Great Expectations Novel Summary

About the Novel

Table of Contents

It was Charles Dickens, the famous Victorian novelist who wrote Great Expectations, which is not only his 13th novel but his penultimate completed one as well. The novel was first published serially in All the Year Round (a weekly periodical of the writer) in 1860-61. , it was also issued in 1861.

Actually, it is regarded as a classic novel; it was Dickens’ one of greatest as well as most popular success. Moreover, the well-known dramatist George Bernard Shaw declares this novel as his most compactly perfect book”.

  • Great Expectations mainly deals with the life/story of an orphan boy Pip (his full name is Philip Pirrip). In this way, the fictional work is a bildungsroman, a coming-of-age novel
  • As far as the setting of the novel is concerned; it is set in Kent as well as London in the early to mid-nineteenth century
  • Moreover, Great Expectations includes some of Charles Dickens’s most celebrated scenes, starting in a graveyard. Here (in this scene), the escaped convict Abel Magwitch accosts young Pip 
  • The novel is full of extreme imagery as well; some of them are, Poverty, Prisonships & Chains, as well as, Fights to the Deaths
  • In addition, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens also features a colorful cast of characters who have entered popular culture. They comprise (a) Joe, an unsophisticated as well as kind blacksmith, (b) Estella, a beautiful but cold girl/woman, as well as, (c) Miss Havisham, an eccentric woman
  • The novel address such problems or issues as Social Class as well as Human Worth

Great Expectations Analysis

Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations is known for working on many levels. Such as, it works as a critique of Victorian society as well as an exploration of memory & writing. But, more significantly, perhaps the novel is a quest for true or real identity. The hero Pip, amidst this novel, comes to know that his:

  • Great Expectations,
  • Social Standing as well as Wealth,

are not more valuable or significant than:

  • Loyalty as well as compassion

Moreover, this novel is known for its:

  • Blend of Humour
  • Mystery
  • Tragedy

As far as the original ending of Great Expectations is concerned; the hero and heroine of the novel (means Pip and Estella) were not reunited. But, a friend of Charles Dickens persuaded him to provide/give the novel a happier conclusion.

Great Expectations Plot Overview

The novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is a description of the childhood as well as young adult years of Pip who is an apprentice in a country village. 

  • He, all of a sudden, comes into a big fortune from an unknown and mysterious benefactor, so that he can get an education and become a gentleman 
  • So, he goes to London. Here, Pip enters high society. Pip regards that he knows where the money has come from. But, unfortunately, he turns out to be mistaken 
  • Apart from the above, the novel describes his dealings with Estella, an attractive young woman whom he adores. But, she can not return his love
  • The plot of the novel is also concerned with Pip’s effort or struggle to get the convict Abel Magwitch out of England. But, Pip does not succeed and the convict dies in prison. Consequently, he loses his wealth
  • Now, Pip has become elder as well as wise; he comes back to his family home as well as Estella (his beloved) once again

Ques: What is the climax of the novel Great Expectations ?

Ans: Pip comes to know the real identity of his benefactor. At that moment all of his Great Expectations:
Dissolve into the shame of the convict, as well as,
Disgust with himself for his gradual change
Pip is aware of the fact that he is not destined to marry the beautiful Estella, nor is he any less common than he was as an apprentice of a blacksmith, Joe Gargery.

Ques: What is the main message of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens ?

Ans: The moral theme of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations is quite simple. The writer through this novel tells the reader that (I) Affection (II) Loyalty, as well as (III) Conscience are more valuable things than (I) Social Advancement (II) Wealth, as well as (III) Class.

Ques: What is the main problem in Great Expectations ?

Ans: ‘Pip ambitiously desires to reinvent himself as well as rise to a higher social class’ – this is the major issue in the novel Great Expectations

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