Great Expectations

Great Expectations Have you ever wonder how wealth can bring a person happiness and how it can change a person or does it make that person a better person who was once poor? Driving to a local grocery store for an example, to buy some food for your family to eat and at the register, you have a dollar left. So you decide to buy a lottery ticket and later that night watching TV, you out of million hit the jackpot which would change your life forever. Or just going to school everyday and doing your homework knowing that your family poor and have money problem, you kept up in school and later went to college and getting a master degree plus a well-pay career bring you wealth. Being poor to wealthy or being rich and staying rich as a child to an adult, does the wealth usually bring you happiness? In the novel “Great Expectation,” Pip is a character who as a child become a wealthy person from a poor background family. As he grew up in a poor childhood, an opportunity came up for him to become rich and surely he took that opportunity from a secret benefactor which was Magwitch, Pip convict.

Now being wealthy, Pip thought that it would bring him closer to the girl he loved, Estella. But it didn’t. In return, he had more problems personally then before to face and wasn’t enjoying his wealthy life. Wealth brought him to the path of broken love and change him because if Pip didn’t take the job or opportunity to become rich at the Satis House where he first fell in love when he saw Estella. And now for him to get Estella, he has to change his old way of life to a higher class of people like Estella herself to even have a chance with her.(Chater 8) So according to Pip, wealth doesn’t bring happiness, but it regard only one person only Pip. The way he live in London, he look back at his childhood and old lifestyle, he realize what a terrible place he grew up in and was an embarrass to him.(Part II of the novel until the end of the book or Chapter 20) When Pip was poor, his relationship with Joe was like father to son. But when Pip became wealthy, the relationship grew further apart until a point where Pip became a higher classmen then Joe which he was at the low classmen of people.

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Looking back now, Pip again realize how Joe was an embarrassment to him now and that he couldn’t socialize with Joe. From what he realize, Pip didn’t talk to Joe as often as he would thought when he came from poor to rich. So wealthy does change a person and in Pip case, it made him not a better person but a poorer person especially in attitude. But Pip is only one individual compare to hundreds of thousands of people. How about what other people experience other then Pip.

Another character in the novel, Miss Havisham who almost have the same but simliar problem like Pip with wealth, love, and happiness. Miss Havisham being wealthy herself wanted to get marry with guy who name is Compeyson, but she thought that the marriage was base on love not money. She also didn’t know that the guy Compeysonwas just after her money not her love. Her father warn her about this, but she didn’t care. When the wedding day came and everything was set up, the guy she thought she was going to marry stood her up just as her father warn her. Now heartbroken and mad, Miss Havisham left everything that day like the wedding cake still on the table til the present day, molding away. Because being wealthy, Miss Havisham didn’t find true love as she wanted and now so depress from that day, her lifestyle change to a witch like house.

Not seeing the sun or letting sunlght enter her home, she growing old and wrinkle not having happiness to enjoy. Love was want Pip and Miss Havisham thought as happiness, but none of them got it because they were wealthy. In conclusion, so does wealth usually bring a person happiness? To my oppinion yes it should bring a person happiness because it let what the person want and desire knowing that they can afford it. It really depend on the person and what he or she think happiness is and their attitude toward other people about their wealth. Maybe being greedy or just being a fool falling in love over the person because of their wealth or their appearence. Money is money whether you earn it or win it, and it will cause the person who own its problems because of the way they spend it.

But money can’t buy true love which is happiness for a person like Pip or Miss Havisham. But on the other hand, if you found true love when your poor and become wealthy, the same person that love when you were poor is true love like Herbert Pocket love life and of course you’ll be happy like Herbert and his love becoming rich. So according to the novel, about 75% percent say that wealth doesn’t bring happiness. But Pip and Miss Havisham are only two people compare to hundreds of thousands of people in real life. Maybe so, who really know what wealth will really bring happiness.

If you ask me I would say yes it does for me. Well how can wealth change a person? Its can change a person in many ways from their attitude to their physical appearence. Wealth can change a person by making them feel better about life and knowing that what the want they can get. And does wealth make someone a better person that someone who is poor? Well once again, it depend on that person. That once poor person who became wealthy can realize the hardness of life low on money can help out in many way. Giving away money to buying cloths for the poor.

But on the other hand, wealth can make a person attitude even poorer then before over greed. So I think wealth does bring a person happiness for a while and it can the person too.

