Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens’s bildungs-roman paints the life of an orphan boy, Pip, raised by his sister and her husband. Among other powerful and well built characters as Mrs Gargery, Joe, Miss Havisham, Estella, we find out that Pip is a shy boy that falls in love with ice cold heart Estella, the adopted daughter of Miss Havisham. Turning from a poor orphan into a gentleman with money received from an anonymous patron, his dreams are scattered when his love is not shared by Estella. The image of the loved one is maintained in his heart over the entire novel and he never gives up his great expectations until the day he finds out Estella is getting married with someone else. Heartbroken, he continues his life, trying to forget her.

The novel is sprinkled with scenes where Pip prays, either as a child before going to bed, on Sundays at Church or on the verge of death when he is almost killed by an escaped convict. An important role in his life is played by Joe, his brother-in-law, a just, humble and compassionate man. He compares his arm on his shoulder like “the rustle of an angel’s wing” or refers to him as a saint. After Pip’s sister dies, Joe marries again and would name his own son after Pip.

Pip’s life seems like a Cinderella story, but has a different ending, or at least one unexpected by the reader. Not all stories have a happy ending and life is not a fairy tale in most cases. As a remedy, saint Francis of Sales encourages us:

Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.


  • Author: Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870)
  • Original title: Great Expectations
  • Original language: English
  • Genre: Coming of Age story
  • Release date: 1860-1861 (serialized)
  • Public: Adults, teenagers
Great Expectations