October 3

“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 #15

 

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
October 1

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 #14
September 28

“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 #13
September 27

“I am what you have made me.”

Tonight you only need to read one chapter!  After you read chapter 38 please respond here to any developments of theme, motif, symbol, or imagery that you see arising.  Please try to avoid plot summary and instead focus on analysis.  You will probably find a lot of characterization in this chapter which is fairly obvious, but for tonight’s assignment concentrate more on theme or even motif.    Dig deep!  See where your thoughts take you.

As always, follow the rules of standard written English in all your writing for English class!  Be sure also that you respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

GE #12
September 26

“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 #11
September 25

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 #10
September 24

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 #9
September 21

“Well,” said Wemmick, “he’ll give you wine, and good wine. I’ll give you punch, and not bad punch….”

Read chapters 23-26 (or chaps 4-7 of Volume II) of Great Expectations.  Then, compare and contrast Pip’s experiences at Mr. and Mrs. Pocket’s, Mr. Wemmick’s and Mr. Jaggers’ homes.  How do these experiences contribute to Pip’s education in the ways of the world?

Be sure to use specific details from the text to support your opinions.

Be sure also that you respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

Don’t forget that you need to follow the rules of standard written English in all your writing for English class, even your short comments on the Great Expectations blog!

GE blog #8
September 20

We Britons had at that time particularly settled that it was treasonable to doubt our having and our being the best of everything: otherwise, while I was scared by the immensity of London, I think I might have had some faint doubts whether it was not rather ugly, crooked, narrow, and dirty.

Read chapters 20-22 (ch. 1, 2, and 3 of Volume II) of Great Expectations and then compare Pip’s experience so far in London with his expectations of it.  What message might Dickens be trying to convey to the reader thereby?  Be sure to use specific details from the text to support your opinions.  Don’t forget that you need to follow the rules of standard written English in all your writing for English class, even your short comments on the Great Expectations blog!

Be sure also that you respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

Also, as you read, look for and mark with a sticky note any passages you think are discussion-worthy!

GE blog #7