GREAT EXPECTATIONS BY CHARLES DICKENS- 1860-61
Due to the fact that we’ve read Mr. Pip (see summary) by Lloyd Jones, we also tackled Great Expectations, whose main character is Pip, an orphan, who lives with his sister and Joe Gargery, the blacksmith. Whereas Joe is a very gentle man, who loves Pip as well as his work, his sister , wife of Joe, often is on a rampage and smacks her brother. After her death Joe marries Biddy, who gives Pip some good advice.
At the beginning of the story Pip is at the dark churchyard where his parents are buried. Suddenly a man appears and forces Pip to bring him a file to open his chains and vittles (food). The boy succeeds in stealing the much appreciated pork pie ,which his sister prepared for Christmas, and gives it to the hungry man.
Magwitch, the ex-prisoner, manages to escape from the police and to flee to Australia, where he is able to make a fortune. Pip and his family celebrate Christmas when uncle Pumblechook says that the rich Mrs Havishan is looking for a boy to play with her adopted daughter Estella.
When Pip goes to the house he is terribly humiliated by Estella because of being just a common labour boy. Despite this he starts loving Estella. Mrs. Havisham manipulates her into breaking men’s hearts because her heart was broken, when she was a young bride.
Soon after Mr Jagger, a lawyer from London arrives and tells Pip and his family that there is a benefactor who wants to pay so that Pip may become a gentleman.Pip goes to London and his life changes completely. He turnes into a real snob and is ashamed of Joe who has always helped him . Despite this, when Pip falls very badly ill Joe goes to London to take care of him.
Pip hasn’t given up hope that Estella will love him the way he loves her and it is a big shock, when she decides to marry Drummle, an idle, proud and suspicious man. There is another shock for Pip when he realizes that his benefactor is not Mrs Havisham, as he thought, but the ex-prisoner, Magwitch, who has now come back to England and is persecuted by the second prisoner who escaped with him and who is,as it turns out the famous ex-bridegroom of Mrs. Havisham. Pip loses all the money and goes abroad with his friend Herbert and works very hard.
We also learn that Mr. Jaggers is not only cold-hearted but also has a soft core, otherwise he probably wouldn’t , for example, have helped Estella’s mother!
Charles Dickens changed his first unhappy ending in a happy one.
My question: In what sense did the book “Great Expectations” help the children on the island Bougainville in 1991?
The following link leads you to short, but very interesting descriptions of the most important characters.There are also images
relating to the story and even gives you the possibility to watch some imovies
http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0214760/biddy.html produced by students.