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Great Expectations essay topics

Every student dreams about the source of inspiration if their essays concern classical literature. In this article, we collect the most newsworthy ‘Great Expectations’ research topics that will give impetus to write a more fun essay for college.

Main Themes of ‘Great Expectations’

Before you start writing your essay, it is crucial to go through the novel’s main themes. Remember that you can always write an essay online with the help of experienced specialists. Turn to them whenever you get stuck during the writing process.

Social class

The novel explores class distinctions in Victorian England. Pip is from a humble background and has big dreams. He knows the differences between the upper and lower classes and is often ashamed of his social position. Dickens writes about the harmful effects of class consciousness, highlighting the injustice of a system that favors the wealthy and privileged.

The theme of ambition is a central one. Pip’s desire to improve and escape his underprivileged background drives much of the plot. However, his ambition has layers to it, leading him to make questionable decisions.

Characters undergo integrity tests throughout the novel. His desire for wealth and social status tests Pip’s sense of morality. He then confronts the consequences of his actions. On the other hand, characters like Joe and Herbert Pocket manifest integrity and serve as positive role models for Pip.

Pip’s relationship with his abusive older sister and kind-hearted brother-in-law shapes his early life. Later he discovers that his mysterious benefactor, Abel Magwitch, is the father figure he never had. The author also explores the theme of absent parents with characters like Estella and Miss Havisham.

Pip’s quest for social and financial success does not lead to satisfaction, highlighting the importance of moral justice. The novel also shows the harshness of the legal system and the incidental nature of punishment in Victorian England.

Our writers will help you explore other themes after getting a “ write me an essay ” request from you. Just place an order and let our team assist you.

Research Paper Topics for ‘Great Expectations’ by Dickens

  • Northrop Frye says: “Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lighting than a clump of grass.” How had the suffering been brought upon others by protagonist contribute to the tragic vision of Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’?
  • The moral and ethical implications of the conflict between Pip and society in ‘Great Expectations.’
  • Why does the author use curiosity in ‘Great Expectations,’ and what does he want to show using it?
  • One event in Pip’s life that positively altered his perception of love.
  • How do the descriptions of the exterior, interior, and places in ‘Great Expectations’ relate to the lives of characters, their development, and fortunes?
  • How does Dickens use the setting in ‘Great Expectations’ to drive and change plot and character?
  • How do themes of comfort and strangeness, home and away, poverty and wealth work themselves out in the spaces of ‘Great Expectations’?
  • What does the map and movement of the novel ‘Great Expectations’ have to do with the context of Victorian capitalism?
  • Main characters from ‘Great Expectations’ and their relationship to money, work, and social class.
  • What do characters from ‘Great Expectations’ teach readers about life under developing Victorian capitalism?
  • Why does Dickens give each role of ‘Great Expectations’ the behaviors, activities, and duties that he does?
  • Why does Dickens choose particular characters of ‘Great Expectations’ to describe the England of his days?
  • Duress displayed through ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens.
  • Miss Havisham from ‘Great Expectations’ and her correlation to female hysteria of the Victorian era.
  • Compare the novel ‘Great Expectations’ with the autobiographical story of Dickens’ life and contrast events with it.

Essay Topics Comparing ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Great Expectations’

