Great Expectations is timeless
Charles Dickens, one of Britain's greatest authors, published this novel between 1860 and 1861. Great Expectations tells us about the story of Pip, the main protagonist and the expectations about his life.
Pip is as an orphan who is also the narrator in this semi-autobiographical narrative from the age of seven to around his mid thirties. He stays with his cruel sister and her husband Joe who is a blacksmith. Pip leads a life without many expectations and Joe assumes that Pip will also follow his footsteps to become a blacksmith.
Once when Pip is visiting the graveyard where his parents are buried, he meets Magwitch, an escaped convict who demands food and a file from him to remove his leg shackles. Although, Pip treats him with compassion, the convict is later caught and sent away.
Next, Pip is hired by a rich lady Miss Havisham who lives with her adopted daughter Estella. Pip falls in love with Estella and from here onwards, Pip desires to leave his simplicity and his friends behind and aspires to become a gentleman. In many ways, this book is about Pip's expectations to become a gentleman and marry Estella.
During the course of events, Pip receives news that he is to be the recipient of a fortune by an unnamed benefactor and that he must travel to London and receive proper training as a gentleman and living in high society. At this point, Pip assumes that the unnamed benefactor is Miss Havisham herself, but years later it turns out that it is Magwitch, who has not forgotten Pip's kindness.
It also turns out that this convict is Estella's father, who had left Miss Havisham at the altar instead of marrying her. Back in London from Australia after amassing great wealth, the convict is caught and Pip returns to poverty once again.
This novel is about wealth and social mobility while questioning the rational for giving up values such as simplicity and warmth to acquire one’s expectations in life.