Dickens’ Suggestion on Happiness, Identity and Expectations In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens tells the story in the perspective of a young boy growing up in England during the Victorian Era. Philip “Pip” Pirrip is both the protagonist and narrator, where we discover his life experiences and expectations. He’s mostly under the influence of his sister, Mrs. Joe, and her husband, Mr.

Joe Gargery, who both help him throughout his childhood. He meets many people who shape him in ways he’ll become, help him better understand not everyone can be happy and learns what it means to really have “great expectations”. Through Pip’s journey, Dicken suggests that happiness and peace can be achieved if you slowly learn to accept yourself. Happiness ________. “I never could have believed it without experience, but as Joe and Biddy became more at their cheerful ease again, I became quite gloomy. Dissatisfied with my fortune, of course I could not be; but it is possible that I may have been, without quite knowing it, dissatisfied with myself.” (132) What Dickens might be suggesting about happiness here is that _______. One may find it difficult to find themselves, but __________.

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“That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.” (66) The narrator asks us to think about the moments in our life that changes our path forever. Often times, these life changing moments lead us to think what would happen if we did things differently.

The novel teaches _____________. Sometimes, life doesn’t go the way we want it to and those moments make us who we are today(?). In the end, the message that Dickens is telling us is that life is not just about wealth and education, but about learning to love yourself before loving others.


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