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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - Barron's Booknotes
Table of Contents
1. Discuss the theme of revenge. Which characters seek revenge, and
why? How do you think Dickens regards revenge?

2. Discuss the theme of forgiveness. Which characters show forgiveness
naturally, and which have to learn it? Why is forgiveness important in this

3. Discuss the theme of education. Compare Pip's various teachers and
discuss how Joe learns to read and write. What does Pip want in an
education? What value do you think Dickens places on it?

4. Discuss one character other than Pip who has "great expectations."
Compare that character's fate to Pip's.

5. Look at each of Pip's "fathers"- Joe, Jaggers, Magwitch, and
Pumblechook. What does each offer him? What does each lack?
6. Compare the three orphans, Pip, Biddy, and Estella. How are they
alike? How are they different?

7. Compare Bentley Drummle and Pip.
8. What scene do you think shows Pip at his worst? Discuss in detail
how Dickens shows Pip as a flawed human being.

9. Compare Miss Havisham and Magwitch, as patrons, as parents, and as
seekers of revenge.

10. Compare and contrast Mrs. Joe and Mrs. Matthew Pocket, as mothers
and as women.

Table of Contents

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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - Barron's Booknotes

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