Great Expectations (A BookHacker Summary)

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After more than 10 years away, he returns to England and visits the place where Satis House once stood. There he encounters Estella, who is now a widow. As they leave, Pip takes her hand, believing that they will not part again. Great Expectations works on a number of levels: However, it is perhaps more importantly a search for true identity. Great Expectations was also noted for its blend of humour, mystery, and tragedy. In the original ending of the work, Pip and Estella were not reunited, but Dickens was persuaded to write a happier conclusion.

The novel was an immediate success upon its publication in the s. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions. Our editors will review what you've submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we'll add it to the article.

Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Dec 7, See Article History. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Great Expectations —61 and Our Mutual Friend — His final book, The Mystery of Edwin Drood published posthumously, , was left tantalizingly uncompleted at the time of his death.

Compact like its predecessor, it lacks the panoramic inclusiveness of Bleak House , Little Dorrit , and Our Mutual Friend , but, though not his most ambitious,…. It was inspired after David Lean witnessed an abridged stage version of the novel, [4] by Alec Guinness. David Lean approached Clemence Dane to write the script, but considered what she wrote "so awful [-] It was hideously embarrassing" — that he decided he and Ronald Neame should write their own versions.

Kay Walsh was another writer given a screen credit and wrote the ending. Alec Guinness admired the way Lean directed him, singling out a close-up in which he had to laugh out loud, and which he struggled to make look un-manufactured. Lean told him to forget about the whole thing, sat by his side, and made a little signal to the camera to start turning in the course of the conversation. He said something which made Guinness laugh and then said, "Cut". I don't think I would have ever achieved it otherwise".

Valerie Hobson however called the experience of working with Lean on the film "the unhappiest" and called him "a cold director — he gave me nothing at all as an actress". At the end of the film a shot of Valerie Hobson staring into a mirror was taking longer than anticipated and was suspended — it was lunchtime — and returned to in the afternoon. Later, some three months after the film had been on exhibition, a cinema-goer asked what was meant by a Chad being reflected in the mirror.

It seems that a worker on the film had drawn it on the wall during the break in filming, and is dimly visible in the final scene behind John Mills' shoulder as he says "I've never ceased to love you when there seemed no hope in my love". The film won critical praise on first release, with many commentators hailing it as the finest film yet made from a Dickens novel.

Dilys Powell , writing for The Sunday Times , was "grateful for cinema which includes so much of Dickens, which constructs its narrative from the original material with scarcely an intrusion" and Richard Winnington, in the News Chronicle , wrote that "Dickens has never before been rendered effectively into cinema terms".

Gavin Lambert however, writing for the short-lived, but influential Sequence magazine, felt "that it is not so much an attempt to recreate Dickens on the screen, as a very graceful evasion of most of the issues". In America James Agee praised the film — "almost never less than graceful, tasteful and intelligent". A review in the US by Roger Ebert noted the film as "the greatest of all the Dickens films" and added that "The movie was made by Lean at the top of his early form".

It was also the third most popular film at the British box office in [10] and most popular movie at the Canadian box office in The film's critical status has generally stayed high. Kevin Brownlow , a biographer of Lean, wrote that "Dickens' brilliance at creating characters was matched by Cineguild 's choice of actors", and Alain Silver and James Ursini have drawn attention to the film's "overall narrative subjectivity", finding Lean "more than faithful to the original's first person style".

In , it came fifth in a BFI poll of the top British films , while in , Total Film named it the fourteenth greatest British film of all time. It was the first British film to win an Oscar for its cinematography. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Great Expectations disambiguation. Autobiography of British Cinema. A close study of the relationship between text and film. Retrieved 2 December The Sydney Morning Herald.

Great Expectations Summary

The title's "Expectations" refers to "a legacy to come", [] and thus immediately announces that money, or more specifically wealth plays an important part in the novel. The novel is also concerned with questions relating to conscience and moral regeneration, as well as redemption through love.

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Dickens famously created comic and telling names for his characters, [ citation needed ] but in Great Expectations he goes further. The first sentence of the novel establishes that Pip's proper name is Philip Pirrip, which "my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. In Chapter 18, when he receives his expectation from an anonymous benefactor, the first condition attached to it is "that you always bear the name of Pip. In Chapter 22, when Pip establishes his friendship with Herbert Pocket, he attempts to introduce himself as Philip.

