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Great Expectations

Autor /Pius Dodano /10.11.2011

The book titled "Great Expectations" is a fascinating novel, that moves your heart. It's unusual atmosphere and excellent visions of Charles Dickens treasure forever in reader's memory. An understanding of Philip Pirrip (Pip) is essential to an understanding of Great Expectations. He is both the central character and narrarator of Great Expectations.

The entire story is told through the eyes of an adult Pip, even though Pip is a small child during parts of it. In first stage of the story we meet Pip wandering amongst his parents' tombstones in the churchyard. He is a a little, sickly boy brought up by his sister and her husband Joe. Pip has very hard life. Hi is strongly influenced by his guardians. Joe instills a sense of honesty, industry, and friendliness in Pip, while Mrs. Joe does a great deal to contribute to his desires and ambitions through her constant emphasis on pomp and property. Morover one day decree of fate causes that on the graveyard the boy meets convict, who escaped from the Hulk. Since that time Pip has been afraid of coming back of the man. Pip do not have any close friends, with whom he could talk to loosely. His sister remonstrates him upon it continuously and treats him like a cause of her adversity.

It seems that Pip`s childhood was really sad. One day, however, everything starts to change. He goes to the Miss Havisham`s house. An old, eccentric lady has an adopted daughter, Estella, with whom Pip becomes infatuated. Also at Miss Havisham's, Pip begins to feel ashamed of himself and seeks a richer and more uncommon status. After visiting with Miss Havisham for several months, Pip is apprenticed to Joe, who runs the forge. One night Pip recieves a surprise visit from a Mr. Jaggers, a lawyer in London. He tells Pip of "great expectations" from a secret benefactor. Pip is very excited and looks forward to the journey of becoming a "gentleman". Pip thinking that Miss Havisham is his benefactor gets into the stage-coach to London. Stage two begins directly afier Pip leaves the forge upon learning of his great expectations. It documents his life in London, his progress towards becoming a "gentleman".

Many of the main characters in the novel are introduced in this stage. It is while in London that Pip meets Herbert, Wemmick, Compeyson, Mr. Pocket, Bently Drummle Clara and Molly. He gets to know how a real life for one`s own looks like and at the same time he experiences his first ups and downs. Pip lives with Herbert. They are close friends. They help and can rely on each other. This friendship is very important for Pip, because for the first time in his life he has a person, whom he can trust. During all events of the story we are able to see, how the Pip`s personality metamorphoses and how his character shapes. Each adventure makes him more mature, stronger and resistant to adversities of life. Unfortuantely he still can not handle with the feeling to Estella. He loves her truly and passionately. He would be able to do everything for her. One day it appears that Estella is admired by Bentley Drummle.

The man is smug and very ill at ease in nature. He is proud and of high social position. Bentley`s character fits in perfectly with the nonsensical gentleman's club, Finches of the Grove. When Bentley toasts Estella, Pip is furious and becomes even angrier when Estella acknowledges Bentley as a possible husband. Despite of this Pip still has a hope that Estella is foreordained for him and in the end he would marry her. Unfortunately one night a strange man come to his house. Pip knows him at once for the convict from the graveyard. The man introduces himself as Abel Magwitch and tells the story of his life. Pip discovers the true identity of his benefactor. It was Magwitch, who gave him the fortune. This old man reveals to Pip that all the money he has been living off of was earned by him in Australia in the penal colony. The second part closes with Pip fully despairing his future now that he is indebted to a convict and has no promise of Estella that he thought he had.

In the last stage Magwitch tells Pip and Herbert the whole story of his life. He then tells the reader of Compeyson (the other convict), a man who made Miss Havisham who she is. Pip is still fixated by his infatuation with Estella, and he soon learns the she will marry Bentley Drummle. After hearing this from Estella, Pip is finally able to express his true emotions to her. When he goes back to London he is warned not to go home and Wemmick reveals that Pip has been under the watchful eye of Compeyson. Pip and Herbert decide to remove Magwitch to the home of Clara Barley, Herbert's intended wife. Upon dining with Jaggers, Pip realizes that Jaggers's maid, Molly, is the mother of Estella and when he learns of Molly's past he links it to Magwitch's past. Pip then concluds that Magwitch is Estella's father. Wemmick soon decides to tell Pip that the time is right to get Magwitch out of the country.

Pip then recieves a note concerning himself and Magwitch. He must go to the marshes alone. After arriving to the place he was told to go to, Pip is attacked by Orlick. He wants to revenge on Pip for being in the way of everything he ever tried to accomplish. Fortunately Herbert and Startop find the note which Pip dropped to the ground and they come to his rescue. The next day Pip, Herbert, and Startop row Magwitch down the river. Compeyson and some policemen in another boat follow the four, however. When they meet each other, Magwitch grabs Compeyson and drowns him. Abel is hurt badly, but despite of this he is arrested by the police. Herbert then goes to work at Clarriker's and leaves Pip to stay by Magwitch`s side. Pip takes very good care of Magwitch. In the end the old man dies before the death penalty can be carried out.

After Magwitch's death, Pip becomes extremly ill. Joe then comes and nurses Pip. When Pip is well again, he settles to go home to the marshes and ask for Biddy's hand in marriage. He arrives in Joe and Biddy`s weeding day. He also gets to know that Miss Havisham is dead. Pip then rejoins Herbert in his work overseas. After many years Pip goes back to Miss Havisham's house. He sees Estella. Now she is a widow, because Bentley was killed by a horse. They realize the long years in which they have grown and change. Pip sees no shadow of another parting from her, as they leave the Miss Havisham`s garden together.

I think that Pip`s personality is very complicated. He lives in a world that is torn between heart and mind. For all the time he has to choose what is more important, thoughts or feelings. His heart usually wins each fight and that is why he does not think twice before doing something. He thinks about himself as a someone who is very responsible and consistent, but in real his acts very often seem to be very childish and unwise. It is hard to describe what kind of a man he is and predict his behaviour. Pip is generally good-natured and thoughtful, and very imaginative. From the beginning to the end of the novel, Pip loses and then rediscovers the importance of human relationships and virtue over wealth and position.

Maybe that is why I followed his lot and thought how the story is going to finish. This novel is a great source of many experiences of life, but at the same time a beautiful novell about love, tragedy, happiness and what`s most important about people. I think that book "Great Expectations" is one of the most wonderful stories I have ever read.

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