  • What are the major themes discussed in the novels ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Great Expectations’? How do these themes describe fears of authors and the greater extent of society in the time of their publication?
  • Is some validity in the way the castes are described in ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Great Expectations’? Or are they merely a hypothetical presentation of what society under the World State looks like?
  • Compare the ways the World State treats its citizens like commodities to benefit the greater good of the State as a whole in ‘Brave New World’ and the same for society in ‘Great Expectations.’
  • The theme of love in ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘Brave New World.’
  • Compare and contrast John, Helmholtz, and Bernard from ‘Brave New World’ with Pip from ‘Great Expectations.’ Do any of these characters reveal something about authors’ personalities?
  • How are castes distinguished from one another in ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Great Expectations’? Are they presented similarly to other aspects of modern society?
  • The relationship between political power, religion, and science in the community that exists within ‘A Brave New World.’ Compare these relations with ‘Great Expectations.’
  • How is infantility achieved in the novels ‘A Brave New World’ and ‘Great Expectations’? What case is Huxley trying to make about Pavlovian processes in learning and psychology?
  • A critical analysis of Mustapha Mond’s arguments against the ideals of freedom in ‘Brave New World.’ Is there any validity to them? How does Charles Dickens describe these ideals in ‘Great Expectations’?
  • What is the purpose of conditioning the World State’s citizens to develop infantile-like dependence in ‘Brave New World’? Is this place a more significant burden on the State? Compare with the infantile-like addiction described in ‘Great Expectations.’
  • Critical thinking of the characters Bernard, Helmholtz, and John from ‘Brave New World’ and Pip from ‘Great Expectations.’ Are they the only ones that seem critical about the lives of society?
  • In what ways are John from ‘Brave New World’ and Pip from ‘Great Expectations’ conditioned in their own ways? Do these mean they are freer than other characters of the novels?
  • Differences and similarities between the World State from ‘Brave New World’ and society from ‘Great Expectations.’
  • The process in ‘Brave New World’ in which the World State assigns castes and specific social functions for its citizens before they are even born. How could the reader compare it with the society described in ‘Great Expectations’?
  • In what ways does Bernard from ‘Brave New World’ show a problem for the World State for not being infantile enough by regulations? How does it resonate with the motifs of Pip’s character from ‘Great Expectations’?

Reading these ‘Great Expectations’ paper topics is a useful process to find new ideas for your further academic assignment. Write My Essay Online is a service that can provide you with ideas for topics on any discipline.

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Interesting Facts about ‘Great Expectations’ Novel

Here are some interesting facts about the novel that might inspire you while writing:

great expectations facts

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Great Expectations

70 pages • 2 hours read

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.

  • Chapters 1-6
  • Chapters 7-14
  • Chapters 15-19
  • Chapters 20-26
  • Chapters 27-33
  • Chapters 34-40
  • Chapters 41-48
  • Chapters 49-56
  • Chapters 57-59
  • Character Analysis
  • Symbols & Motifs
  • Important Quotes

Essay Topics

 How does the phrase “great expectations” change and develop from the beginning to the end of the book? Why do you think Charles Dickens chose this phrase for the book’s title?

Though Great Expectations contains some flawlessly kind, ideal characters (such as Joe and Biddy ) and some simply evil characters (such as Orlick), most of the novel’s characters are morally complex, displaying both their best and worst characteristics. Choose between Pip, Estella , Miss Havisham , Mr. Jaggers , or Abel Magwitch and track that character’s moral progression over the course of the book. 

Between Pip’s various “educators” on his path to becoming a gentleman—including Mr. Wopsle, Biddy , Estella , Herbert, and Matthew Pocket—how does Pip’s educational process change over the course of the novel? How does Pip’s idea of a “gentleman” evolve with his teachings?

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Charles Dickens

  • Literature Notes
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  • Great Expectations at a Glance
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  • About Great Expectations
  • Character List
  • Summary and Analysis
  • Chapters 1-3
  • Chapters 4-6
  • Chapters 7-9
  • Chapters 10-12
  • Chapters 13-15
  • Chapters 16-17
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  • Chapters 20-22
  • Chapters 23-25
  • Chapters 26-28
  • Chapters 29-31
  • Chapters 32-34
  • Chapters 35-37
  • Chapters 38-39
  • Chapters 40-42
  • Chapters 43-45
  • Chapters 46-48
  • Chapters 49-51
  • Chapters 52-54
  • Chapters 55-57
  • Chapters 58-59
  • Character Analysis
  • Joe Gargery
  • Miss Havisham
  • Jaggers and Wemmick
  • Character Map
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Study Help Essay Questions

1. Why does Joe put up with Mrs. Joe's abuse? Do you agree with his choice, and did he do enough to protect Pip?

2. Do you think Miss Havisham was really rewarding Pip with the apprenticeship? Was it actually more revenge on men by chaining him to the forge when he preferred to be with Estella?