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations in the 19th century. His main character, Pip, recieves money from a benefactor, but does not find out who it is until the end. The question Dickens may have tried to get across was, “do you believe money makes you happy?” Well, it depends on who you ask. It can be answered many different ways. In this story, it is answered with the saying “wealth is no substitute for happiness.” There are many characters in this novel to prove that statement true. Herbert is a character in the story that is content on living with a very limited money supply. Pip is another character in the story who at first, was a pauper, but in the end became to acquire money from a benefactor and ends up living his life happily. Miss Havisham is a lady who had to have luxury and riches to make her happy. Herbert, Pip, and Miss Havisham are related to this statement, “wealth is no substitute for happiness.”
In this novel, Herbert is portrayed to us as being rather plain and simple. When we first are introduced to Mr. Herbert Pocket in Chapter 16, he is rather down to earth. His living quarters don’t consist of anything expensive and luxurious. For example, (pg. 732) Herbert says “this is my little bedroom, rather musty, the furniture is hired for the occasion.” He is just a man managing to get along and be happy with what he has. Mr. Pocket, over time, teaches Pip how to become a gentleman. With both Herbert and Pip living in the same household, things get quite expensive. For example, with Pip’s lavish habits it began to lead on to other expenses Herbert could not afford. One day, Pip and Herbert were going over their affairs and comparing debts. Pip felt bad, because he had caused some of the debts. He offered to pay for the expenses he had made, but Herbert was too proud a man to ever let him do that. Just by those few examples, it truly shows that even if you don’t have money, you can still be happy and have a good attitude towards life.


As the story begins, we read about Pip living with his sister and her husband, Joe. They didn’t live an expensive lifestyle, but managed to get along with what they had. Joe was a blacksmith, and Pip was a boy who all the neighbors could call on if they needed help with something. They earned their money the best way they knew how and were happy as could be. Then, came the day when Mr. Jaggers, a lawyer, came by Pips house. Mr. Jaggers explains to Pips family that an unknown man has “great expectations” for Pip. By Mr. Jaggers instructions, Pip moved to London and began to learn to live like a gentleman. He spent his money on stuff and one time eventually got himself into debt. However, no matter what, he always continued to stay happy and have a good attitude on life.
Miss Havisham was once a beautiful and desirable woman; however, by the time she is first encountered in the novel, she is far from being such. She was the victim of a clever scheme to cheat her out of wealth in which Compeyson, Magwitch’s mortal enemy, was involved. After being cheated, she is hurt deeply by being betrayed by her fiance, and pushed into insanity. When she was younger, she used to think riches and luxury would make her happy. As she became older and more experienced, she was still very unhappy. As a result of the terrible scheme, she is insecure and her heart is broken. However, she still has a lot of money, but money can not buy her happiness or keep her heart from being broken.
If you are having trouble understanding the statement “wealth is no substitute for happiness”, then you should read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. In his novel, he explains how money can not buy you happiness. Herbert is a plain, but yet simple man in the story. He doesnt have much money, but he is still content with his lifestyle. Take Pip for example, he was a pauper before, then a gentleman. He didnt let money get to his head, because of that, he still managed to stay happy. Last but not least, there is Miss Havisham. She is a dear old lady who had once had her heart broken in a terrible scheme. She had lots of money, but yet, she couldnt buy back her happiness. In her case, money did not let her succeed to be happy.

