Synopsis[ edit ] Charles Dickens started his story in aboutsetting his character Abel Magwitch to meet a man called Compeyson at the Epsom Races. Compeyson, Dickens wrote, had been brought up in a boarding school and was an attractive, charming gentleman. Magwitch, at the same time, began a relationship with a mentally unstable woman named Molly, who later stood trial for murder. Jaggers, her defense attorney, convinced the jury that she was too weak to have strangled the woman.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. At heart, Pip is an idealist; whenever he can conceive of something that is better than what he already has, he immediately desires to obtain the improvement.
When he sees Satis House, he longs to be a wealthy gentleman; when he thinks of his moral shortcomings, he longs to be good; when he realizes that he cannot read, he longs to learn how. First, Pip desires moral self-improvement.
He is extremely hard on himself when he acts immorally and feels powerful guilt that spurs him to act better in the future. When he leaves for London, for instance, he torments himself about having behaved so wretchedly toward Joe and Biddy.
Second, Pip desires social self-improvement. In love with Estella, he longs to become a member of her social class, and, encouraged by Mrs. Joe and Pumblechook, he entertains fantasies of becoming a gentleman.
The working out of this fantasy forms the basic plot of the novel; it provides Dickens the opportunity to gently satirize the class system of his era and to make a point about its capricious nature. Third, Pip desires educational improvement. This desire is deeply connected to his social ambition and longing to marry Estella: As long as he is an ignorant country boy, he has no hope of social advancement.
Pip understands this fact as a child, when he learns to read at Mr. Social Class Throughout Great Expectations, Dickens explores the class system of Victorian England, ranging from the most wretched criminals Magwitch to the poor peasants of the marsh country Joe and Biddy to the middle class Pumblechook to the very rich Miss Havisham.
Drummle, for instance, is an upper-class lout, while Magwitch, a persecuted convict, has a deep inner worth. Dickens generally ignores the nobility and the hereditary aristocracy in favor of characters whose fortunes have been earned through commerce.
Crime, Guilt, and Innocence The theme of crime, guilt, and innocence is explored throughout the novel largely through the characters of the convicts and the criminal lawyer Jaggers. In general, just as social class becomes a superficial standard of value that Pip must learn to look beyond in finding a better way to live his life, the external trappings of the criminal justice system police, courts, jails, etc.
Magwitch, for instance, frightens Pip at first simply because he is a convict, and Pip feels guilty for helping him because he is afraid of the police.
Prompted by his conscience, he helps Magwitch to evade the law and the police.Crime and Imprisonment in Great Expectations There is a clear relationship between the characters in Great Expectations and crime. Dickens uses this connection to show that a criminal can be reformed.
Imprisonment in the real sense is evident in the frequent references to Newgate, but other characters are locked into a kind of psychological imprisonment: Miss Havisham is an obvious example: she has voluntarily locked herself into a world of obsession and perpetual resentment.
Imprisonment in Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens took inspiration from the events of his own childhood in many of his novels, living in a time when many British lived in deplorable conditions and suffered at .
Presentation. Today’s migration makes up the vastest movement of people of all times. In these last decades, the phenomenon, now involving about two hundred million individuals, has turned into a structural reality of contemporary society.
The moral theme of Great Expectations is quite simple: affection, loyalty, and conscience are more important than social advancement, wealth, and class.
Dickens establishes the theme and shows Pip learning this lesson, largely by exploring ideas of ambition and self-improvement—ideas that quickly become both the thematic center of the novel and the . Great Expectations is a novel in which Charles Dickens utilizes the theme of imprisonment and captivity to help the reader better their exploration of his characters.
Such exploration allows the reader to understand how and why the characters are imprisoned and gives insight into their personalities.