Book Review of 'Great Expectations'

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Great Expectations Introduction In his novel Great Expectations, published in1861, Charles Dickens examines the class system of Victorian England and the effect wealth and position had on the lives of the people living during the period. The novel follows the life of Philip Pirrip (Pip) from his childhood as an orphan being raise by Joe Gargery (his brother-in-law) and his sister (simply known as Mrs. Joe in the novel). The story concerns Pip's efforts to become a gentleman and win the affections of Estella, the adopted daughter of Miss Havisham a lady of means. This paper will explore the effects wealth and money had on Pip, Miss Havisham and Joe. Throughout the novel the actions of these characters demonstrate the values of loyalty, affection, and benevolence is more important than wealth and class. Discussion The protagonist of the novel, Pip, is deeply driven to better his position in life and marry Estella. Toward this end he disassociates himself from the people who care about him the most because he is embarrassed by their course dress and manners. Pip was mortified to learn that Joe, who was a blacksmith from the working class and had taken him in when he was orphaned, was coming to London to visit him while he was learning to be a gentleman, "If I could have kept him away by paying money, I certainly would have paid money" (209). At this point in the story Pip desire for status outweighs his loyalty and affection for Joe. However, later in the tale
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