Herbert immediately rejects the name "'I don't take to Philip,' said he, smiling, 'for it sounds like a moral boy out of the spelling-book'" and decides to refer to Pip exclusively as Handel "'Would you mind Handel for a familiar name? There's a charming piece of music by Handel, called the Harmonious Blacksmith. Pip's name throughout binds him to his origins. A central theme here, as in other of Dickens's novels, is of people living as social outcasts. The novel opening emphasises this in the case of the orphaned Pip, who lives in an isolated foggy environment next to a graveyard, dangerous swamps, and prison ships.

His very existence reproaches him: Pip feels excluded by society and this leads to his aggressive attitude towards it, as he tries to win his place within society through any means. Various other characters behave similarly—that is, the oppressed become the oppressors. Jaggers dominates Wemmick, who in turn dominates Jaggers's clients.

However, hope exists despite Pip's sense of exclusion [] because he is convinced that divine providence owes him a place in society and that marriage to Estella is his destiny.

Therefore, when fortune comes his way, Pip shows no surprise, because he believes, that his value as a human being, and his inherent nobility, have been recognized. Thus Pip accepts Pumblechook's flattery without blinking: From Pip's hope comes his "uncontrollable, impossible love for Estella", [] despite the humiliations to which she has subjected him.

For Pip, winning a place in society also means winning Estella's heart. When the money secretly provided by Magwitch enables Pip to enter London society, two new related themes, wealth and gentility, are introduced. As the novel's title implies money is a theme of Great Expectations. Central to this is the idea that wealth is only acceptable to the ruling class if it comes from the labour of others. Her wealth is "pure", and her father's profession as a brewer does not contaminate it. Herbert states in chapter 22 that "while you cannot possibly be genteel and bake, you may be as genteel as never was and brew.

She remains in a constant business relationship with her lawyer Jaggers and keeps a tight grip over her "court" of sycophants, so that, far from representing social exclusion, she is the very image of a powerful landed aristocracy that is frozen in the past and "embalmed in its own pride". On the other hand, Magwitch's wealth is socially unacceptable, firstly because he earned it, not through the efforts of others, but through his own hard work, and secondly because he was a convict, and he earned it in a penal colony. It is argued that the contrast with Miss Havisham's wealth is suggested symbolically.

Thus Magwitch's money smells of sweat, and his money is greasy and crumpled: Further, it is argued Pip demonstrates his "good breeding", because when he discovers that he owes his transformation into a "gentleman" to such a contaminated windfall, he is repulsed in horror. Cockshut, however, has suggested that there is no difference between Magwitch's wealth and that of Miss Havisham's. Trotter emphasizes the importance of Magwitch's greasy banknotes. Beyond the Pip's emotional reaction the notes reveal that Dickens' views on social and economic progress have changed in the years prior to the publication of Great Expectations.

To illustrate his point, he cites Humphry House who, succinctly, writes that in Pickwick Papers , "a bad smell was a bad smell", whereas in Our Mutual Friend and Great Expectations , "it is a problem". England represented an openness to worldwide trade and China isolationism. According to Trotter, this was a way to target the Tory government's return to protectionism , which they felt would make England the China of Europe. In fact, Household Words' 17 May issue, championed international free trade , comparing the constant flow of money to the circulation of the blood.

With Great Expectations , Dickens's views about wealth have changed. However, though some sharp satire exists, no character in the novel has the role of the moralist that condemn Pip and his society. In fact, even Joe and Biddy themselves, paragons of good sense, are complicit, through their exaggerated innate humility, in Pip's social deviancy. Dickens' moral judgement is first made through the way that he contrasts characters: The narrator-hero is left to draw the necessary conclusions: In London, neither wealth nor gentility brings happiness.

Pip, the apprentice gentleman constantly bemoans his anxiety, his feelings of insecurity, [] and multiple allusions to overwhelming chronic unease, to weariness, drown his enthusiasm chapter His unusual path to gentility has the opposite effect to what he expected: In the crowded metropolis, Pip grows disenchanted, disillusioned, and lonely.

Alienated from his native Kent, he has lost the support provided by the village blacksmith. In London, he is powerless to join a community, not the Pocket family, much less Jaggers's circle. London has become Pip's prison and, like the convicts of his youth, he is bound in chains: The idea of "good breeding" and what makes for a "gentleman" other than money. The convict Magwitch covets it by proxy through Pip; Mrs Pocket dreams of acquiring it; it is also found in Pumblechook's sycophancy; it is even seen in Joe, when he stammers between "Pip" and "Sir" during his visit to London, and when Biddy's letters to Pip suddenly become reverent.

