Discovering Dickens - A Community Reading Project

Discovering Dickens

Community Reading Project

Charles Dickens

Great Expectations

Historical Context



<i>Great Expectations</i>

Notes on the Novel
• Maps and Illustrations
• Key to Allusions
• Glossary of Historical Things and Conditions

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Previously, in Great Expectations...

Last time, Pip suffered several shocks: His hopes concerning Estella were diminished -- she seemed to accept the advances of Drummle -- and he saw her quarrel with Miss Havisham. Worse, however, was the revelation of his benefactor: Pip, now living in the Temple, was visited at night by a strange man, whom he gradually recognized as the convict he had helped in his youth. Discomposed by the visit, Pip attempted to send the man on his way, only to find the convict disclose -- little by little -- that he himself was Pip's benefactor. He had returned from Australia, where he had done his time and made a fortune, to see the gentleman he had made of Pip. Pip, though appalled, realized that he must shelter the man, for the penalty of a return from transportation was death. The issue closed with Pip in a state of emotional duress -- anxious for the safety of the convict, and agonized at the failure of his hopes.


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