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Great Expectations

Dickens’ provides the reader with scathing insight into the social standard of this time/era. How successful is Dickens in portraying the injustices of social class?
” In England the social fences, if left alone, grow like wild hedges.”
-D.W. Brogan
The class system in England began with the introduction of feudalism which followed the Norman Conquest of 1066 and has been the social guideline for hundreds of years. The class system consists of an upper, middle and lower class. These classes and the differences between them, are evident in the plot and interaction of the characters in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. Dickens paints a biting portrait of the English class system where the undeserving upper class is omnipotent, the middle class consists of those envious of the upper class, and the hard workers of the lower class who are unable to succeed due to their birth status. These injustices are personified through the outlandish characters of Miss Havisham, Mrs. Pocket and Magwitch, who satirize the upper, middle and lower classes. These characters embody many of the traits, which Dickens found to be indicative of the various classes. Through colorful narrations and descriptions, these characters come to life and guide us through the many social guises of ninteenth century England.
Miss Havisham’s lazy and indulgent nature is seen through Pip’s many vivid descriptions of her as he became progressively more embroiled in Miss Havisham’s games. Miss Havisham personified the idle rich as she sat in her mansion, brooding over the past, while still wearing her disintegrating wedding dress. Miss Havisham was obsessed with her failed marriage and created another doomed relationship by manufacturing Estella to break Pip’s heart. Miss Havisham acted so childishly partly because she was brought up by a wealthy father who “denied her nothing” and because she never had to work in order to be financially secure. She entertained herself by playing sadistic games with children, Pip and Estella. As she explained to Pip, “I sometimes have sick fancies.” Miss Havisham was a rich eccentric who sat in her dark, dusty home, “in her once-white dress, all yellow and witheredeverything around in a state to crumble under a touch.” The absurdity of Miss Havisham’s life is used as the framework that Dickens utilizes to satirize the upper class. Her upper class, lavish lifestyle and ridiculous idiosyncrasies illustrate that despite all of the wealth and social education of the upper class, they are fools who are power hungry and unable to cope with adverse life situations.
While the upper class that Dickens portrays is of garish, childish and lazy individuals, the middle class at that time wished to emanate the qualities of the upper class. Those in the middle class were always envious of the power and wealth of the aristocrats and tried to be accepted into this elite class by flattering those in it. The Pocket family is an example of those who flatter the upper class. Dickens the Pockets are seen mockingly as they make their yearly visits to Miss Havisham, falsely flattering her with compliments of how well she looks. When the Pockets visit Miss Havisham, they feign affection so that they may be included in her will. The small middle class comprised of intellectuals and professionals, of whom Mr. Pocket was one as he had “been educated at Harrow and at Cambridge, where he had distinguished himself. and taken up the calling of a grinder.” The Pockets were a moderately well off family, but they would never be part of the aristocracy solely because they do not have a title to their name. Through the hilarious descriptions of the Pockets, Dickens trivializes titles. ” Still, Mrs. Pocket was in general the object of a queer sort of respectful pity because she had not married a title; while Mr. Pocket was the object a queer sort of forgiving approach because he had never got one.”
Mrs. Joe and Pumblechook were not as close to the upper class as the Pockets, nonetheless, their behaviour was indicative of their adulation of the upper class. For example, Mrs. Joe does not question the wishes of Miss Havisham when Miss Havisham calls Pip to come visit her; “she wants this boy to go play there. And of course he’s going. And he had better play there.” Mrs. Joe sends Pip into a strange place where he is treated terribly, but she sends him without questioning since Miss Havisham is in the upper class.Similarly, Pumblechook pretends to be Pip’s benefactor, but only in order to be assosciated with a man who is of higher social standing. It is only when Pip comes across a fortune that Pumblechook respect him as Pip is seen as a link to the upper class. Pumblechook’s transparent gestures are even evident to Pip as he believes that everyone has seen Pumblechook’s prominent, but false advertisement. ” I entertain a conviction, based upon large experience, that if in the days of my prosperity I had gone to the North Pole, I should have met somebody there, wandering Eskimo or civilized man, who would have told me that Pumblechook was my earliest patron and the founder of my fortunes.” These obvious actions are representative of Pumblechook’s sycophantic behavior towards those in the upper class. Dickens uses Mrs. Joe and Pumblechook to be examples of those in the middle class who were constantly attempting to be associated with the upper classes, although it was virtually unattainable.
The lower class only held an awed contempt for the upper class as they knew that this status was out of their reach. The mass of England’s population comprised on the lower class, to whom the upper and middle classes were indifferent. Magwitch, the escaped convict who is Pip’s mysterious benefactor, exemplifies many of the qualities Dickens sees as being characteristics of the lower class. Dickens believed that the lower classes comprised of decent, hardworking people who, due to their lack of education and oppurtunity settled into the only life that was known and expected of them. Magwitch was never given a chance in life, even as an child, his first memory of “a-thieving turnips” is the commencement of a life of crime. Magwitch’s eventual success in life only comes where he is given the oppurtunity to succeed while living in a penal colony. It is ironic that Magwitch, an outcast of English society was in fact the benefactor of Pip, who was courted by society. When Magwitch goes to visit Pip, Pip is ashamed of the convict as he does not wish to be associated with a member of the lower class. Pip referred to Magwitch as his “dreaded visitor” and was embarrassed of his uncouth manners and appearance. Magwitch’s success is Dickens’s commentary on the socio-economical limitations of those in the lower class. Magwitch, a representative of the lower class, was a great success, but only when he was living outside of England and not suppressed by the stigmas associated with his lower social status. Through Magwitch’s success, Dickens conveys that it was not the supposed inherent inferiority that inhibited his success, rather the unjust class system.


The class system was unfair and restrictive to most of the people of England during Dickens’s time. The few members of the upper class were morally bankrupt despite their great material wealth. The middle classes adored the aristocrats of the upper class and sacrificed much self-dignity in order to be accepted by the upper class. The masses of lower class were branded from birth as being of lesser value than those of the upper and middle classes. The strained relationships, resentment and indignation between the classes is evident through the interactions of the characters in Great Expectations. These characters represent each social class in England and the defining characteristics of the classes. Despite the ill feelings between classes, at the conclusion of the book we learn that success can be achieved on different levels, regardless of social stature and class. Dickens’s valiant message is one of hope for a future of greater social equality.

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