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Essay Great Expectations


For example, bitterness, greed, selfishness and pride are portrayed as diseases ... does the Bible and personal experience teach us about bitterness and forgiveness? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Essay Great Expectations

EssayGreat Expectations
Great Expectations,
  • Charles Dickens novel holds a mirror to
    Victorian society (1860-1861). This mirror
    reflects a culture which values money, position,
    education and beauty over character and
  • In addition, this mirror reflects destructive
    character flaws. For example, bitterness, greed,
    selfishness and pride are portrayed as diseases
    which eat away at an individual and spreads to

  • Great Expectations exposes the sins of Victorian
    England. Your assignment is to determine if
    these lessons are still relevant? What does our
    culture value? How do we judge success? Do we
    struggle with selfishness?

Write an essay tying lessons from this novel to
current issues.
  • For example
  • Is our justice system flawed? Compare a recent
    trial (O.J. Simpson) to Magwitchs, Compeysons
    and Mollys trials.

Additional Ideas
  • Like characters in the novel, do we place more
    value on appearance than character? The
    possibilities for this topic are endless. You
    could expose the life of celebrities, research
    how appearance plays a part in who is hired for a
    job and promoted, analyze the social hierarchy on
    a high school campus, or compare Joe to todays
    unsung heroes.

Does money and power change a person?
  • Compare the negative impact of Pips great
    expectations to the sudden rise of athletes or
    celebrities who are given too much too soon.
    Does it change the way athletes or celebrities
    are treated by the public? Are they able to
    handle sudden success and wealth? How do their
    values change? How does their behavior change?
    Use current examples and compare them to the
    changes in Pip when he receives his great

Evaluate the Power of Unconditional Love, Grace
or Contentment
  • Compare the novel to the parable of the prodigal
  • Compare the impact of grace in the lives of the
    characters to personal experience or/and Biblical
  • Evaluate when and why expectations fall short.
  • Are there costs to selfish pursuits?
  • Consider Miss Havishams choices. What does the
    Bible and personal experience teach us about
    bitterness and forgiveness?
  • Why is suffering a great teacher? What does Paul
    teach us about suffering? What do Havisham, Pip,
    and possibly Estella learn from suffering?
  • Many characters define love. Do these
    definitions change? How do you define love? How
    does God define love? Look at 1 John.

For those of you who like to explore literary
  • You could write an essay comparing Pip and Walter
    .(Raisin in the Sun).
  • How about Romeos definition of love compared to
  • If you enjoy poetry, there are a couple of poems
    which convey themes from the novel. (You can
    find these poems in the back of your novel).

You could make a connection to the world of
  • After all, Dickens' primary job was to entertain!
  • If Great Expectations reminds you of lyrics
    from a song, you could write an essay comparing
    the lyrics to the novel? (Remember the lyrics I
    shared in class from the musical Wicked?)
  • Another suggestion is to compare the characters
    and themes, in the novel, to a movie.
  • Why does the public continue to be enthralled
    with plot twists, serials and inner connected
    characters? Compare Dickens style to a modern
    soap opera. (daytime or primetime

The Possibilities for Connections are Endless!
  • This essay is an opportunity for you to apply
    the lessons in Great Expectations to todays
    culture! The possibilities for connections are
    endless! Use this paper to express what you have
    learned from the novel and as an opportunity to
    convey your personal observations and
    convictions! You may need to conduct research,
    but you are now experienced with research and
    documenting sources!

  • The paper must be a minimum of five paragraphs.
  • The introduction must grab attention, introduce
    the work(s) and/or sources, authors, and narrow
    to a specific thesis (argument).
  • The argument must be supported with specific
    examples and quotes! Your quotes need to be from
    the novel and your source(s). Elaborate and
    explain your position!
  • The conclusion must restate the thesis, summarize
    the main points and leave a lasting impression!
  • The most important task for you, the author, is
    to present a thought provoking argument and prove