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“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens

The novel Great Expectations written by Charles Dickens is considered to be one of the most significant and sophisticated works of world literature. The style of the novel is predominantly semi-autobiographical while the author managed to reflect his personal experience and expectations concerning time and people he met. The analysis of the novel allows the readers to evaluate historical and sociological changes in the perspective of time; Great Expectations highlighted the interactions of such basic human concepts as mobility, gratitude and social sufferings.

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The novel belongs to the complex in structure stories. It is difficult to cover in two words the particular theme or human aspect of the novel because it is devoted to family, love and rejection. Pip, the protagonist of the story, is a contradictory character being in search of pure feelings and social harmony. Dickens tried to illustrate lots of life sadness suffered by a boy during the long period. The character embodied in himself an inner fight for love and personal expectations. The story shows how snobbism can change people’s behavior and relations with close people. Pip’s great expectations and life in London society played a crucial role leading to the character’s growth through suffering and misfortune to maturity.

The novel Great Expectations is regarded to be rather dramatic. The author managed to demonstrate advanced language clearly planting setting insight and disclosing historical aspects of the story. Logically the novel can be divided into three various phases of life expectations of the protagonist following the formation of a real man out of a weak inexperienced boy. The author showed how Pip was completely satisfied with his life at the first stage of his expectations. Nevertheless moral standards of the character are changed with an evaluation of new norms of London society. The handsome property becomes an integral part of the character’s hopes and expectations at the beginning of his life. (Meckier, 2005).

Dickens tried to underline the fact how people’s behavior and attitude to life can be transformed within new social and cultural values. The protagonist of the novel being surrounded by new standards and cultured and educated people tends to experience considerable changes in his personal social needs. The author managed to show the nature of true friendship and human relationships on the example of the characters’ behavior.

“I was always treated as if I had insisted on being born, in opposition to the dictates of reason, religion, and morality, and against the dissuading arguments of my best friends.” (Dickens, 21).

The novel is considered to be the gradual formation of the human sociological adaptation. Thus, Dickens underlined the change of Pip’s perception and vision of his former friends through the character’s educational level received in England. It is important to stress that the second stage of Pip’s expectations is closely connected with the process of culturing and education being an integral part of every person. Unlearned ways demonstrated by Pip’s friends showed how the world had changed for him living in the new society. This period moves slowly into the third phase of Pip’s great expectations which are connected with realities every person should deal with. So, Dickens highlights physical, moral and financial challenges faced by the character being the part of upper class’ artificial world.

“We spent as much money as we could, and got as little for it as people could make up their minds to give us. We were always more or less miserable, and most of our acquaintance was in the same condition. There was a gay fiction among us that we were constantly enjoying ourselves, and a skeleton truth that we never did.” (Dickens, 225).

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The novel discloses the process of startling truth learning which leads to the realization of global life difficulties. Pip gets to know his failure in regaining the principal life issues resulting in the deep moral frustrations of the protagonist. The author managed to show that the final considerations of the character were connected with the Love of all his life…

“…suffering had been stronger than Miss Havisham’s teaching and had given her a heart to understand what my heart used to be” (Dickens, 440).

It is one of the provided endings of the novel. Nevertheless it caused contradictions among the critics connected with the fact that a happy ending would have been more appropriate for the novel, though the original one offered the natural feelings of the characters and the depth of mutual relationships. (Meckier, 2005).

So, it is important to underline the fact that the author managed to demonstrate the process of social formation within the character. The basic themes of the story connected with class discrimination, cultural values and social advancement appeared to be the principal parts of human inner development. The complexity of the novel was shown through the psychological mechanism of gradual great expectations formation influencing the character’s destiny and relationships with close people, to be more exact the perception of people being a friend in the past. The author tried to demonstrate the transformation of basic values within one person under the pressure of culturing and class domination.

References

Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Janice Carlisle. Boston: Bedford, St. Martins, 1996.

Meckler, Jerome. Dating the Action in Great Expectations: A New Chronology. 2005.

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StudyCorgi. "“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens." October 18, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/great-expectations-by-charles-dickens/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens." October 18, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/great-expectations-by-charles-dickens/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) '“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens'. 18 October.

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