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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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In his novel, Great Expectations, Charles Dickens uses the theme of being happy without changing who one truly is. The main focus of this theme is on Pip, the most important person in the novel who undergoes many changes to try to make others happy. After going through many hardships and dealing with multiple disappointments, Pip realizes that he is not making himself happy and eventually turns into a genuinely good man.

From the moment the reader begins the novel, much sympathy is felt for the caring, harmless boy known as Pip. This is mainly due to the fact that Pip’s parents are “dead and buried” and that he orphan has “never seen any likeness of either of them”(Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, p.1). One night while visiting the cemetery, Pip runs into a convict by the name of Abel Magwitch, and starts being threatened by him. Pip is told that he wants food and being the caring boy he is, he goes home and steals some for him. After bringing him food, Pip can’t stop thinking about this incident and begins to feel guilty. He seems to really regret his actions and the fact that he “had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong”(p 40). One night while eating dinner, policemen show up to Pip’s home and ask Joe, Pip’s sister’s husband to fix a pair of handcuffs. As this is being told they begin to say how two convicts were missing and they all being to search. Pip’s convict is caught and does not tell how he was given the food, instead he says he stole it. As the novel continues, Pip begins to develop unrealistic hopes and expectations for his life and they are soon to be replaced by undesirable ones.

Pip’s character starts to change and even become less likeable after going to Miss Havisham’s house and being introduced to her and Estella. Estella is a very pretty young girl who is in a high class than Pip, and she sure acts like it. She comes off as being too good for anyone below her and even scolds Pip. Even after this incident, he beings to like her and he lets Miss Havishaw know that her adopted daughter is “very proud”, and “very insulting”, but also “very pretty” and “would like to see her again”(p 59). After spending a day at their home, Pip starts to like Estella even more and wishes her attitude toward him would change. On the way home he begins to think bad thoughts



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