Time is the force that weighs upon characters’ hopes and dreams in Great Expectations. These characters are fixated on the future, but are frustrated as the past haunts them and prevents them from attaining these dreams. The pace of time is simultaneously rapid and lethargic, and different worlds within the novel have different ways of measuring time. Time is also closely tied to mortality, reminding characters of their encroaching deaths and emphasizing all that has yet to be accomplished.
Miss Havisham and Pip view time in similar ways; she is trapped in the past, while he tries to escape to his future.
Time is a destructive force in Great Expectations.