Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Pip, a young boy living in Kent, was raised by his sister and brother-in-law after his parents died. They have barely any money, and Pip spends his time thinking about his future in following is sister's husband, Joe, in the Blacksmith trade, however Pip really wants to grow up and become a gentleman. Early in the book, Pip is coming home from the cemetary where his parents were buried when he meets a convict who threatens his life in exchange for a file to break his chains, and as much food as Pip can bring, as well as Pip's vow of silence. Pip follows these orders and never tells anyone of what he did. Shortly after this, his uncle unites him with an elderly woman by the name of Miss Havisham, who is very wealthy and very generous to Pip. She has a very proud, conceited and rude adopted daughter named Estella, who she raises to to break mens hearts; it is therefore no surprise when Pip falls madly in love with her. Because he is so in love with Estella, he feels that it is necessary to become a gentleman so they can be together. After he finishes him time at Miss Havisham's house, Pip recieves his Expectations: he has come into a large sum of money, and he has to use the money to leave his apprenticeship with Joe and to become a Gentleman, however his benefactor wished to remain uknown, although Pip was at the time certain it was Miss Havisham. So, Pip moves to London and learns how to enjoy become a gentleman as well as learn how to spend his money, therefore quickly goes greatly into debt. Several years go by until one night :the convict who Pip had once helped to escape comes into the local bar. He stuns Pip by annoucing that he was actually the source of Pip's expectations. Due to this news, Pip feels morally bound to help the convict escape the town, while the police are searching for him. As he attempts to help the convict escape, they are caught by the police, the convict is sentenced to death, and Pip loses all his fortune.
Once Pip is again poor and back where he was, and he sees Estella again. After she had been married and widowed, Pip found that she had become "nicer" and the book ends as the two leave Miss Havisham's empty house hand in hand.





In the book, Pip was only truly happy when he stopped pretending who he was and went back to the social status he belonged in.
1. Why do you think it is that a lot of people still today believe that money can make them happy? And what do you think leads to true happiness?
2. If you were completely poor and someone gave you a TON of money, do you think you would be able to handle it in a responsible way and make it last, or do you think you would waste it away and lose it and eventually end up in debt like Pip?

11 comments:

Julie S. 5-6 said...

I think that contentment is the root of true happiness. Anyone that can accept the position they are in and work with it will find happiness. If I got that kind of money I would probably blow some of it on trivial things but use the rest to live comfortably.

Dana D 11-12 said...

2. I think that if I was really really poor I would have a greater appreciation for money and the security it provides. So if someone all of a sudden gave me a ton of money I would be responsible with how I spent it. I would want to save most of it so that I would never have to worry about being poor again.

Rachel T said...

1. I think that people put a lot of value on money because they think it will make them happy. Although money can buy material items, it can't buy friendship or love which are two things that can actually make someone happy.
2. If I were poor and someone gave me a lot of money I think I would be able to handle it well and not spend it on useless things, because I'd have a good understanding of what I need to get by.

Ashley A. 11-12 said...

1) I think people think money is the source of happiness because we use money to buy things that entertain us, and people confuse that with happiness.
2) I think that I would put most of it in savings immediately before I was tempted to buy things I didn't need and hopefully I wouldn't end up like Pip did.

Kristen R. 11-12 said...

To answer the first question, I think that a lot of people still believe that money can make them happy because they use it to buy material things that make them feel good about themselves such as clothes, electronic devices, etc. However, the people that constantly spend large amounts of money on materialistic things are probably forgetting that what truly leads to happiness is enjoying what they are doing with their lives. A person who is truly happy likes his or her job and appreciates what he or she has in life as opposed to concentrating on what is lacking. To answer the second question, I think that if I were completely poor and all of a sudden received a lot of money, I would most likely splurge on some things in the beginning because having had no money I would realistically not know what to do with it. However, I think I would soon realize how to manage it appropriately in order to make it last because I would want to avoid becoming poor again.

MaryL11-12 said...

First question: I think that people think money can bring them happiness because money means security. If you don't have to worry about how you're going to pay you next water bill or how you're going to ever pay off your house or how you're going to afford to have a kid or a car or whatever it is, if you don't have to worry about it you're typically more happy. It doesn't necessarily mean that it makes them smile to sit there and look at their money, it just means that it gives them one less thing to worry about.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. Money can buy material things necessary for a luxerious life. I believe that many people associate luxery things to happiness. You need to have money, a big house, nice cars, etc. to be happy, whereas this is not the case at all. Those things may be nice to have, but true happiness comes form love and friendship. Without a supportive family and caring friends, I think happiness is hard to achieve.

2. If I was given a ton of money, I don't think that I would waste it all. After being poor and seeing what it's like to have nothing, I would probably learn to appreciate the little, basic things in life instead of the luxerious lifestyle that causes many people to throw their fortunes away.

Matt P. 13-14 said...

1. I think that people believe that money leads to a better life because they think that possessions will bring them joy. However, I feel that true happiness comes from being close to one's friends and family.

2. I feel that I would spend some of it, but I would stop myself and save the rest. I would save it for future use because it would be the better choice.

SeanK56 said...

People think money can make them happy because then they can buy things they want and things that make them happy. But after awhile that affect wears off and they just start wasting money and not getting any happier.

Kali D. 13-14 said...

I think people are always going to think money can make them happy because of all the things they can buy but really like once you have everything you could possible want what comes next? you don't really have anything to look forward to, so i think true happiness comes from the people in your life, such as your friends and family.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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