Prose in literature demonstrates its beauty as well as complications when a narrator or third person reflector comes to play their role in narrating the story and molding the plot. There is a lot that depends on the writer’s view as well but the way a narrator communicates and comments upon the plot directly hits the reader and shapes their interpretation of the text. The more vividly an author tries to demonstrate his idea through the help of a narrator; the more distance is created between the author and the reader as there is a third party of the narrator to be relied upon. Charles Dickens has also made use of a narrator to narrate the plot of Great Expectations. The same idea applies to the plot of this story as the narrator takes a grab of everything and takes the reader to see what he is telling. The narrator is the protagonist himself and guides the story through the lens of his own eyes. The very indication is given when the story starts, and the narrator starts talking about him. Throughout the story of novel, one observes how every act is guided through the eye of the narrator who is protagonist himself and being a direct part of the novel; he influences the thought patterns of the reader directly.
The whole process of reading and grasping a literary text keeps rolling among the author, narrator, other characters of the plot and the reader. Sometimes, the author takes control and demonstrates his viewpoint dominantly. Other times, the narrator grabs the attention and manifests his thoughts, actions, and reactions in their own way (Mukherjee, 2005). As the text progresses, other major and minor characters also have the capability of taking over the mind of the reader, but the reader also has to conform to their own interpretation, and at times, they just rely upon their reflections of the text. Thus, the whole process of reading becomes an interesting experience not only for the reader but also for the author whose text is interpreted differently by different perceivers manipulating the themes according to their own contexts.
The characters, first, are multiple and it is incredible to discover that all, absolutely all, have a primary role in history. If there is one that seems very ordinary and of little importance a priori, we discover a few chapters later that it is a pillar of history. That’s really something that one appreciates, and that is found in a few books. From a reader’s standpoint, if it was necessary to highlight one of them, and to elect him as a favorite character – excluding the narrator, Pip, who becomes like a brother and who, if he were to enter the competition, would immediately relegate all the others well behind, the charm of the tender and faithful Joe cannot be ignored, ‘the best friend of the world’ of Pip with which ‘he plays royally,’ and no one knew how to dethrone him – though Herbert is adorable and endearing too. What is striking about this trio of characters is their humility and the values (especially those of friendship) which bind them to each other, and which dazzle the reader by declaring that friendship is so much less superficial.
The plot is perfect, both in terms of storytelling and a novelistic point of view. Besides the fact that the reading is catching and fluid – a real pleasure – the reflections, especially on the destiny – that it is modeled by the chance of a meeting, imagined and controlled by others, the author shows that it escapes us and will always escape us no matter what we do – are absolutely and divinely exquisite. The poetic writing of Dickens is an absolute delight; he handles humor and tragedy wonderfully. The author proposes two ends for us, which is quite original as well. The strongest idea of the book is that of disillusion, but not despair. Moreover, even if everything does not end as one would have predicted and many hopes have not turned into facts, the book ends all the same on hopes, new ones. And then, after all, all the beauty of hope, it remains forever.
The ‘hopes’ are those of the young Philip Pirrip, nicknamed Pip. Pip is a little orphan who has never known his parents. He is raised by an older sister, who shows no tenderness and considers him a burden. Fortunately, this shrew is married to a good man, Joe, the blacksmith of the village, the only adult to show a little affection to this poor boy. One night while he is lying in the cemetery, Pip meets an escaped convict who forces him to find him some food. Despite the fear of his sister, Pip runs down the ladder. But the next day, he attends the capture of the convict by the soldiers. Shortly after, he is asked to go and keep company with a rich old woman. Miss Havisham lives locked up for years in an obscure and dusty house, in the company of memories and mice. She has a goddaughter as pretty as arrogant, which Pip falls in love at first glance. From that day, everything changes for the young Pip who begins to dream of becoming a ‘gentleman’ to seduce Estelle. It is granted a few years later, when a generous benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, decides to make him a gentleman and sends him to London to educate him.
First, Charles Dickens is a great storyteller, who never bores his reader: no length at home. On the contrary, as the novel was serialized, the chapters are dense, and the author has an incredible talent to revive the wait of the reader. Then, this novel mixes all genres: autobiography (written in the first person, it is inspired by the childhood of the author); learning novel (since we follow the young Pip for almost twenty years and see him change a lot); social satire (with the portrait of a simple young man that money will corrupt and the denunciation of a certain class snobbery); Gothic novel (at Miss Havisham’s, an ominous figure frozen in a past as moldy as her wedding cake); police history (with the recurrent figure of escaped convicts); a love story, at last, as moving as it is hopeless.
Dickens has a wonderful gift for creating sets, characters, and atmospheres. He walks us from a country village, with his shopping street and inn, to Newgate Prison, and the dark streets of London to the cabinet of an enigmatic lawyer. He never ceases to surprise us with tragic or burlesque characters, ridiculous or moving. He makes us laugh, he moves us, he scares us, he makes us cry. We start to like all the protagonists (even if we often want to flank a good trowel to this ungrateful Pip!) because few are those who are irretrievable. Dickens adores his characters; he gives them all a second chance; he believes in the human being, in his capacity for redemption. And after shaking his reader for 600 pages with the most varied emotions, a great sigh of happiness.
The moral theme of Great Expectations is very simple. Love, loyalty, and consciousness are more important than social progress, wealth and class. Dickens defined the theme and Pip this lesson by exploring the ideas that are primarily ambition and self-improvement, both at the center of the novel’s theme and the psychological mechanisms that constitute a fundamental element of the development of Pip Promotes and who show how to learn (Morgentaler, 1998). Basically, Pip is an idealist. If he offers something better than he already has, he wants improvements soon. When I saw Satis House, he wanted to be a rich gentleman. He loves it when he thinks of his moral defects. He wants to learn when he realizes he cannot read. Pip’s desire to self-improve is the main source of new titles: he believes in the rising potential of life and therefore has great ‘expectations’ for his future.
