Great Expectations

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade October 2001

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Learning Life's Lessons Charles Dickens' last novel, Great Expectations, told a story about growing up and learning from your mistakes. From the beginning, a poor boy, Pip, was finding himself in different predicaments. One was when he helped a convict live through his escape from imprisonment. Pip began to inherit money from an unknown benefactor. He thought his inheritance was from an old, rich and wretched woman, Miss Havisham, and that his "great expectations" were to wed her adopted daughter, his love, Estella. Pip left his family and loved ones to learn and to live the life of a gentleman. Pip's understanding of human compassion changed throughout the story, from growing up with love and sensitivity, to replacing morals with money and status, and finally learning that compassion will outlast wealth.

Pip's brother in law, Joe, taught Pip the importance of love and honesty. Joe measured a man by his morals and by his personal values.

Mrs. Joe Gargery treated Joe poorly, but he stood by her and believed she was a good woman, and thus devoted himself to her. Joe was uneducated, yet eager to learn. He taught Pip the importance of honesty and trust. In one part of Stage One, Pip began wo