Boekverslag : Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
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Great Expectations


Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth and moved to London on his twelfth. Because his father spent more than he earned, Dickens had to work in a blacking factory, of which he was very ashamed. This had a great influence on his writing, because he attacked the social differences in the Victorian age.

Other titles:

Oliver Twist

Hard Times

David Copperfield


The title:" Great Expectations" is about the expectations, which the young man Pip has for his future life, during his life. From little expectations, increasing to great and in the end he finally has peace with his fate.

First published

October 1861


Wordsworth Classics

Number of pages



Novel of character


It's about the struggle that a man has in his life to find out what he wants belongs and the difficulties, like love, good and evil, friendship, financial troubles, he has to conquer to form his character.

List of main characters and description of them

Pip: Main person, he is seen through his complete life. He is a boy with no expectations, until an anonymous benefactor adopts him, so he becomes a boy of great expectations. Therefore he goes to London to become a gentleman, and he falls in love with the beautiful Estella. Finally, he finds out, which persons are his real friends and which just want to have some profit.

Herbert: Pips best friend. A very loyal person with great ideas but who has lack of money to make them reality. Pip gives him the money. Joe: An old, loyal, simple labor man, who has raised Pip and will never abandon him.

Miss Havisham: An old lady, who has been left by a man and therefore hates them and lives in very strange circumstances. She raises Estella, so she can take revenge for her.

Estella: Very beautiful girl, who hurts Pip repeatedly by not returning his love. She is raised so she could revenge men, but in the end, finally Pip and she come together. Wemmick: An old man, who provides Pip of the needed advice, when he has some doubts about life, or friendship.

Narrative technique

The story is told by Pip. He is the only one, through whose eyes we see the story. The story is chronological and starts from the beginning. There are no flashbacks, only people tell something about someone's past.

Time lapse

30-35 years

In what period or time is the story situated

England in the beginning of the Victorian age.


Long sentences, with extra information, uses Dickens in this book. It is very long-winded.

What is your own opinion of the work

The story isn't attractive to read when you start reading it. Dickens introduction is very long and reading progresses very slow. However, when you get further on in the book that improves. Dickens succeeds in making a story that is intriguing, because of the themes, which still are very up-to-date. While reading the book, I found the young man Pip a very charming character, with a pleasant view of life. Also his companion and friend Herbert, has the same sort of view. Nice about the book, is the number of characters that Dickens creates, which are in fact all stereotypes, but that you realize only but in the end. But Dickens has written a book, that he also could have written in 200 pages, because some of the situations could easily have been left out, without feeling that the book is incomplete.

Short summary

Pip is raised in a little place by his older daughter and her husband Joe. One night he meets a villain who he brings some food. He gets his education at Mr. Pumblechook who sends him to Miss Havisham. This is a very old, but strange lady, who lives in the dark with a very beautiful girl. Pip falls in love to her. But she thinks he isn't a gentleman. Then a lawyer appears who says that some anonymous benefactor wants Pip to become a boy of Great Expectations and therefore he has to go to London to become a gentleman. Therefore, he does. In London, he becomes best friend with Herbert Pocket, who wants to have an insurance company. His benefactor turns out to be the criminal who he once brought some food. Heavily disappointment, and feeling mere hate against his benefactor, he gets into debts and only by intervening of Joe he gets out of jail. Pip sets himself to honest work to pay his debts. Meanwhile Estella, whose father was the villain, has married Pips enemy Bentley Drummle, but he treats her badly and after his death Pip and Estella are reunited
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