October 2

“Why should I loiter on my road…?”

Dear Students,

This evening, I would like you to loiter on your road as we approach the end of our journey with Pip.  Finish your reading for the evening, 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 #14

Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

Posted October 2, 2018 by equinson in category Great Expectations

41 thoughts on ““Why should I loiter on my road…?”

  1. Myles Ng

    I would like to talk about something I have noticed over the whole novel, Dickens’s use of foils. His use of these foils give the book a nice balanced feel. Biddy is Estella’s foil. They are both women in Pip’s life that both have and influence on him. Pip is influenced negatively by Estella and positively by Biddy. Estella is mean and snobbish to Pip (Until he gets his fortune) and Biddy is kind and helpful. Another set of foils is Magwitch and Pip. They both try to better others lives by giving money to someone. Pip buys into a company so Herbert could get a job at the company, and Magwitch gives money to Pip so he could become a gentleman. Another set of foils is Magwitch and Ms. Havisham. Both want to mold their “children” into what they want them to be. Ms. Havisham wants Estella to break hearts and Magwitch wants Pip to become a gentlemen. Both children fall into these molds and become what they were being molded into. This also shows that Pip and Estella are somewhat foils. Both are being molded by another person. Estella by Ms. Havisham and Pip by Magwitch. Magwitch and Compeyson could be considered foils too. They are both criminals but Compeyson acts and looks like a gentle while Magwitch does not. Ms. Havisham and Ms. Joe also seem like foils. Both are adopted motherly figures to Pip and Estella. I would also like to note the cause of Ms. Havisham and Magwitch’s want to mold Pip and Estella are both caused by Compeyson. Estella is Ms. Havisham’s revenge for being abandoned at the altar at her wedding. She is trained to break hearts of all. Pip is Magwitch’s creation of a gentleman. He hated Compeyson’s gentleman like appearance and wished to “create” one himself, and he did. all theses elements seem to make the story whoel and interwoven in my eyes.

    1. Laila Sayegh

      I find it extremely interesting that you said both Miss Havisham and Magwitch want to mold Estella and Pip to be the way they are because of Compeyson. I hadn’t thought about that. It shows a clear understanding of Compeyson’s character because if what he had done was so bad that it affected Miss Havisham and Magwitch for so long, he must’ve been a horrible person.

  2. Laila Sayegh

    One ongoing motif I have noticed throughout the course of the novel is love and heartbreak.
    Starting with Miss Havisham, we all know the story of how she got left on her wedding day. This traumatic experience has changed her life. As we’ve all seen, Miss Havisham is very different from most adults. First and foremost, she lives in a wedding gown in a dark gloomy house. The sad truth is that her ex-fiance, Compeyson, probably has no idea how Miss Havisham acts now because of his “scam”. Although Compeyson just exploited Miss Havisham for her money and had no intentions of falling in love with her or marrying her, he has no idea what he has done to this woman and her life. Miss Havisham’s entire life had been revolving around this one moment whereas Compeyson couldn’t care less about what he has done.
    Now, this same motif had occurred between Estella and Pip. From the moment he laid eyes on her, Pip had loved Estella. I think that Estella was aware that Pip did adore her but not to the extent that he actually did. Pip was constantly thinking of Estella in everything he did, even when he wasn’t around her. Finally, the anticipated moment of Pip confessing his love for Estella had come but Pip finds out that Estella was to marry Drummle! Instantly, Pip’s heart was broken. One thing that surprised me was Miss Havisham’s reaction to this. I expected her to be glad that Estella had broken Pip’s heart, just like hers had been. But instead, she had “a ghastly stare of pity and remorse.” (Pg. 365) This shocked me because throughout the story I’ve been led to believe that Miss Havisham longed for Estella to break Pip’s heart.
    With that being said, this leads me to believe that Miss Havisham does somewhat care for Pip and can empathize with what he was feeling in that moment. Although Estella and Pip did say they were parting from each other for good, I do not think this is the end. When it comes to Estella’s character, she has a somewhat mysterious aspect to her and I believe that Dickens will give her some kind of closure. All in all, we have seen how heartbreak has affected Miss Havisham and I hope it does not affect Pip as bad as it did to her.

    1. Emily

      I did not realise before how much heartbreak has affected everyone. A lot of people have suffered from it and now I realized that they were all connected.

  3. Emily

    Throughout the novel, a very prominent theme was the theme of seeking freedom. Numerous characters feel that they are being held back and that there is something keepinging them from the freedom they seek.

