The title of Charles Dickens’s novel Great Expectations mainly refers to Pip’s "great expectations" which are many dimensional and ever-evolving. His great expectations arrive in the form of his fortune and are embodied in his dream of becoming a gentleman. These expectations also take the shape of his longing for a certain cold star named Estella. Each of the three parts of the novel treats a different expectation, and we watch how Pip changes in the face of his changing expectations.
Pip undergoes 3 phases in his life, in which he has different expectations:
The first stage of Pip’s expectations
Pip is a poor orphan living with his sister and her husband the blacksmith. He has an encounter with an escaped criminal on Christmas and the help he gives him results in the criminal setting him up with a secret inheritance. One day a lawyer comes and says that he has money coming or "great expectations" and he has to have a different education now that is he is to be a gentleman rather than a blacksmith.
The title also alludes to the idea of great things to come or things that are expected to come but aren't there yet.
The second stage of Pip’s expectations
When Pip receives riches from a mysterious benefactor he snobbishly abandons his friends for London society and his 'great expectations'.
The third stage of Pip’s expectations
On his arrival in London, Pip’s initial impression is London is unattractive and dirty. Nonetheless, his great expectations lie before him, and he is informed by Jaggers and his clerk, Wemmick, of his new living quarters. When Pip turns 21 years old, he visits Jaggers for further information on his expected fortune and hopefully the identity of his benefactor. Jaggers tells him he will have an annual allowance of 500 pounds until his benefactor is made known to him, but refuses to tell him when his benefactor will be revealed to him. He also tells Pip that when his... [continues]
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