At high expectations, ambition and personal development take three forms. These are the best motivations for Pips and the worst behavior of the whole novel. First, Pip wants to improve morally. If he undertakes immoral action and feels strong guilt that encourages him to do better in the future, it is very difficult for himself. For example, when he goes to London, he is unfortunately tortured with Joe and Biddy. Second, Pip wants to improve the business. In love with Estella, he wants to be part of his social class, encouraged by MM. Joe and Pumblechook, to encourage him to become a gentleman.
Sophisticated fantasy is the fundamental act of the novel. This gives Dickens the ability to slowly fill his system with time classes and say something about his sullen nature. It is important to emphasize that Pips’ life as a gentleman is not as satisfying or even moral as his previous life as a blacksmith (Meckier, 1993). Thirdly, Pip wants to improve education. This aspiration is closely linked to his social ambition and the desire to marry Estella. Comprehensive education is a prerequisite for being a gentleman.
As long as he is an ignorant peasant, he has no hope of social progress. Pip understands this as a child when he learns to read Aunt Alois at school and as a young man when he takes lessons from Matthew Pocket. Finally, in the example of Joe, Biddy, and Magwitch, Pip learns that social and educational improvement is tied to current values and that consciousness and affection are valued through illusion and social status.
Of all the high expectations, Dickens is the worst crime (Magwich) of the poor peasants of the marshes (Joe and Biddy), the middle class (beggar) and the very fortunate (Miss Havisburg). I am exploring the Victorian class system in England. The theme of social class is at the center of the plot of the novel and the book’s final moral theme: the recognition that wealth and class are less important than affection, loyalty, and intrinsic value. Pip understood this idea when he finally realized that, despite Estella’s gratitude, Estella’s social status was irrelevant to the real personality. For example, Drummle is a big talk, but Magwitch condemned and persecuted has deep inner value.
The most important thing about the treatment of social class by the novel is probably that the class system he wrote is based on the model of Victorian England after the industrial revolution. Dickens generally ignores the aristocratic aristocracy and genetics in favor of characters whose property has been conquered by corporations. Even the happiness of Mademoiselle Hibisham’s family has realized thanks to the brewery. And it’s always related to his villa. Dickens reinforces the dominant theme of the novel on ambition and personal development, combining themes of social class with ideas of work and personal development.
The themes of crime, guilt, and innocence are explored through novels written by the characters of Jaggers, criminals, and prosecutors. Handcuffs attacked by Joe to a blacksmith at the gallows in a London prison, images of crime and criminal justice enter the book and Pips of civil war that harmonizes institutional, legal systems and his inner moral conscience. This will be an important symbol (Jordan, 2001). Pip must learn the externalities of the criminal justice system (police, courts, prisons, etc.) so that the social class is a measure of the superficial value that Pip must learn to find a better way to live. Ignoring its naturalness must be a superficial moral standard. For example, Magwich begins by scaring off Pip because he was convicted, and Pip feels guilty for helping him because he is afraid of the police.
However, at the end of the book, Pip can discover the noble interiors of Magwich and ignore his diplomatic status as a criminal. For reasons of conscience, he helps Magwich escape the law and the police. Pip trusted his conscience and learned to understand the intrinsic nature of Magwitch. He, therefore, replaced the external value scale with the internal scale.
Great Expectations belongs to the big family of the Bildungsroman, the learning novel, which traces the entry of a young boy into adulthood through a whole bunch of encounters and adventures. Great Expectations is still inspired greatly; Pip will rub shoulders with all layers of society and thus form an incredibly detailed picture of the mores of the time. The annoying side of some characters is largely overtaken by the phenomenal amount of detail about English society in London or the countryside in the 19th century. Dickens has a formidable talent for descriptions and for pinpointing the woes of every social milieu, and it is, once again, a pure delight to be carried away by the painting that the author paints.
This is a very nice lesson in life that these ‘Great Expectations,’ anchored in solid and invigorating human values, and suffused with a delicious disuse, light years of ambient cynicism that tends to tax any production involving naivety good feelings (Gold, 1972). There’s no point in this hectic story, though, with Dickens’ subtlety, wit, humor, and irony, making it possible to make notions such as generosity, friendship and simple happiness the alpha and the omega d an initiatory journey pleasant for the soul, of a timeless character and rich of lessons. Thanks to a gallery of characters beautifully incarnated and each of which will play for the hero his score in the symphony of human ambitions, it is indeed a learning loop that Dickens gives life to the very young Pip (a kid to whom it almost impossible to do not focus on the beginning of the novel as it is crisp) by taking him on the path of his ‘great hopes’, those where one places his dreams of love as social elevation. This loop will bring him back years later, after many adventures and revelations in the London of the beginning of the 19th century, the author of which offers a striking painting, at its starting point, richer of a human capital that he will still have stained throughout his adventures to grow.
“Great Expectations ‘ is the story of the rebellion of a young pride, that of the young Pip, which leads to the emptiness of adult vanities on the basis of wealth, shared love and notoriety, that is all of what is usually grouped under the term ‘hope’, in the very 19th century meaning of the word. As always at Charles Dickens, storyteller among the storytellers, all the characters are strong, in the sense that they durably mark the reader. From one novel from Dickens to another, they become familiar to the reader, these figures a little archetypal but never stereotyped, always full of surprise or fantasy, the orphan, the disinherited gentleman, the grumbling and interested trader, then a man of law buried in his bubble, the stepmother, the light-hearted companion, the man of honor, the opportunist, the old lady, etc.