude, and learns to love the man who both created and destroyed him.
The story is told by the hero himself, and the challenge Dickens faced in devising this first-person narrative was two-fold.
He had to ensure that Pip・s confession of his faults ring true, so that we do not suppose him to be admitting them merely in order to win our sympathy. And he had to validate Pip・s redemption by showing that it produces good deeds as ...

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a little too thickly, and times when he appears desperate for our approval. By and large, though, he is hard on himself to exactly the right (the convincing) degree.
The proof of Pip・s redemption lies in good deeds rather than good words.: his secret acts of kindness, in securing Herbert a partnership in Clarricker・s, and in securing Miss Havisham・s good opinion of the long-suffering Matthew Pocket; his final refusal to accept money from MH, or from Magwitch; and, most significantly, his love for Magwitch.
The last of these good deeds, and the one hardest for the writer to authenticate, is made piercingly vivid by a subtle modification of narrative technique. This occurs in Vol III ch. XV, which describes the attempt to spirit Magwitch away down the Thames. Here, for the only time in the novel, the first-person narrative ceases to be Pip・s way of thinking, however, honestly, about himself, and becomes instead an act of attention to others, and to the ...

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with Magwitch・s bitter enemy, Compeyson. Orlick, in short, seems embarked on some great expectations of his own, sullenly tracking Pip・s upward progress from the marshes to Satis House and on to London. Pip cannot rid himself of this obscene shadow.
In Vol III, Orlick lures Pip to an abandoned sluice-house on the marshes, meaning not only to kill him, but to overwhelm him with accusations. Pip, he claims, has thwarted him at every turn. But the charge he makes with the greatest conviction is that Pip bears the ultimate responsibility of Mrs. Joe・s death, even though he himself struck the fatal blow. :But it warn・t old Orlick as did it; it was you. You was favoured, and he was ...

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Great Expectations. (2008, March 29). Retrieved March 31, 2020, from
"Great Expectations.", 29 Mar. 2008. Web. 31 Mar. 2020. <>
"Great Expectations." March 29, 2008. Accessed March 31, 2020.
"Great Expectations." March 29, 2008. Accessed March 31, 2020.
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Added: 3/29/2008 11:46:47 PM
Category: English
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1712
Pages: 7

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