    To begin, one of the most important characters, who feels that they are not free is Pip. At various points Pip has craved freedom from his past that he is ashamed of. It all started when he was just a young boy and he went to Miss Havisham’s house for the very first time. At one point Estella said to Pip that he was a “common laboring-boy.” Before that day Pip had never questioned if people thought less of him because of his social standing. However, now Pip saw a whole new type of life, one where people were disgusted by how poor he is. Pip thought that if he got the freedom of being rich than all of his problems would be solved and he would finally be content. However, Pip is the type of person who can never appreciate the good things that they have, and he still wants more. Now he wants to be free from his past, as a blacksmith’s apprentice. He feels that his past is holding him back and that he will never be able to fully move on from it. With all considered, I think that Pip will never be happy in life if he is ashamed of his roots. Time and time again Pip tries to not only change himself, but the people around him. This first became apparent when Pip tried to make Joe smarter because his intellect was embarrassing Pip, and now it is returning with Pip trying to change Provis. Provis has looked out for Pip and given him the life that he has dreamed of, and Pip returns this wonderful act of kindness by trying to make him look like he is rich.
    Until Pip learns that you can never try to be someone that you are not and if you choose to act otherwise you are destined for a life of many hardships.

    Moreover, Estella has also seeked freedom. The freedom that she wishes for is not from her past, but instead from a particular person. She has always felt that Miss Havisham was very controlling and that she does not really have many choices in life. On page 265 she says, “We have no choice, you and I, but to obey our instructions. We are not free to follow our own devices, you and I.” Estella thinks that she does not have any say in what happens to her and she feels like she is not free. She wants to be free from the rule of her overbearing adoptive mother, and finally speak for herself.

    Lastly, the newest member that wants to be free is Magwitch. His whole life he has been seen as nothing more than a criminal, and he wishes that he could be free from the people judging him. In chapter 39, when Magwitch is telling his life story he says, “Then they looked at me, and I looked at them, and they measured my head, some on ’em—they had better a-measured my stomach—and others on ’em giv me tracts what I couldn’t read, and made me speeches what I couldn’t understand. They always went on agen me about the Devil. But what the Devil was I to do? I must put something into my stomach, mustn’t I?—Howsomever, I’m a getting low, and I know what’s due.” No one ever bothers to see past the fact that he was in prison, and he has always felt the effects of this. Since he was born a poor and starving orphan he had not choice but to steal. If he had not he would have died a slow and painful death, but people still think that he is destined to be a dangerous criminal. Even though he is finally out of prison, he is still not free. He still wants the freedom of people not already having a bad opinion about him before they have even had the chance to get to know him.

    To end, a very important theme is the theme of freedom. In very different ways, many characters feel like they are not free at one point. This has created a lot of conflict and overall a lot of tension.

    1. mikaylaf

      I like your analysis and I completely agree! I’ve never thought about the theme of seeking freedom, but you’ve definitely provided many concrete examples of when this theme occurs.

  4. Sunna

    In this book, love has always been one of the main themes. When Pip confesses his love to Estella, it is once again displayed. On page 364, when Estella says that Pip will forget here in a week, he responds with, “‘Out of my thoughts! You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since — on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become aquatinted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may. O God bless you, God forgive you!’” I found this paragraph absolutely beautiful. It really put how Pip felt about Estella into these gorgeous, perfectly flowing words. She truly is his whole world, and he has known that since the moment that he met her all those years ago. This theme is so important because love is one of the purest things in the world. However, it can also be one of the most painful things, as well. Estella tells him that she never deceived him into believing that she loved him. Pip also finds out that Estella is to marry Drummle, breaking his heart once again. Even Miss Havisham pities Pip, possibly remembering her former lover. And the love in this story isn’t just romantic, but also platonic. Joe and Pip‘s father-son relationship is one of the best examples. Joe would do anything for Pip, even if Pip hasn’t exactly treated him very well. Clearly, the theme of love is quite significant in this novel, and will continue to be throughout the rest of this story.

