Sunday, December 12, 2010

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Pip is a young, orphaned boy trapped in a the lifestyle of a poor man. He fears his life is already set and will one day turn out to be exactly like his sister's husband, the only family he has. Although he knows Joe Gargery is a one of the kindest men you could meet, he isn't exactly the brightest. Pip has higher aspirations than becoming an assistant to a blacksmith. He wants to become a gentleman. One night, he is walking through the marsh and sees a man. This man demands food or he would kill Pip. Pip, driven by fear, runs home to bring him food. Later on he finds out this man is a convict who escaped from a jail ship. Pip soon forgets about it and continues living his boring, mundane life. Time passes and soon Pip becomes the interest of an odd, old lady named Mrs. Havinsham. She is looking for a boy to play with her child, Estella. After many visits Pip soon falls in love with Estella, yet she is quite different than him. Estella is very well-off while Pip is nothing more than a blacksmith helper. Pip soon realizes that me much become a gentleman to escape a poor life and win Estella's heart. Oddly enough, Pip is informed by a man named Mr. Jaggers that he now has a benefactor, someone who will help Pip become a gentleman. This benefactor has given him large sums of money to do whatever he pleases. Pip leaves behind his sister and her husband, the only family he has, and his old life to become a gentleman. Over time, Pip becomes unhappy. His unlimited wealth does not seem to fulfil his wants, but most of all, Estella becomes engaged with another man. With a surprising twist at the end, Pip finally finds out the identity of his benefactor. Finally, Pip now must repay his benefactor for everything they've done for him Pip realizes his expectations of become a wealthy gentleman were too great and in the end, were very disappointing.

1. Is family, loyalty, and integrity more important than wealth and social class?

2. If someone offered to pay for you to become a "gentleman," would you leave your old life behind or would you would accept the extremely generous offer? Why?

7 comments:

Rachel Tagliamonte said...

1. Family, loyalty, and integrity are all way more important than wealth, because without those three things, there would be no point in having all of the money in the world. Money can only make a person temporarily happy.

tyler k 13-14 said...

Answering the first question, yes. Family and all that stuff are forever while wealth and social class are irrelevant to happiness.

LeahS11-12 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard B. said...

To answer question 1, yes I find family, loyalty, and integrity much more important than wealth and social class. Those first three things define who we are as individuals, not social class or anything of monetary value.
And to answer question 2, I would take the generous offer only if my family either a) were horrible to me and didn't love me, or b) were extremely poor and it was becoming financially difficult for them to support the entire family.

LeahS11-12 said...

To answer your second question, I would personally never accept an offer that required giving up my family or my true person. In order to become a "gentleman", Pip must completely lose himself and become someone new. Perhaps if he'd embraced who he was instead of trying to be what he wasn't, he could've won the girl in the end.

Hannah L 13-14 said...

1. I think that family, loyalty, and integrity will always be more important than wealth and social class. Family is there to support you and money can do that in a materialistic way but it can never pay for emotional support and everything else that family can give. As for loyalty and integrity, they are always important and wealth and social class mean nothing if you don't have loyalty or integrity.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Thread graded, closed