Identify the plot twists in the novel Great Expectations.

Essay by jonnylit June 2004

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The three basic plot twists in the novel Great Expectations grip the reader's attention and add impact to the moral themes of the story.

The major twists help divide the story into three parts, known in the novel as: The stages of Pip's great expectations.

The first twist appears when the young, ambitious orphan Pip, finds out that he has a secret benefactor; his dreams of becoming a gentleman are about to come true. Pip is certain that his benefactor is the eccentric, old lady from Satis House, Miss Haversham. He believes that he is going to be trained as a gentleman, and as the future husband of Estella; Miss Haversham's beautiful adopted daughter.

Pip leaves the old marsh town and his true friends; Biddy his teacher, and Joe his brother-in law, and goes to London.

The wealth and social advancement changes Pip; he becomes idle and snobbish.

Pip continues to feel deeply towards Estella, and is still certain that his benefactor is Miss Haversham. The second major twist comes at a time when Pip is into the high life. He feels embarrassed about his old friends Biddy and Joe. He conscience makes him feel guilty, but his desire to become a gentleman controls him.

Pip gets an unexpected visitor one night; the repugnant convict, Magwitch. This is when that Pip's great expectations fall; Magwitch tells him that he is his secret benefactor. Pip now realizes that Miss Haversham has been leading him on for her own pleasure; and that he is not the intended husband of Estella. Pip's dreams are shattered.

Pip goes through a dramatic change, self-reflection, extreme guilt and moral turmoil. The whole plot completely changes from here.

The last twist happens when Pip gives up the dream of becoming a...