  5. jaclynl

    Throughout the book, a motif that I have seen is love. I have especially noticed this with Pip and Estella and how even through everything, he hasn’t given up on this love. The first time that Pip and Estella ever met was when they were just kids, which was many years ago. Even after Pip had stopped going to Miss Havisham’s that often, left for London, and even found out that Miss Havisham was not even his benefactor, he still did not give up. In chapter 44, it is the first time Pip confesses his love for Estella aloud, besides him telling Herbert a few years ago. This is huge because he is not only saying it again, but he is also saying it to Estella herself. This is when she replies by saying that she does not feel anything for him and she had warned him of that years ago. She goes on and announces that she will be marrying Drummle very soon and that Pip has to get over it. Even after just being told all of this, Pip still goes on to say more. He makes a speech about how he has not been able to stop thinking about her since the very first time he saw her and that he loves her, still refusing to give up on this love of his. I find this very interesting because in many novels, a popular theme is to “Never Give Up.” But here, I feel as though the opposite message is being revealed. If Pip had just given up on Estella all of these years ago, his life would have been so much different. He would still have Joe and Biddy in his life. He wouldn’t be so desperate to be a gentleman. Although Pip hasn’t given up on this particular girl because he wants to follow his heart, I think that Dickens is giving us a message that sometimes it is okay to give up. Now that Estella will be marrying Drummle, I do hope that Pip will be able to get over this and move on.

  6. Emma Garbowitz

    A motif that I found reoccurring throughout the novel is Estella talking about how she has no heart and that it is just her nature. Estella had told Pip this before, but he still continues to love her without Estella loving him back. The text states, “It seems, said Estella, very calmly, ‘that there are sentiments, fancies – I don’t know how to call them – which I am not able to comprehend. When you say you love me, I know what you mean, as a form of words; but nothing more. You address nothing in by breast, you touch nothing there. I don’t care for what you say at all. I have tried to warn you of this; now, have I not?” This is exactly what Estella has told Pip a numerous amount of times. However, in these chapters the reader finds out that Estella is planning on marrying Bentley Drummle which is something I personally don’t understand. First of all, Bentley Drummle is a terrible person and I don’t think Estella is able to comprehend this. Like she has said before, she has no heart and she doesn’t understand love. Therefore, it makes zero sense whatsoever that she is marrying him if she is unable to really feel love.
    As well as this, I think that Pip thinks that Estella deserves so much more than Drummle. Pip even says himself that he wouldn’t mind if there was someone else who was a true gentleman that really cared for Estella, but for her to marry Drummle is such a disgrace and a terrible occurrence. The text states, “Put me aside for ever – you have done so, I well know – but bestow yourself on some worthier person than Drummle.” This shows how Pip would be okay if Estella were to be with someone else, but most definitely not Bentley Drummle.
    Finally, the reoccurring motif of Pip loving Estella is shown again in chapter 44. Pip is still madly in love with Estella and she even tells him that he will get over her soon after she is married. However, Estella does not seem to understand how deeply in love Pip is with her and he has tried to get over her a countable number of times, yet he physically cannot. Therefore, with this instance reoccurring I proceed to think Pip will not be getting over Estella any time soon. The text states, “Out of my thoughts! You are a part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded ever then.”This shows how Estella became a part of Pip’s life ever since he was a young boy and It is going to take a tremendous amount of time for Pip to even get over her a slight amount.
    Therefore, throughout these past few chapters many reoccurring motifs have come back and play a very important role to the excavating plot of the novel.

  7. Maddie

    Throughout the novel I have noticed many times that Dickens connects characters over time. What I mean by this is that a character that is introduced at the beginning of the novel is brought back into the story in a new way. An example of this is when Pip meets the pale young gentleman in chapter 11. He does not know the gentleman, nor why the gentleman is at Miss Havisham’s house, he just knows that he is going to fight him, and he beats him. After that, the pale young gentleman does not come back into the story until chapter 21, where he is known as Herbert Pocket. Pip and Herbert then forget about their differences and become good friends.
    Another part of the book where a character is introduced twice is with Pip’s convict. In the beginning of the novel, Pip meets his convict, who is cruel and nasty. He makes Pip bring him food and a file for the iron bar on his leg. Pip does as he’s told, and is forever afraid of the convict. Then the convict comes back, now called Magwitch, and Pip finds out that he is the person who made him a gentleman, and gave him all his riches and a good life in London. These are just some examples of characterization that Dickens uses in the novel, and there are sure to be many more!

    1. Hannah M.

      I agree greatly! He always connecting the characters! It makes the story better to understand and it gets us to know the characters better! God job Maddie!

      1. stephaniec

        I agree that all the characters that were first introduced in the beginning of the novel are all connecting back to later parts of the novel.

