Great Expectations
Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Society and Class

Pip desperately wants to be part of the cool crowd, but he doesn't have the right shoes, the right slang, or the right parents. Admit it: we've all been there. (Well, okay, maybe a few of you haven...

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

Dreams, hopes, plans … and Great Expectations. Fun fact about "expectations": having "expectations" in the nineteenth century specifically meant that you expected to inherit some money after the...

Wealth

All you need is love, but in Great Expectations love doesn't get you far without a little money. To Pip, there's no question that Estella might love him as a poor blacksmith's boy: he has to make h...

Friendship

Pip doesn't deserve his friends. There. We said it. Joe, Biddy, and Herbert—not to mention Magwitch—all show Pip loyalty that he not only doesn't deserve, but that he seems to actively not dese...

Love

Ugh, Pip. Pip is totally that friend of yours who will not shut up about his crush. He spends hours analyzing her last text message, changes his IM status to "available" as soon as she logs on, and...

Innocence

Children are our future, right? Well, someone needs to tell the adults of Great Expectations, because, for the most part, they seem to see children as little savages who need to be beaten, abused,...

Lies and Deceit

Great Expectations has more secrets than a season of Pretty Little Liars. From the source of his fortune to the mystery of Estella's parentage—not to mention all the minor secrets, like Wemmick's...

Time

If we could turn back time … we'd tell Pip to refuse to enter Miss Havisham's garden. But we can't. So, instead, we'll just point out that Great Expectations is, more than anything, a novel about...

Contrasting Regions

Pip is just a small town boy wandering up and down the boulevard—and, like a lot of small-town boys (or girls), he finds that big city life isn't all it's cracked up to be. And, like those small-...

Criminality

Magwitch is more of a thug busting up a pawn shop than a smooth criminal: that role is left to the gentleman-like Compeyson. The novel is full of criminals, from Orlick to Magwitch to Molly to Arth...

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