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Great Expectations Main Themes

Categories: Great Expectations

All along, Pip was under the impression that his benefactor was Miss Havisham, as opposed to Magwitch. * Joe Gargery, Pip’s brother-in-law, and his first father figure. He is a blacksmith who is always kind to Pip and the only person with whom Pip is always honest. Joe was very disappointed when Pip decided to leave his home and travel to London to become a gentleman rather than be a blacksmith. * Mrs. Joe Gargery, Pip’s hot-tempered adult sister, who raises him after the death of their parents but complains constantly of the burden Pip is to her.

Orlick, her husband’s journeyman, attacks her and she is left disabled until her death. Mr Pumblechook, Joe Gargery’s uncle, an officious bachelor and corn merchant. While holding Pip in disdain, he tells “Mrs. Joe” (as she is widely known) how noble she is to raise Pip. As the person who first connected Pip to Miss Havisham, he even claims to have been the original architect of Pip’s precious fortune.

Pip despises Mr Pumblechook as Mr Pumblechook constantly makes himself out to be better than he really is. He is a cunning impostor. When Pip finally stands up to him, Mr Pumblechook turns those listening to the conversation against Pip and his usefulness at succession.

Miss Havisham and her family * Miss Havisham, wealthy spinster who takes Pip on as a companion and who Pip suspects is his benefactor. Miss Havisham does not discourage this as it fits into her own spiteful plans which derive from her desire for revenge after being jilted at the altar several years before.

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She later apologizes to him as she’s overtaken by guilt. He accepts her apology and she is badly burnt when her wedding dress, which she has never taken off since being jilted, catches fire when she gets close to the fireplace. Pip saves her, but she later dies from her injuries. Estella, Miss Havisham’s adopted daughter, whom Pip pursues romantically throughout the novel. She is secretly the daughter of Molly, Jaggers’s housekeeper, and Abel Magwitch, Pip’s convict. Estella was given up for adoption to Miss Havisham after her mother, Molly, is tried for murder. [4] Estella represents the life of wealth and culture for which Pip strives. Since her ability to love has been ruined by Miss Havisham, she is unable to return Pip’s passion. She warns Pip of this repeatedly, but he is unwilling or unable to believe her. * Matthew Pocket, a cousin of Miss Havisham’s.

He is the patriarch of the Pocket family, but unlike others of her relatives he is not greedy for Havisham’s wealth. Matthew Pocket has a family of nine children, two nurses, a housekeeper, a cook, and a pretty but useless wife (named Belinda). He also tutors young gentlemen, such as Bentley Drummle, Startop, Pip, and his own son Herbert, who live on his estate. * Herbert Pocket, a member of the Pocket family, Miss Havisham’s presumed heirs, whom Pip first meets as a “pale young gentleman” who challenges Pip to a fist fight at Miss Havisham’s house when both are children.

He is the son of Matthew Pocket, is Pip’s tutor in the “gentlemanly” arts, and shares his apartment with Pip in London, becoming Pip’s fast friend who is there to share Pip’s happiness. Characters from Pip’s youth * The Convict, an escapee from a prison ship, whom Pip treats kindly, and who turns out to be his benefactor, at which time his real name is revealed to be Abel Magwitch, but who is also known as Provis and Mr Campbell in parts of the story to protect his identity. Pip also covers him as his uncle in order that no one recognizes him as a convict sent to Australia years before. Abel Magwitch, the convict’s given name, who is also Pip’s benefactor. * Provis, a name that Abel Magwitch uses when he returns to London, to conceal his identity. Pip also says that “Provis” is his uncle visiting from out of town. * Mr Campbell, a name that Abel Magwitch uses after he is discovered in London by his enemy. * Biddy, Wopsle’s second cousin; she runs an evening school from her home in Pip’s village and becomes Pip’s teacher. A kind and intelligent but poor young woman, she is, like Pip and Estella, an orphan. She is the opposite of Estella.

Pip ignores her obvious love for him as he fruitlessly pursues Estella. After he realizes the error of his life choices, he returns to claim Biddy as his bride, only to find out she has married Joe Gargery. Biddy and Joe later have two children, one named after Pip whom Estella mistakes as Pip’s child in the original ending. Orlick was attracted to her, but his affection was unreciprocated. The lawyer and his circle * Mr Jaggers, prominent London lawyer who represents the interests of diverse clients, both criminal and civil. He represents Pip’s benefactor and is Miss Havisham’s lawyer as well.

By the end of the story, his law practice is the common element that brushes many of the characters. * John Wemmick, Jaggers’s clerk, only called “Mr. Wemmick” and “Wemmick” except by his father, who himself is referred to as “The Aged Parent”, “The Aged P. “, or simply “The Aged. ” Wemmick is Pip’s chief go-between with Jaggers and generally looks after Pip in London. Mr. Wemmick lives with his father, The Aged, in John’s “castle”, which is a small replica of a castle complete with a drawbridge and moat, in Walworth. * Molly, Mr Jaggers’s maidservant whom Jaggers saved from the gallows for murder.

Great Expectations is a novel depicting growth and personal development, in this case, of Pip. The themes are ambition and the desire for self-improvement (social, economic, educational, and moral); guilt, criminality, and innocence; maturation and the growth from childhood to adulthood; the importance of affection, loyalty, and sympathy over social advancement and class superiority; social class; the difficulty of maintaining superficial moral and social categories in a constantly changing worldFrom an early age, Pip feels guilt; he is also afraid that someone will find out about his crime and arrest him.

The theme of crime comes in to even greater effect when Pip discovers that his benefactor is in fact a convict. Pip has an internal struggle with his conscience throughout the book. Great Expectations explores the different social classes of the Georgian era. Throughout the book, Pip becomes involved with a broad range of classes, from criminals like Magwitch to the extremely rich like Miss Havisham. Pip has great ambition, as demonstrated constantly in the book.

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Great Expectations Main Themes. (2018, Aug 30). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/great-expectations-main-themes-essay

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