  8. Hannah Pitkofsky

    A common theme over the course of Pip’s life so far has been love, and that is why he wanted to become a gentleman in the first place. His love for his sister and Joe grew throughout his childhood, and he made some mistakes and had some arguments, but every teenager does that. Then, he falls in love with Estella and his whole life changes to impress her and make her like him back. However, Pip has finally come to the realization that he shouldn’t be in love with her anymore and he wants to “break up”. He heads over to Miss Havisham’s and Estella’s home last time and finds out that Estella never had feelings for him as strong as those he felt for her. What?! So, Estella, who Pip has been dearly in love with, and even left his family and became a different person for, doesn’t love him? Apparently so, and she has planned on marrying Drummle instead. This caught me way off guard because I was expecting that Estella would say that she felt the same and that it was for the best and then they’d break up, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth!

    Another interesting thing that Dickens did with the idea of love is that he made two “love interests” for Pip, but they were complete foils of each other: Estella and Biddy. One was a servant, the other was adopted by someone with lots of money. One was cold, and the other was warm. One was locked away, the other was set free. At the beginning of the novel, Pip had to choose between the two, and he chose Estella, which changed the course of the story, only to be rejected in the end. Overall, one of the central themes, love, has played an interesting role in the plot and it will be interesting to see where this takes the characters next.

  9. Hannah M.

    A common theme is this novel that Dickens is conveying throughout this novel is always be comfortable with yourself. This shown when Pip is trying his hardest to change just to be “good enough” for his love, Estella. I think Pip should just be his silly old self and if Estella doesn’t like him for who he is then that stinks for her! Pip is offered to become a gentleman and go to London and the first thing that comes to mind is how much he’ll miss Estella and how she’ll love him after his trip because he will be a “higher class”.
    Estella’s character is also a character that should just be herself. She is taught by Miss Havisham to break peoples hearts and to be malignant. I think on the inside Estella really just wants to rebel against Miss Havishams orders and actually love someone and be herself! She tries not to get to close to Pip for she may break his heart soon after. Estella brings out her real self when getting into an argument with Miss Havisham. “….I am what you have made me…” Estella is saying that she didn’t want to be this way it’s that Miss Havisham wanted her to be that kind of person who breaks hearts.
    All in all I think that Estella and Pip should both be themselves and find love that way. Hopefully Estella wont wind up breaking Pips heart. Or it can be the other way around… Who knows…..

  10. mikaylaf

    A motif that I have noticed throughout Great Expectations is the concept of double characters. In the very beginning of the novel, Pip comes across not one, but two convicts (who we now know as Magwitch and Compeyson). Throughout the rest of the book, when one convict is mentioned the other one soon follows. We can see this when they are being captured on the marshes (pages 36-38) and they are together, and while Magwitch is sharing his life story with Pip and Herbert (pages 347-352), in which Comeyson plays a big role. Another set of double characters are the two motherly figures, Mrs. Joe and Miss Havisham. Mrs. Joe is like a mother to Pip and the same for Miss Havisham to Estella. I found it interesting that Dickens chose to make Mrs. Joe and Miss Havisham motherly figures, not the biological mothers of their ‘children.’ Nevertheless, both women are similar in the sense that they want what is best for their children. Even though Mrs. Joe is a harsh and grumpy person, I think she really does care for Pip. The same goes for Miss Havisham. Even though she may have a weird way of expressing her feelings, she does want Estella to be happy. A third set of doubles in the novel are Biddy and Estella, the two girls who Pip has feelings for. I think a main idea of this novel is how Pip has to decide between Biddy and Estella. In the part of the book we are up to now, Pip ultimately decides to declare his love to Estella. However, before he came to this decision he was very conflicted as to who he wanted to be with. I think his head wanted him to be with Biddy. In other words, he liked the idea of loving Biddy, a smart and kind young girl. Pip even says so himself! In chapter 17 Pip says, “‘Biddy,’ said I, when we were walking homeward, ‘I wish you could put me right.’ ‘I wish I could!’ said Biddy. ‘If I could only get myself to fall in love with you – you don’t mind me speaking so openly to such an old acquaintance?’” (page 131) However, in his heart, Pip wants to be with Estella. He just can’t get her out of his head! How beautiful she is and the coldness which she uses to speak to him. The last set of doubles I noticed is the two secret benefactors. Magwitch was Pip’s secret benefactor, and Pip is Herbert secret benefactor. Magwitch provided Pip with the money he needed to become a gentleman. Similarly, Pip plans on raising the funds needed for Herbert to get and keep a real job.

    I think the reason why Dickens created so many double characters is to highlight their similarities and differences. Also, I think he did this to show the readers that there can be more than one type of person, like more than one type of criminal and more than one type of mother. I’m interested in seeing if there will be more doubles by the end of this novel, or if characters we’ve already met will end up with a double by the end of the book.

