Essay on Great Expectations Theme Analysis

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Since it was first published over 150 years ago, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations has come to be known as a timeless and remarkably moving work of literature. It is considered to be one of Dickens’ most recognizable works, and is celebrated for its meaningful, universally-believed themes. In order for this novel to be properly understood, a thoughtful analysis of its major themes must be given. Socio-Economic Status and Hierarchy The ones who seem to be most affected by society’s beliefs about class and social order are Pip, his family, and his friends, who would definitely fall under the “lower” part of the socio-economic ladder. Throughout the novel, the “lower” characters have a heightened and even a bit unhealthy obsession with…show more content…
Family The theme of family is shown mainly through Pip’s relationship with his brother-in-law, Joe Gargery. In the beginning of the novel, Pip makes it obvious that he dislikes his sister, and takes more of a liking to her husband Joe because Pip is able to sympathize with him (Dickens 40). Joe becomes his confidant, a fact that becomes apparent when Pip comes home to face a harsh interrogation by Mrs. Joe and Uncle Pumblechook after his first visit to Miss Havisham’s. Pip lies to the both of them about his experience, but feels guilty about doing the same to Joe and confesses his wrongdoing. Joe shows understanding towards Pip, and instead of sternly rebuking him for lying, he simply but seriously Pip about the dangers of lying, saying “if you can’t get to be oncommon (uncommon) through going straight, you’ll never get to do it through going crooked” (Dickens 100). While Pip’s relationship with Joe is being tested by his desire to gain a higher social standing, Pip shows significant guilt over his mistreatment of Joe ( Dickens 296), proving that deep down, Pip never loses his deep love for Joe. It can be safely assumed that the point that Dickens wants to make through Pip and Joe’s relationship is that family is not necessarily determined by biological connections, but by who a person is closest to and feels most comfortable sharing their life with through the best and worst times. The importance
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