3. Why does Pip refuse to take any more of Magwitch's money? Was this the correct choice? Why or why not?

4. Which of the two endings do you prefer? If neither, how would you end the novel?

5. Does Estella's change at the end of the novel seem real?

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Home / Essay Samples / Literature / Books / Great Expectations

Great Expectations Essay Examples

Charles dickens’ "great expectations": unimportance of social class.

The novel “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, portrays the life of a young boy named Phillip Pirrip, or “Pip”. From birth, Pip is born into a lower class and goes under the care of his only living sibling, Mrs. Joe Gargery and her blacksmith Husband,...

The Struggles of Redemption in Charles Dickens’ "Great Expectations"

In the novel Great Expectations written by Charles Dickens, the struggles of redemption people face are well demonstrated through the characters Pip, Magwitch, and Ms. Havisham. Eventually Pip comes to understand the error of his ways and realizes that happiness does not come through wealth...

Guilt and Shame in Charles Dickens’ "Great Expectations"

The aim of this essay is to look into the ways of how guilt and shame are depicted in Dickens’ Great Expectations. Pip, the main character, is an orphan, a lonely boy who is unhappy with his life and, most of all, with his social...

Literary Analysis of Great Expectations

Throughout this paper, an analysis of the plot, characters, and themes will shed light on Pip’s personal improvements and setbacks. In this novel, Pip, who is the main character, is raised by his sister and brother-in-law and is considered to be low class and not...

"Great Expectations": the Importance Characters Influencing Pip

Throughout the book Great Expectations, Charles Dickens incorporates many different individuals who offer a sense of enlightenment and guidance to Pip. Guardians like Joe, Biddy, and Jaggers influence and shape Pip during his hardships and difficulties. Joe appears to be a very influential individual in...

Symbol of Moral Self-improvement: Charles Dickens’ "Great Expectations"

Charles Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’ is a bildungsroman novel narrated by Pip who is an orphan. Dickens’ characterization of Pip sets him out as an idealist who hopes and works for self-improvement. This serves as the catalyst for Pip’s progression from the innocence of childhood in...

"Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens: Gentleman in the Victorian Era

The aim of this essay is to analyze what being a gentleman really meant in the Victorian era. In order to achieve this I will have as a start point the image of the gentleman in the novel „Great Expectations”. On the following, I will...

"Great Expectations": Contributions Helping Pip to Become a Gentleman

In the novel “Great Expectation” by Charles Dickens, the main character Pip grows and develops into a young gentleman, who learns many valuable life lessons about himself. Along his path of development, Pip’s knowledge and growth are influenced by his friends and family who act...

"Great Expectations": the Dichotomy of Good and Evil in the Book

There are many ways that Dickens displays the themes of good versus evil in Great Expectations. This essay will provide the examples how he portrays them continuously throughout the book through characters, actions, and thoughts. In the beginning of the book, Pip has a general...

Miss Havisham as Pip's Shame

The aim of this essay is to discuss the shame that Philip Pirrip, also known as Pip, has experienced through the novel. Pip is an orphan character, who is brought up by his selfish sister and his sister’s blacksmith husband, Joe. He was abused by...

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About Great Expectations

Charles Dickens

Novel, Bildungsroman

United Kingdom

The book includes three "stages" of Pip's expectations and tells the story of a young boy who grows up and learns many valuable life lessons about himself and others.

Ambition and Self-Improvement, Expectations (affection, loyalty, and conscience are more important than social advancement, wealth, and class), Social Class, Crime, Guilt, and Innocence, Sophistication, Education, Family.

Pip, Estella, Miss Havisham, Abel Magwitch (“The Convict”), Joe Gargery, Jaggers, Herbert Pocket, Wemmick, Biddy, Dolge Orlick, Mrs. Joe, Uncle Pumblechook, Compeyson, Bentley Drummle, Molly, Mr. Wopsle, Mr. Wopsle, Miss Skiffins uses cookies to offer you the best service possible.By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy .--> -->