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Great Expectations Irony

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The title of Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations, refers to Pip’s many expectations. Pip expects to inherit money, but he first has to be educated a gentleman. Pip has “great expectations” of himself and Jaggers also tells Pip that “he is a young man of great expectations”. During the time of his education, Pip focuses too much on himself and values too little what he already has. For an example, Joe always lets Pip talk to him and Joe never takes advantage of Pip. After Pip inherits the money, he becomes pompous and insensible towards those who have always loved him and who were loyal to him. To react like Pip does, hurt his relationships with everyone and everything around him. When Pip looks back, he realizes how awful he acted towards others and later becomes humble again. Pip also has expectations in life. His original expectations to follow in Joe’s footsteps and become a blacksmith changed unexpectedly. Pip first expects that he does not need much of an education and that he will have to work long hours every day.

Pip never expects to escape the lower class, but this all changes when he inherits the money. Pip has “great expectations” of escaping the lower class and transforming into a gentleman. One of the expectations that Pip has includes being worthy to marry Estella because he now has the money. The title, Great Expectations, is ironic because expectations are not usually great and Pip’s expectations are false. Inheriting the money, Pip now has the chance to become a gentleman and to have an easier life. But when this happens, Pip befriends Joe and also starts to act differently. Pip convinces himself that Miss Havisham is his benefactor. Also, Pip thinks that Miss Havisham wants him to marry Estella after he becomes a gentleman. Miss Havisham teaches Estella not to love men because her fiancé left her at the altar. Ironically, Magwitch is Pip’s benefactor and he is a convict. Magwitch, a poor convict when Pip first meets him, ends up giving Pip his fortune to help him become a gentleman.

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