    1. MadiR

      I am also interested if any of the characters we have met already will have a double. I am really excited to see if Clara will have a double and Pip will find another person to love.

  11. janem

    Throughout “Great Expectations”, I have noticed that Pip has changed a lot. First, we have already noticed in Stage One Pip’s plans for the future have changed. He was originally content with being a blacksmith and was best friends with Joe, and only wanted to be with Joe forever. Then we see Pip change from the innocent young boy, to a teenager, and wanting more to a simple life. He wanted to become a gentleman and looked down on Joe for being so common. Eventually, Pip’s wish came true, and he was able to become a gentleman. Pip also stopped talking with Biddy. At first, we see her and Pip constantly talking, and Biddy teaching Pip everything she knew. And in chapter 17, we thought that after Biddy consoles Pip, there may have been some sparks flying. But nearly 30 chapters later, we realize that Pip has abandoned both Joe and Biddy for wealth and Estella. In Stage Two, I think Pip has changed the most. At first he is new to the city, homesick, and regrets leaving the forge. But very soon after he gets used to the upper class life, and quickly becomes best friends with Herbert. Next, I feel Pip hits his lowest point. He is drowning in debt, and is very snobbish at Mrs. Joe’s funeral. He acts shocked when Biddy calls him “Mr. Pip”, even though she is just trying to be respectful of his title as a gentleman (Page 282). He also makes a promise that he will visit Joe frequently, although wee have yet to see him go back home. Pip recovers from this low point by anonymously giving Herbert half of his earnings so he can buy into the merchant business. Another significant change is when Pip meets his benefactor, which turns out to be his convict. He is disgusted at first, and doesn’t want his money anymore, thinking its just some filthy money from a creepy convict. But after hearing the story of the convict’s childhood, he realizes he is not such a bad person after all, and starts to develop a concern for his safety from Compeyson. Lastly, I think Pip has changed in his feelings for Estella. We have seen that from the moment Pip saw her, he has been in love with Estella. At first he only saw her as a beautiful girl that haunted every one of his “common” moves. After not seeing her for a long time, Pip falls more in love with her, seeing that she is no longer taunting, yet she still breaks his heart by not remembering how poorly she treated him as a child and by acting like she is so much better and higher than him. Lastly, Pip hears she is getting married, to none other than Bentley Drummle. Pip confesses his love to Estella, but is rejected since she is set on marrying him. But one very interesting quote that stuck out to me was on page 364 when Estella says, “‘Don’t be afraid of my being a blessing to him,’…’I shall not be that.'” What does this mean? Does Estella have a plan to break his heart? Is she only marrying him under Miss Havisham’s orders so that she can get revenge and stand him up at the alter, much like what happened to Miss Havisham?

  12. Kate Ma.

    A common motif that I see is heartbreak. Pip gets his heartbroken many times by Estella but in these chapters I think it is the worst. Estella confesses to Pip how she will be marrying Drummle and Pip gets angry and confused. He doesn’t know why Estella would marry his enemy and not him. Pip seriously thought that him and Estella were meant to be by Miss. Havisham, but obviously not. I think this treats Pip a lesson to not put all you love and faith into someone when you don’t even really know them. In this scenario, Pip reminds me of past Miss. Havisham, when she got her heartbroken by a man who only wanted money. Miss. Havisham put all her love and faith into Compeyson just so that he can break her heart by using her for her money. Both of these heartbreaks caused suffrage between both Pip, and Miss. Havisham. Pip will now never find love because he will be thinking and mourning over Estella his whole life who probably will forget about him. Miss. Havisham suffers by never getting over her heartbreak. She stopped time before her heart was broken that’s how bad it was. I think that Pip needs to learn how to live with scars from the past or else he will end up like Miss. Havisham.

    1. Casey

      I agree. Pip is setting himself up to be heart-broken again and again by falling for Estella, who he can’t have.

  13. Casey

    In chapters, we see how different relationships in the novel are evolving. In these chapters, Pip finally returns home, not to see Joe and Biddy, but to see Estella and Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham admits that she pretended to lead Pip on as if she was the benefactor even though she wasn’t. She also decides that she needs to help Pip help Herbert since Pip no longer is receiving money from the convict. Pip finds Estella again and finally confesses his love for her, only to be heartbroken again. She claims that she never loved him and decides to marry Drummle instead of Pip. I think that this is the end of Pip and Estella’s relationship. Throughout the whole novel, Pip has been in love with Estella, even though she was extremely rude to him in the beginning. Pip was constantly being insulted by Estella, yet he still chose to love her, which I find very interesting. I definitely wouldn’t want to be around someone who was as rude as she was to Pip. Even though Estella has broken Pip’s heart multiple times, he still doesn’t seem to understand that she isn’t the right person for him. It makes me wonder, when will Pip move on?

