Essay on Character Relationships in Great Expectations

Essay on Character Relationships in Great Expectations

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Character Relationships in Great Expectations

   No novel boasts more varied and unique character relationships than Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. This essay will serve to analyze three different relationships, paying special attention to the qualities that each uphold. Dickens created three types of character relationships: true friends, betrayed friends, and loving relatives.


First, the true friends in Great Expectations were Pip and Herbert, who stuck together against all animosity. Pip and Herbert were a humorous duo; they would poke jokes at each other constantly and genuinely enjoy each others company. This was apparent right from the beginning of their friendship, going back to the day they first met on friendly terms. Pip had just moved to London, when he discovered his roommate was his old childhood enemy. Together, they sat down to eat dinner, and discuss the happenings of their lives. Then, Pip asked Herbert to point out any of his poor manners or habits, and he agreed to do so. Herbert commented on Pip's use of utensils, saying knives are not to be put in the mouth, forks should not be forced too far down the throat, and drawing similarities from Pip's use of a spoon to opening oysters. The lively manner in which Herbert had offered this advice made Pip feel comfortable, and he burst out laughing. In the same way, Herbert was able to have fun poking fun at some of Pip's habits, while still remaining helpful and friendly to Pip. Pip and Herbert were also caring of each other, and each looked out for the other's best interests. Pip was sure that unless he helped his friend, Herbert would remain unsuccessful throughout life. To remedy this, Pip set out to find a way to help...

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"Let us face ourselves bravely as we are. For only a philosophy that recognizes reality can lead us into true happiness, and only that kind of philosophy is sound and healthy" (Freedom's Nest).


Works Cited and Consulted:


Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Ed. Edgar Rosenberg. New York: Norton, 1999.


Freedom's Nest      Available:



Partlow, Robert B., Jr.  "The Moving I: A Study of the Point of View in Great Expectations."  Assessing Great Expectations, 194-201.  Richard Lettis and William E. Morris, ed.  San Fransisco: Chandler Publishing Company, 1960.


Russell, Frazier.  " 'When I Was A Child'- An Introduction to Great Expectations."  Yahoo Homepage, 1. Penguin Reading Guides, 7 Nov. 2000.   <>.

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