Great Expectations Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Great Expectations

Pip is an orphan who lives with his fearsome aunt anmd kindly uncle Joe the blacksmith, who is good to Pip while his aunt is a terrifying person. Pip lives in a house on the moors where he meets the ecaped prisone. Pip feels fear and also pity and smuggles some food to him. Later Pip is invited to the home of Miss Havishem who keeps her home like a museum due to a frustrated love affair. Her wedding dress in inhabited by spiders.
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Suddenly, while at Miss Havisham's house, he meets Estella, a young lady about his own age. She uses all her wiles to get Pip interested but then becomes aloof. He feels alternately attracted and rejected by her. He feels the pain of unrequited love.
The story moves on with Pip going to London to seek his fortune. His is growing up. He makes friends with men about his own age. The title of the Great Expectation is with him and he believes (quite wrongly as it transpires) that he will inherit a fortune from Miss Havisham.

The review of this Book prepared by Alan Sykes

The story "Great Expectations" is a story about a young boy named Pip whose life changes after meeting a convict in the marshes in Britain. He lives with his mean sister Mrs. Joe and her loving husband Joe. Joe's uncle Mr. Pumblechook and his sister take him to meet a rich woman named Miss Havisham whom wants Pip to play with her niece Estella. He falls in love with Estella, but her cold bitter aunt Miss Havisham has brainwashed her into hating men after her fiance left her at the altar. A man named Mister Jaggers a lawyer in London appears at his home and tells Pip that someone who would be known as his benefactor is going to pay for Pip to pursue his dream of becoming a gentleman. Thus, Pip pursues his great expectations of becoming a gentleman.                     
The review of this Book prepared by Matt Pfouts

This is an account of the pathetic life of Pip Phirrip, an orphan forced to live with his cruel sister, and her blacksmith husband, Joe. Pip and Joe are good friends, and are both abused by Pip's sister. Pip never escapes the day without being beaten for one small thing or another by his sister who believes that Pip is spoiled and that she is protecting his well being. Pip is generally ignored by other distant members of the family, unless to be scrutinized for a non-existent fault. His life is truly unhappy. That is, until he is called to work for a lady named Miss Havisham. Many years ago, Miss Havisham had been left at the altar, and had never seen the light of day again. She was obsessed with getting revenge on the male population. One step she took towards accomplishing this was to adopt a girl named Estella. Miss Havisham raised Estella to be cruel to men, playing with their hearts and affections. Pip, not surprisingly fell madly in love with her, and his obsession with her is a key theme throughout the book.
While he was working for Miss Havisham, he stumbled upon two escaped, starving convicts. He is frightened into providing food for them. However, frightened or not, one of the convicts never forgets Pip's "kindness."
Years later, Pip receives word that he has come into a fortune from an unknown benefactor. He comes to the conclusion that it is Miss Havisham, and keeps this opinion through most of the book. It is not until after his convict returns to London, having amassed a fortune in Australia, that Pip finds who his benefactor was. Not only that, but he finds that the convict is indeed Estella's father.
In the final parts of the book, the convict is captured, injured, and dies, therefore his fortune was seized by the government leaving Pip penniless. He returns to his poverty.
There are two endings to the book. Depending on which one you read, Pip either marries Estella, or he does not.

The review of this Book prepared by Erinnae Baker

Phillip Pirrip lives with his cruel sister and henpecked brother in relative poverty. His life is broken up by two events - his introduction to a thief and his introduction to the strange home of Miss Havisham. Pip helps the criminal hide and even brings him food, despite his own fear and the criminal's threats.

Pip meets Miss Havisham when his brother takes him to Miss Havisham's home - a large, exotic, and ramshackle building in which the eccentric old lady lives. Miss Havisham has been disappointed in love, and she dwells on the fact. She raises her protege, Estella, to wreak ruin on men's hearts. Pip comes to the home often to entertain Miss Havisham, and he falls in love with Estella.

With time, Pip leaves his home and enters the larger world, where he finds his hard work mysteriously helped by an unknown benefactor. Assuming that he is being helped by the woman who hired him as a companion, Pip works hard to be worthy of Estella, who he assumes he is destined to marry. However, he finds Estella opting for a mean man, Bentley Drummle. Estella claims she is incapable of love, but she marries the man from weariness. Pip is inconsolable. He learns the mysterious name of his benefactor, and still maintains his love for Estella.
The review of this Book prepared by A. Antonow

Pip is the protagonist as well as the narrator of his story. He tells us the events of his life since he was a 7-year-old kid up to his mid-thirties. One by one he enumerates the events of his life that mold him.

He lives with his sister who is married to the blacksmith Joe because his parents have passed away. While he's at the graveyard thinking of his parents, an escaped convict confronts him and puts demands on him. The horrified Pip treats him with compassion.

Pip is invited to get paid to work for Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham has an adopted daughter Estella whom she raises to break men's hearts and to be cold. A man had betrayed her and this is her revenge against men. Pip falls in love with Estella though he hates her vain attitude. Pip dreams of turning into a gentleman and impressing Estella so much that she would agree to marry him.

An anonymous person has willed Pip a fortune. The money given to Pip by the benefactor would be utilized to train him in London to make him into a gentleman. Pip feels that his dreams are coming true and he thinks his benefactor is Miss Havisham but he later finds out that his benefactor is someone else. Who could that be?

While in London Pip makes friends, learns the art of rich living, becomes a gentleman yet he's not happy. His second and the most treasured dream of getting married to Estella is still unfulfilled. Will he be able to accomplish it?
The review of this Book prepared by aishwarya singh

This is the story of Pip, who whilst growing up as an orphan, encounters lots of different people including the fearsome Magwich, an escaped convict, the eccentric Miss Havisham, who lives in her unused wedding dress, and the beautiful but spiteful Estella. After an unknown benefactor makes Pip a wealthy gentleman, his life is turned around.
The review of this Book prepared by Megan

A young boy named Pip is called upon by a strange old woman to come and play at her house with her young ward, Estella. When Pip learns that he has been given a large sum of money he assumes that Miss Havisham is his benefactor. Heading for London, Pip lives the life of a rich man. However, a startling dicovery lies ahead for him.
The review of this Book prepared by Jen

In perhaps Dickens's greatest novel, an orphan named Pip grows up in harsh conditions, does a good turn for an escaped convict (as much out of fear as charity), then finds himself steadily climbing the socioeconomic ladder -- enjoying "great expectations" -- with the help of an unknown benefactor. He is summoned by a weird old lady named Miss Havisham who has left all the clocks in her mansion stopped at the time of her wedding, and the wedding breakfast moldering on the table, after being jilted by the groom. Pip falls in love with Miss Havisham's ward, Estella, who teases and torments him with Miss Havisham's approval. Off to London to become a gentleman, Pip learns what a true gentleman is and who his real friends are.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Great Expectations

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Lover is    -   chased obsessively but totally uninterested

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes City:    -   London

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Great Expectations

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