    1. Zoe

      I agree that this is the definite end of Pip and Estella’s relationship, although I still think Mrs.Havisham will hold on to it. You can see her pity towards love-sick Pip while he confesses to Estella and you can tell she wants Estella to have the heart to understand his love. Mrs.Havisham is definitely someone who wishes Estella were not he way she is, and maybe she regrets bringing her up this way.

  14. Zoe

    In these chapters you get to learn a lot more about Clara. When I saw the relationship between Clara and Herbert it made me think about Pip and Estella’s relationship. In a way, the two couples are foils of each other. Throughout the whole story, Pip has constantly tried to get Estella and she has refused because she has no heart. Clara, on the other hand, loves Herbert unconditionally and the two have a great dynamic as a couple. Clara cares for others like her dad and Herbert and even the woman who brought her up, although she wasn’t even her mom. That’s why she wants someone just as kind as her; Herbert.However, Estella is rude and proud towards all her family, especially her “adopted mother” and wants to marry someone just as cold hearted as she. You can tell when Pip sees Herbert and Clara together, that he envies this kind of relationship and sees how loving they are for each other. It’s like he is wondering how he even likes Estella in the first place, when he could have had another, much kinder love, in his old village; Biddy. At this point in the story, it’s like Pip is slowly realizing all his past mistakes and looking back on a life he could have had, if only he didn’t meet Mrs.Havisham or was created a gentleman by his convict. The third stage in Pip’s expectations is the real turning point of Pip’s story and it’s up to him to change his story for the better.

    1. angelicac1

      I never realized that those two couples were foils of each other. It’s interesting in a way. Just imagine if everything was switched and Pip and Biddy were a loving couple.

  15. johnh1

    I noticed that people have a lot of relationship’s being destroyed. In the novel we learn Miss Havisham’s story. Her story was that she loved a man but he was actually a con artist and stole her money and ran. This led to Miss Havisham to teach Estella to break people’s hearts. Years later Pip fell in love with Estella and since she was so cold left him and played with his feelings. This also ruined his possible relationship with Biddy, a nice girl from his hometown. This shows up as a kind of cycle in the book. I am also seeing people judging young ones. Early in the book Pumblechook and other adults would relentlessly insult Pip and talk negatively about him without cause. Now, we learn that people always assumed Magwitch was a criminal and no good. This actually might have led to his becoming a criminal. A lot has been shown in this book and as it is coming to a close more and more might be shown.

  16. MadiR

    While reading chapters 43-46 this evening I noticed that Dickens used very exceptional imagery. My favorite example of this is in chapter 45 when Pip is warned not to go home and he has to spend the night at Hummums in Covent Garden. Pip is brought to a vault like room with a huge monstrous four-poster bedstead. “When I had lain awake a little while, those extraordinary voices with which silence teems, began to make themselves audible. The closet whispered, the fireplace sighed, the little washing-stand ticked, and one guitar-string played occasionally in the chest of drawers. At about the same time, the eyes on the wall acquired a new expression, and in every one of those staring rounds I saw written, DON’T GO HOME.” (page 367) Charles Dickens forms a mental image when he describes what Pip sees, hears, and smells in the room. Pip is frightened from what he imagines in these objects, sounds, and smells.

    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree that this scene really allowed you to picture the description of the room and you could picture it as if you were really there. Dickens allowed me to do this by using great descriptions about what the room actually looked like.

  17. stephaniec

    Throughout the novel, one ongoing theme I have noticed is if you love someone let them go. The first time this theme presented itself to me was a specific scene between Joe and Pip. Joe came to London to visit Pip at the request of Miss. Havisham. Miss. Havisham wanted to send a message to Pip, who was now living in London. In addition to passing along this information, Joe wanted to make something clear with Pip. Essentially, Joe explained to Pip that their lives were heading down different paths, and that they basically needed to sever their ties with each other. Although this was very painful and upsetting for Joe, who became a father figure to Pip and one of Pip’s closest companions, he did not want to stand in the way of Pip’s goals. Therefore, he decided to take a step back from Pip’s life. This theme occurred again, except in a scene between Estella and Pip. Estella revealed that she had planned to marry Drummle, a character who Pip was not fond of. As heartbroken and devastated Pip was, he said “‘Among those few, there may be one who loves you as dearly, though he has not loved you as long, as I. Take him, and I can bear it better, for your sake.’” (page 363). Even though Pip loves Estella, he would be able to let her go if he knew she planned to be with someone who was worthy of her. I think Dickens’ continued to portray this theme for the benefit of the readers and for the characters in the novel.