There are other characters who are associated with the idea of gentility like, for example, Miss Havisham's seducer, Compeyson, the scarred-face convict. While Compeyson is corrupt, even Magwitch does not forget he is a gentleman. There are a couple of ways by which someone can acquire gentility, one being a title, another family ties to the upper middle class. Mrs Pocket bases every aspiration on the fact that her grandfather failed to be knighted, while Pip hopes that Miss Havisham will eventually adopt him, as adoption, as evidenced by Estella, who behaves like a born and bred little lady, is acceptable.

Pip knows that and endorses it, as he hears from Jaggers through Matthew Pocket: Bentley Drummle, however, embodies the social ideal, so that Estella marries him without hesitation. In chapter 39, the novel's turning point, Magwitch visits Pip to see the gentleman he has made, and once the convict has hidden in Herbert Pocket's room, Pip realises his situation:. For an hour or more, I remained too stunned to think; and it was not until I began to think, that I began fully to know how wrecked I was, and how the ship in which I had sailed was gone to pieces.

Miss Havisham's intentions towards me, all a mere dream; Estella not designed for me But, sharpest and deepest pain of all — it was for the convict, guilty of I knew not what crimes, and liable to be taken out of those rooms where I sat thinking, and hanged at the Old Bailey door, that I had deserted Joe. To cope with his situation and his learning that he now needs Magwitch, a hunted, injured man who traded his life for Pip's. Pip can only rely on the power of love for Estella [] Pip now goes through a number of different stages each of which, is accompanied by successive realisations about the vanity of the prior certainties.

Pip's problem is more psychological and moral than social. Pip's climbing of the social ladder upon gaining wealth is followed by a corresponding degradation of his integrity. Thus after his first visit in Miss Havisham, the innocent young boy from the marshes, suddenly turns into a liar to dazzle his sister, Mrs Joe, and his Uncle Pumblechook with the tales of a carriage and veal chops. The allure of wealth overpowers loyalty and gratitude, even conscience itself. This is evidenced by the urge to buy Joe's return, in chapter 27, Pip's haughty glance as Joe deciphers the alphabet, not to mention the condescending contempt he confesses to Biddy, copying Estella's behaviour toward him.

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Pip represents, as do those he mimics, the bankruptcy of the "idea of the gentleman", and becomes the sole beneficiary of vulgarity, inversely proportional to his mounting gentility. The boy parades through the main street of the village with boyish antics and contortions meant to satirically imitate Pip. The gross, comic caricature openly exposes the hypocrisy of this new gentleman in a frock coat and top hat.

Trabb's boy reveals that appearance has taken precedence over being, protocol on feelings, decorum on authenticity; labels reign to the point of absurdity, and human solidarity is no longer the order of the day. Estella and Miss Havisham represent rich people who enjoy a materially easier life but cannot cope with a tougher reality. Miss Havisham, like a melodramatic heroine, withdrew from life at the first sign of hardship.

Estella, excessively spoiled and pampered, sorely lacks judgement and falls prey to the first gentleman who approaches her, though he is the worst. Estella's marriage to such a brute demonstrates the failure of her education. Estella is used to dominating but becomes a victim to her own vice, brought to her level by a man born, in her image. Dickens uses imagery to reinforce his ideas and London, the paradise of the rich and of the ideal of the gentleman, has mounds of filth, it is crooked, decrepit, and greasy, a dark desert of bricks, soot, rain, and fog.

The surviving vegetation is stunted, and confined to fenced-off paths, without air or light. Barnard's Inn, where Pip lodges, offers mediocre food and service while the rooms, despite the furnishing provided, as Suhamy states, "for the money", is most uncomfortable, a far cry from Joe's large kitchen, radiating hearth, and his well-stocked pantry.

Likewise, such a world, dominated by the lure of money and social prejudice, also leads to the warping of people and morals, to family discord and war between man and woman. Another important theme is Pip's sense of guilt, which he has felt from an early age.

After the encounter with the convict Magwitch, Pip is afraid that someone will find out about his crime and arrest him.

