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Great Expectations

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Great Expectations – Class Notes

Chapter 1-5
Major characters: Pip, Graveyard digger man, mr and mrs gargery, uncle p, mr w
Plot: Prisoner told pip to get food, chirtsmas time
Themes: Honesty, family, fear
Social Class:
Working class
Children seen not heard
Married couples don't love each other (arranged marriages)
Relationships: Joe is close to Pip Chapter 5-7ish
Pip's parents are dead
Pip's sister is raising Pip
Pip's sister is mean
Themes: how do men know who they are?
Lower middle class family Chapter 15-20
Major Chracters: Miss Havish, Astella
Plot: Pip's transition from a small boy to an adolescent, Pip grows apart from his family, ashamed about Joe
Social class: Aspire to gain status
Themes: ambitions and expectations
Relationships: all have expectations (love, look after Pip) Chapter 35+
Major Characters: Pip, Estella, Miss Havish, Herbet, Mr Jaggers, Wemmick, Joe, Biddy
Plot: Pip developing a conscience, has great expectations, in love with Estella, thinks miss Havish is his benefactor*
Parenting: violence was okay, children seen as little adults
Social Class: Children had no status, people didn't have to raise their own children (Mary Poppins Style)
Themes: Social Stratification (mobility from class to class) < not easy, Pretentiousness (they think their culture is better)
Estella is really snobbish to Pip but she's adopted too, you have to be better than someone
Uncle is trying to make out he is better than them
Social classes are important!
Question 1:
1.The cultural discourse of the novel "Great Expectations"means that modern readers cannot relate to the key themes as Dickens intended when the novel was written. Discuss.
2. Issues such as child raising and parenting are shown in a particluar light within the novel "Great Expectations." Is the represenation still valid to a contemporary audience?

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