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Main Theme Of Great Expectations

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Great Expectations is the second last novel by English writer, Charles Dickens. The novel was first published as a serial in Dickens' weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 01 December 1860 to August of 1861. Chapman and Hall publishers then published the complete novel in October of 1861. The story is told from a first person narrative point of view, and is consider to be a retrospective one as Pip, now an older man, telling his life's story and commenting on it along the way. The story takes place in London and Pip’s home town, on the marshes around Kent, near the junction of the Rivers Thames and Medway.
The novel follows the story of a poor orphan, Pip, who lives home with his abusive sister and her husband. Pip falls in love with Estella,
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The first part of the story starts from Pip's childhood from the time he meets the convict in the graveyard until the time he receives his great expectations from the mysterious benefactor. The second inspects his young manhood, learning to become a gentleman and living lavishly in London. Finally, the third part shows us Pip in his adulthood, from the time he tries to help Magwitch escape London until his return from working in Egypt at the end of the story.
The novel addresses many different themes like moral regeneration, wealth and imperialism. But the most central theme in the novel is gentility and class. Throughout the narrative, Pip is obsessed with becoming a sophisticated individual and acquiring social superiority and good manners because to him, that is what makes a perfect
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Pip grew up looking forward to being Joe’s apprentice in the forge. Miss Havisham and Estella, however, destroy that dream when they teach him to be ashamed of his rough and common life. Their encouragement, combined with his low self-esteem and his sister's messages about wealth and security, fuel his desires, ambitions, and snobbery. Pip leaves his state of childish innocence and "grace" and goes downhill into sin on his quest to gain his desires. He desires it all, but is not willing to pay the price.
Pip’s snobbery is evident when he visits Trabb's shop and he lands the shop boy in trouble for not treating him with respect. This is unlike Pip, who grew up with a passive personality due to being abused by his sister. Young Pip rarely showed authority, desire, or independence, but now that he has money he feels like he should be respected and treated otherwise by everyone, especially by people he deems to be of less social standing compared to
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