themes of great expectations

Brian Joseph

4 March 1998


Three themes from the novel,

Great Expectations

Theme. (Them), n.

1. Topic; subject. 2. A short written composition.

Great Expectations was a great novel with many themes.

The themes I am going to tell you about are the following:

Self discovery and maturity, loyalty and responsibility, and how

wealth and position corrupt.

The theme, "Self discovery and maturity" took place when Pip

went to Miss Havisham's house and was made fun of by Estella;

when she was talking bad about Pip's suit, his shoes, and his

coarse hands. After that he changed so that he would be liked by

Estella. Pip really matures when he goes to London to live with Mr.

Jaggers. He has to turn into a gentleman to be accepted by the

society that he has to live in.

The theme, "loyalty and responsibility" took place when Pip

went back to the church yard to bring the convict back some

supplies and tells him, "I'm glad you enjoy it." Pip didn't have to go

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back to the convict after being scared but I think he did out of being

scared and out of generosity. He learned of the responsibility he

must have when it comes to great sums of money and on how to

use. Once he turned twenty-one, he was responsible for his own

self in a way.

The theme, "how wealth and position corrupt" had to do

with after Pip left to be with Mr. Jaggers. Estella liked him more

when Pip had a lot of money and when he had a nice suit. The sad

part was that Joe thought he had to act all humble around Pip, when

Pip wanted him to be like himself. Pip also didn't like the sight of Joe

in such nice attire and trying to be so gentle-man like.

Back then the amount of money you had determined what

kind of person you were and enabled you to be a part of all the

formal parties and such. Wealth played a big role in the book and in

those times. If you were rich you had to learn how to act, like Pip

learned manners, how to fence, how to dine, and how to dance.

Towards the end of the book Pip was in a coma, when he awoke he

in his bed with Joe next to him. Pip stayed with Joe at Joe and

Biddies house.

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I think the book was good. I think the ending could have been

different with Pip marring Estella. I like how Joe got to marry and be

with someone who didn't him and who didn't poke fun at him.

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