  18. Sophie

    The biggest aspect of Great Expectations I’ve noticed is Dickens use of characters. I love the way he’s purposely foreshadowed small characters in the beginning, to then re-occur and have a HUGE impact on the final product. For example, it happens at the beginning of the novel when Pip gets into the whole situation with his convict Magwitch. I’ll be completely honest and say that I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to that part because I thought it wasn’t important, but boy was I wrong! After reading these recent chapters and analyzing what was going on, I had to go back and re read the beginning with Magwitch, and it then made so much sense! I find it so amazing how Dickens is able to create the mysterious effect of, “who was that character and why did they matter”, to then the feeling of such satisfaction when the character comes back into play with such a purpose. Another time this happened was with Herbert. In the earlier chapters when Pip was seeing Miss Havisham, he got into a random fist fight with some strange “pale young gentleman”. I had no idea why Dickens made this a part of the story line, so I kind of forgot about it. But once Pip got to London he reunited with him, it made so much sense because Herbert plays such an important role in Pips life. He is Pips best friend! When Pip shut out all of his old friends and family back at home, Herbert was there. Overall, Dickens had an amazing way of bringing together different characters of different situations to all make one big picture.

  19. Rcey Ortega

    One theme that I found in volume 2, is you can get something in return for your good deeds. In the first volume, Pip meets the convict. The convict tells Pip to get him food and some other materials or he’ll have Pip’s liver to feast on. Out of fear, Pip takes a pork pie and the other materials he asked for. Pip gives him the things he asked for and went back home. Then, after a couple of visits to Ms. Havisham’s, he wants to become a gentleman for Estella. After, toward the end of volume 1, Mr. Jaggers met up with Pip and sent him to London to learn how to be a gentleman. Pip didn’t know who did this. He thought it was Ms. Havisham. Later, towards the end of volume 2, Pip finds out who it is that made him a gentleman. It was his convict! Mr. Provis, Pip’s convict, said ever since Pip helped him that he wanted to do something in return. He wanted to make him a gentleman. Pip was filled with amazement and suprise when this happened. However, Pip doesn’t really trust him. I think that Provis might just be tricking Pip to get his money, just what Compeyson did to Ms. Havisham.

  20. angelicac1

    A reoccurring motif that appears throughout “Great Expectations” is that social class isn’t connected to someone’s true character. Dickens has a numerous amount of characters in this novel and they have either a low, middle, or high social standard. It is shown that these characters’ true selfs don’t connect to their social status. For example, Miss Havisham has a high social standard. She lives a lavish lifestyle and she has the money to make herself content. She has it all! At first some would think that Miss Havisham would be satisfied with her life, however, she isn’t. Miss Havisham is cold and bitter because of the heartbreak she experienced by her past lover who made her a pawn. She doesn’t have a care about her wealth. Instead she obsesses over trying to ruin Pip’s love life by pressuring Estella to break his heart.

    1. Brishti Sarkar

      I think Dickens does this to portray that money and social class does not equal happiness. Joe, who is just a lowly blacksmith, is much more happier than Miss Havisham. And even though Herbert is higher than Joe, he is the most cheerful and optimistic character in the novel, despite Pip thinking that he would not get far in life.

    2. trinityt

      I agree. Money or social class does not defy who you are as a person or what your life is like. Miss Havisham may be high in social status, but her personal life is not so good.

  21. Brishti Sarkar

    One of the recurring motifs and symbols in the novel is the use of the Satis House as a main spot for significant events to occur. When we are first introduced to the house, Pip is just a boy and is sent there to simply “play”. This is the place where he first meets Estella and Miss Havisham, and it is also the first time he begins to open his eyes to the fact that he is common, which leads him to become ashamed of his home. As the story progresses and Pip grows, this house becomes a “safe haven” for Pip. He came in almost every day to work for Miss Havisham, play with Estella, and grow more in love with her. One day, before he gets his expectations, he is told not to come back to the Satis House. After that, he only frequently visits, only for special occasions. During the second stage, something very important happens when he visits. During that visit, Pip sees Estella taking a stand against Miss Havisham. That is a major turning point for all of them because Pip had never seen her do something like this, and based on Miss Havisham’s reaction, this was likely the first time she had seen her do this. It stated several times that she was “making a low moaning”(p.306), as if she weren’t expecting Estella to say something like this. In tonight’s reading, however, Pip proclaims his love for Estella right in front of Miss Havisham. Estella reinforms Pip that she has “no heart”. After this, Pip feels more ashamed and heartbroken than ever before, because after pouring his heart out to Estella, she hardly cares, and even tells him that she is to marry Drummle. Pip responds to this by exclaiming how “so much was gone, that when I went out at the gate, the light of the day seemed of a darker colour than when I went in.”(365). Overall, it is shown that the Satis house is a reflection of Pip’s thoughts and feelings whenever he goes there.

