“I saw no shadow of another parting from her.”

Please finish reading Great Expectations and be sure to read both endings.

Dickens was persuaded by his friend and fellow novelist, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, to rewrite the ending to Great Expectations. Why do you suppose his friend objected to the original ending?  How do the endings differ?  Which ending do you prefer?  Why?

Make sure you include many specific details to support your opinions and to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #20

“I will never stir from your side,” said I, “when I am suffered to be near you. Please God, I will be as true to you as you have been to me!”

Please read chapters 54-56 of Great Expectations, then write your response to these questions:

How has Pip’s attitude toward Magwitch changed?  Why has it changed?  What does this tell us about Pip’s development?  How does this contribute to our understanding of various themes woven into the text such as loyalty, parentage, justice, etc.

Remember to include specific details from the novel to support your opinions and to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #19

It’s up to you!

Tonight, please respond to Chapters 51-53 in any way you choose.  These chapters seem fairly varied to me, full of interesting details that may lead you to new questions or understandings about the themes and motifs presented in Great Expectations.  You may choose a close reading of one small passage or scene, or you may choose to address the larger thematic questions touched upon in these chapters.  Also, I’m thinking that we can use your responses to focus our discussion in class.

As always, be sure to use specific details from the text in your response and be sure to comment on at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #18

“Surely I had seen exactly such eyes and such hands on a memorable occasion very lately!”

Please read chapters 47-50.  After you finish the reading, please consider and discuss the revelations that Pip uncovers with regard to Estella’s parentage.   What, if any, difference does this make to our understanding of Estella’s character?   Why might Dickens have included these developments?  How does this connect to other motifs or themes in the novel?

Remember to include specific details from the novel to support your opinions and to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #17

 

“Why should I loiter on my road…?”

Dear Students,

This weekend, I would like you to loiter on your road as we approach the end of our journey with Pip.  Finish your reading for the weekend, and then “pause, you who read this” to think about the images, motifs, or themes would you like to discuss.  Certainly, these themes, images or motifs may be represented in this weekend’s reading or they could be from earlier in the novel.  But you should think of ideas that we have not yet addressed in class, but which have been on your mind.  You are not expected to have an answer, only to question.

As always, please be sure to follow the rules of standard written English and respond to at least one comment in this thread.

GE blog #16

Young Havisham’s name was Arthur. Compeyson is the man who professed to be Miss Havisham’s lover.

There have been many revelations in this evening’s reading, especially in chapter 42.  Discuss these new developments and how they might alter our understanding of some of the major themes of the novel, as we have discussed them so far.  Some themes to consider are:

  • money
  • appearance v. reality
  • guilt and shame
  • love
  • nature v. nurture

As always, be sure to include many text-based details to support your opinions and follow all the rules of standard written English.   In addition, remember to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #15

“It’s me wot done it!”

Please respond to the great event of Chapter 39.  Some questions to consider:

  • How is this revelation the turning point of Pip’s life?
  • What is Pip’s reaction to this revelation in regard to himself? In regard to Estella?  In regard to Joe?
  • Predict what further changes may occur in Pip’s life and in his character as a result of this revelation.

As always, be sure to include many specific details in your response to support your opinions.  Also, be sure to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #14

“As I had grown accustomed to my expectations, I had insensibly begun to notice their effect upon myself and those around me. Their influence on my own character I disguised from my recognition as much as possible, but I knew very well that it was not all good.”

Discuss the theme of guilt and shame in Chapters 34-37, and indeed throughout the novel so far.  As always be sure to use specific details from the text to support your opinions.  Also, don’t forget to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #13

Miserably I went to bed after all, and miserably thought of Estella, and miserably dreamed that my expectations were all cancelled, and that I had to give my hand in marriage to Herbert’s Clara, or play Hamlet to Miss Havisham’s Ghost, before twenty thousand people, without knowing twenty words of it.

Tonight, I would like you to respond to Chapters 30-33 in any way you choose. These chapters seem fairly varied to me, full of interesting details that may lead you to new questions or understandings about the themes and motifs presented in Great Expectations. You may choose a close reading of one small passage or scene, or you may choose to address the larger thematic questions touched upon in these chapters.  Also, I’m thinking that we can use your responses to focus our discussion in class.

As always, be sure to use specific details from the text in your response and be sure to comment on at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #12

It was but a day gone, and Joe had brought the tears into my eyes; they had soon dried, God forgive me! soon dried.

In chapters 27, 28, and 29 Pip comes into contact again with various people from home.  Discuss how his relationships with these characters have evolved since he came to London and how this evolution contributes to the reader’s understanding of Pip’s development.  Use many specific details from the text to support your opinions.  Be sure, also, that you comment on at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #11