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Charles Dickens and Great Expectations

            Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England on February 7th, 1812. Although he had little formal schooling, he was able to teach himself shorthand, leading him to a job as a parliamentary reporter at a newspaper. While he published several sketches in magazines, it was not until he wrote The Pickwick Papers from 1836-1837 that he experienced true success. He then wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, two novels that reflected the society of England at the time, particularly the lower class. In 1843, Dickens published one of his most famous works, A Christmas Carol. In this story especially, it was evident of how Dickens" towards the economic mindset of the world; he blamed much of society's problems on people's obsession with earning money and acquiring a social status based on money. Finally in 1859 Dickens wrote Great Expectations, a novel that reflected the society of England through the eyes of a young man, which represented him as a child.
             The book begins with the main character, Pip, standing in the graveyard of his parents. He is an orphan living with his abusive sister and her submissive husband. Pip meets Miss Havisham later in the novel and begins living in her Satis house. Miss Havisham had her heart broken by a man earlier in her life so she began teaching a girl who lives with her, Estella, to break men's hearts to get revenge. She targets Pip as her first victim. In a turn of events Pip is whisked away to London where he lives loosely for a while and meets new acquaintances. He later returns to the Satis House to see Estella and finds Miss Havisham about to commit suicide. He saves her but she dies later on anyway. Later on, one of Pip's friends leaves him money but he is killed so the money is given to the crown instead. When Pip finally returns to Estella they marry.
             Throughout Great Expectations, Dickens explores the class system of Victorian England.

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