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Simran Kaur and Karina Schneider

Great Expectations


1. Everything about the book

2. Summary

3. Most important characters

4. Settings in the book

5. Symbols in the book

6. Rhetorical devices

  • The book is written by Charles Dickens
  • In the years 1860 and 1861
  • There were great social changes in the mid-19th century
  • More people were leaving the countryside moving to cities
  • The education system was improving
  • The law system was changing

Everything about the book

  • The writing style is mainly wry and humorous
  • Pip explained tragic and unfortunate situations with dark humour
  • Genre of the book is Bildungsroman
  • Bildungsroman has usually 4 stages
  • The Protagonist endures a great loss (e.g., Pip is an orphan)
  • Journey (e.g., Pip`s Journey from lower class to upper class)
  • Conflicts and great growth (e.g., Pip is in debt; he was embarrassed of his origins)
  • Maturity (e.g., Pip from childhood till adulthood)

  • Phillip Pirrip lives in the countryside with his Sister Mrs. Joe and her Husband Joe, who is a Blacksmith.
  • On Christmas eve Pip visits the graves of his Parents and five brother and has an encounter with a convict named Magwitch, who threatens him to still for him. Later, Magwitch gets caught.
  • Then pip receives an invitation to Miss Havisham’s House to play with her adopted daughter Estella with whom he falls in love with. A few years pass and Pip becomes a young man and works as an apprentice with joe.
  • Mr. Jaggery informs him that he has a fortune now and needs to go to London to learn how to take part in the upper class.
  • Pip was convinced, that he received the fortune from Miss Havisham.
  • He leaves for London and quickly learns how to be part of the upper class.
  • While trying to impress other People and Estella Pip becomes a snob and starts to neglect his family because he is ashamed of his origins.
  • Pip attends his sister’s funeral and feels uncomfortable in his childhood hometown.
  • Pip starts to spend a lot of money and becomes in debt.
  • Magwitch comes from Australia to visit Pip, to tell that he is his benefactor.
  • Pip, Herbert (Miss Havisham`s relative) and Wemmick (Mr. Jaggery`s Clerk) help Magwitch escape England.
  • Pip comes to hear that Estella is marrying Bentley Drummle, he tries to convince her not to marry him, but she does not listen.
  • Miss Havisham`s dress catches fire, from which she gets severely burned and dies because of it.
  • Magwitch`s escape plan fails, and he is sent back to prison where he is sentenced to be executed
  • Magwitch tells Pip that Estella is his long-lost daughter .


Two endings:

Pip and Estella meet after many years
Estella is remarried to someone else
They part their ways for ever

Pip and Estella meet after many years
Estella is a widow
Pip and Estella get together again


Pip is the Protagonist of Great Expectations and is an orphan, who was raised by his sister and his brother in law. He is part of the lower class and strives becoming part of the upper class. After falling in love with Estella, he dreams of becoming a gentleman, so she can finally love him back. He is a dynamic figure, since he undergoes many changes throughout the book. His mind-set and social position change as he moves to London. Pip has many traits, therefore he is a round character. Because of all his traits and feelings being revealed in the novel, he is a closed figure.


Joe Gargery is Mrs Joe´s husband and Pip´s brother in law. He is a father figure for Pip and is always there for him. His other traits are his kindness and his selflessness. Joe is also part of the lower class and works as the blacksmith in their village.

Joe Gargery

Mrs Joe is Joe Gargery´s wife and Pip´s sister. While raising Pip, she was very abusive and strict towards him. Her anger comes from her obsession with becoming wealthy and part of the upper class. She eventually dies after being attacked.

Mrs Joe

Abel Magwitch is an escaped, dangerous convict who threatens Pip in the beginning of the novel. Pip does many things for him such as stealing food and a file. But still, Pip does not snitch on him. Abel Magwitch becomes a kind character and even helps Pip to become a gentleman in the end.

Abel Magwitch

Estella is the love of Pip´s life, but unfortunately cold, cruel and uninterested in him. She was raised by Miss Havisham who trains Estella to break the hearts of many men. Estella and Miss Havisham are both wealthy and live at the Satis House.


Miss Havisham was left by her fiancé on their wedding day, which is the reason why she hates men and uses Estella to get revenge on them.

Miss Havisham


Each setting was used to mirror the feelings of the protagonist Pip.

The three main locations make Pip who he is, and it represents the aspects of himself – his hopes, fear, pride, and shame.

  1. The Forge was a place of harmony and safety, and had the loving mood for Pip.
  2. The Satis House represents his hopes, such as his longing for Estella. The Satis House represents Pip´s fear with the barely lit rooms, rotted food, and the abusive Miss Havisham.
  3. In London, Pip becomes prideful, and becomes embarrassed of his childhood, including his best friend Joe and of the social status he used to have. He becomes ashamed at himself later for his betrayals of his loved ones, along with many of his other past actions.

The Satis House

represents wealth, since Satis means “enough” and the upper class who Pip dreams to be part of.

Miss Havisham´s wedding dress

represents her past, betrayal and her pain due to her fiancé leaving her on their wedding day.

Light and darkness

The light represents goodness, whereas the dark represents evil or the unknown. Joe’s character emits light to guide Pip along the way while the Satis House is almost completely dark.


Pip´s love for Estella

symbolizes ambition. Estella is always cruel and distant towards Pip and rejects him constantly. But still, he doesn’t give up and keeps fighting for her love.


represents isolation and manipulation because when she was young, she didn’t want to play with other children, including Pip. And she was raised by Miss Havisham to manipulate men and break their hearts.


"Joe and I were going. In his working- well-knit characteristic-looking blacksmith; in his holiday clothes, he was more like a scarecrow in good circumstances, than anything else"

"she pounced upon me, like an eagle on a lamb"


"Whether myrmidons of Justice, specially sent down from London, would be lying in ambush behind the gate?"

"What could I become with these surroundings? How could my character fail to be influenced by them? Is it to be wondered at if my thoughts were dazed, as my eyes were, when I came out into the natural light from the misty yellow rooms?"

Rhetorical Question