    1. maxwellw

      I like and agree with your notion of the Satis House really being a significant location for major events in the plot.

  22. maxwellw

    In our more recent chapter’s of Great Expectations, something I’ve noticed is about a commentary on 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). The theme of the social class is central to the novel’s plot and an important moral theme of the book—Pip’s realizing that wealth and class are less important than affection, loyalty, and inner worth. Pip achieves this realization when he is finally able to understand that, despite the esteem in which he holds Estella, one’s social status is in no way connected to one’s real character. Drummle, for instance, is an upper-class lout, while Magwitch, a persecuted convict, has a deep inner worth.

  23. trinityt

    In tonight’s reading, I see the theme money isn’t everything, which also relates to how social class doesn’t determine what a person is like, connect with previous chapters in “Great Expectations”. In this novel, Dickens has numerous characters that all has their rank or place in social class. Whether they’re high in social class, in the middle, or low in social class, their social class doesn’t defy who they are and determine what their personal life is like.
    For example, Miss Havisham is in a high social class. She’s rich, and she lives in a grand, luxurious life. However, it’s not the same with her personal life. Due to the tragedy that happened on her wedding day, Miss Havisham suffers from her heartbreak. She uses Estella to break the hearts of men as a revenge for what happened to her in the past. This also impact Estella, because she will not be able to lead a life of her own, and is controlled by Miss Havisham. After reading chapter 44, founding out that Estella will marry Drummle by Miss Havisham’s decision, I wonder if Estella will stand up for herself before it’s too late.
    Another example is Mr.Provis. Mr.Provis is not in a high social class. He is not rich. In fact, his appearance made him look like the worst part of society, but his appearance does not defy who he actually is. Nor does his social status or wealth. Deep down, Mr.Provis has a good heart. He made Pip a gentleman, not to ask for something in return, but to thank him for the good deed that Pip did years ago back at the marshes. He wanted the best for Pip!
    It’s not just these two characters that the theme, money isn’t everything, apply to. Throughout this novel, there are other numerous characters that relate to this theme as well. Whether it’s good or not so good, social class and money does not defy these characters, their personal life, and their personalities.

  24. josepha4

    One issue that has been on my mind through all the chapters is that your social ranking determines the way you are “allowed” to behave in your life and that people think of people in lower classes as less than people. It all goes way back to the beginning chapters when Estella shows repugnance towards Pip when she sees his “Thick boots and coarse hands”. Pip was seldom exposed to this difference before between the classes and even any two people because he was so young but Once he was exposed to Estella, there was no way to go back. Pip’s journey was begun into nonsense titles and the motto that “your money determines your behavior.” Pip becomes ashamed of the things he used to consider natural and normal, and even pleasant for him. Class becomes extremely clear whether it’s obsequiousness from people near his own class, like Mr. Pumblechook shaking his hand over and over, or the power he finally has over the tailor’s bully son. Another example is when he visits the Pocket’s house and all Mrs. Pocket is talking about is what she “could have been” and what she “should have been,” while Mr. Pocket is trying not to go crazy listening to the nonsense of Mrs. Pocket’s hypothetical life. Lastly, and a recent example, brings out the difference even between social class and just having money: Pip is ashamed of where his money came from. It will affect his status as a gentleman and it will make him feel less just because someone worked for their money. I don’t think that the way somebody had to make a living should determine how “worthy” their money is, and money shouldn’t determine worth anyway. Joe and Biddy are probably the most likable characters in the whole novel. Obviously, somewhere even in a noble person’s ancestry, somebody had to work for their money. Mrs. Havesham’s father was a brewer.
    Why is that an “acceptable” way to make money when being a butcher or blacksmith is not? It may sound too simple, but if a person is happy with the way they are they shouldn’t change their way of life to make somebody else happy.


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