Great Expectation Summary

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Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens. It was first published in serial form in the publication All the Year Round[1] from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. It has been adapted for stage and screen over 250 times.[2] Great Expectations is written in the style of bildungsroman, which follows the story of a man or woman in their quest for maturity, usually starting from childhood and ending in the main character's eventual adulthood. Great Expectations is the story of the orphan Pip, writing about his life and attempting to become a gentleman along the way. The novel can also be considered semi-autobiographical of Dickens, like much of his work, drawing on his experiences of life and people. The main plot of Great Expectations takes place between Christmas Eve 1812, when the protagonist is about seven years old (and which happens to be the year of Dickens' birth), and the winter of 1840.[3] On Christmas Eve of 1812, Pip,a boy aged 7, encounters an escaped convict in the village churchyard while visiting his mother and father's graves. The convict scares Pip into stealing food for him and a file to grind away his leg shackles. He threatens Pip not to tell anyone and do as he says or his friend will cut out Pip's heart. Pip returns home, where he lives with Mrs. Joe, his older sister, and her husband Joe Gargery. His sister is very cruel and beats him and Joe regularly, while Joe is much more kind to Pip. Early the next morning, Pip steals food and drink from the Gargery pantry (including a pie for their Christmas feast) and sneaks out to the graveyard. It is the first time in Pip’s life he’s felt truly guilty. This is an important event in the book because the convict will never forget the kindness (albeit forced) that Pip showed to him. The convict, however, waits many years to fully show his gratitude. During Christmas dinner with the minister, Mr. Wopsle, Mr. and Mrs. Hubble, and Uncle Pumblechook, Pip and Mrs. Joe's moderately wealthy uncle, no one...
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