Themes In Great Expectations By Charles Dickens

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“Chain”ging Over Time Many people spend years trying to figure themselves out. Some people never do. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens seems like the classic novel about a boy coming of age and growing up. However, under closer inspection, the novel does not, in fact, revolve around the idea of “coming of age”. Yes, that is something that happens to the main character over the course of the novel, but the true spirit of the book is captured in the ways that he himself most likely does not understand. Layered with symbolism, this novel tells the tale of a young man called Pip who becomes wealthy by way of an anonymous patron. This patron turns out to be an escaped prisoner whom Pip had helped in his youth. He gave him some food and drink, as well as provided him with a file to cut his chains apart, the chains that labeled him a prisoner. Those chains he cut are a portension to what the future held in store for Pip. The symbolic importance of Pip’s identity in…show more content…
He mirrors Magwitch in more ways than one, not simply through the identity of a slave. Pip also becomes an anonymous benefactor to Herbert, sending him money to help him with business each month in the same manner that Magwitch did. Although both relationships have entirely different dynamics, Pip still helps Herbert get his start at Clarriker’s firm. The mirrors grow more reflective. The relationship between Pip and Magwitch starts in a graveyard, and ends when Magwitch dies by Pip’s side. Their association with one another begins with death, and ends with death. Their stories have come full circle, although they played opposite roles by the end of it. When they first met, Pip helped Magwitch by giving him food and drink. When they met years later, Magwitch was the one helping Pip by giving him money and helping him become a gentleman. It’s kind of like a mirror

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