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The theme of guilt comes into even greater effect when Pip discovers that his benefactor is a convict. Pip has an internal struggle with his conscience throughout Great Expectations , hence the long and painful process of redemption that he undergoes. Pip's moral regeneration is a true pilgrimage punctuated by suffering. Like Christian in Bunyan 's The Pilgrim's Progress , Pip makes his way up to light through a maze of horrors that afflict his body as well as his mind. This includes the burns he suffers from saving Miss Havisham from the fire; the illness that requires months of recovery; the threat of a violent death at Orlick's hands; debt, and worse, the obligation of having to repay them; hard work, which he recognises as the only worthy source of income, hence his return to Joe's forge.


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Even more important, is his accepting of Magwitch, a coarse outcast of society. Dickens makes use of symbolism, in chapter 53, to emphasise Pip's moral regeneration. As he prepares to go down the Thames to rescue the convict, a veil lifted from the river and Pip's spirit. Symbolically the fog which enveloped the marshes as Pip left for London has finally lifted, and he feels ready to become a man.

As I looked along the clustered roofs, with Church towers and spires shooting into the unusually clear air, the sun rose up, and a veil seemed to be drawn from the river, and millions of sparkles burst out upon its waters. From me too, a veil seemed to be drawn, and I felt strong and well. Pip is redeemed by love, that, for Dickens as for generations of Christian moralists, is only acquired through sacrifice. He grows selfless and his "expectations" are confiscated by the Crown. Moments before Magwitch's death, Pip reveals that Estella, Magwitch's daughter, is alive, "a lady and very beautiful.

And I love her". Pip returns to the forge, his previous state and to meaningful work. The philosophy expressed here by Dickens that of a person happy with their contribution to the welfare of society, is in line with Thomas Carlyle 's theories and his condemnation, in Latter-Day Pamphlets , the system of social classes flourishing in idleness, much like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels did.

In Great Expectations , the true values are childhood, youth, and heart. The heroes of the story are the young Pip, a true visionary, and still developing person, open, sensible, who is persecuted by soulless adults.

Great Expectations

Then the adolescent Pip and Herbert, imperfect but free, intact, playful, endowed with fantasy in a boring and frivolous world. Magwitch is also a positive figure, a man of heart, victim of false appearances and of social images, formidable and humble, bestial but pure, a vagabond of God, despised by men. Finally, there are women like Biddy. Said , in his work Culture and Imperialism , interprets Great Expectations in terms of postcolonial theory about of late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries British imperialism.

Pip's disillusionment when he learns his benefactor is an escaped convict from Australia, along with his acceptance of Magwitch as surrogate father, is described by Said as part of "the imperial process", that is the way colonialism exploits the weaker members of a society.

Dickens's novel has influenced a number of writers, Sue Roe's Estella: Her Expectations , for example explores the inner life of an Estella fascinated with a Havisham figure. A Novel , a book by Ronald Frame , that features an imagining of the life of Miss Catherine Havisham from childhood to adulthood.

Magwitch is the protagonist of Peter Carey 's Jack Maggs , which is a re-imagining of Magwitch's return to England, with the addition, among other things, of a fictionalised Dickens character and plot-line. The winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Lloyd Jones's novel is set in a village on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville during a brutal civil war there in the s, where the young protagonist's life is impacted in a major way by her reading of Great Expectations.

Like many other Dickens novels, Great Expectations has been filmed for the cinema or television and adapted for the stage numerous times. The film adaptation in gained the greatest acclaim. The stage play and the film that followed from that stage production did not include the character Orlick and ends the story when the characters are still young adults. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Charles Dickens novel. For other uses, see Great Expectations disambiguation. Charles Dickens portal Novels portal Literature portal. Dickens meant to have left Pip a lonely man, and of course rightly so; by the irony of fate he was induced to spoil his work through a brother novelist's desire for a happy ending, a strange thing, indeed, to befall Dickens.

University of California Santa Cruz: Regents of the University of California. Retrieved 15 February Retrieved 6 January — via Internet Archive.

Great Expectations | Summary, Characters, Analysis, & Facts | qexefiducusu.tk

Archived from the original on 28 October Retrieved 30 October Bloom's Modern Critical Views. Dickens and the Grotesque Revised ed. Retrieved 13 May Dickens' Book of Memoranda , Retrieved 25 January Retrieved 27 January Inside the Whale and Other Essays.

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