Study Guide

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations Essay - Suggested Essay Topics

Suggested Essay Topics

Chapter 1
1. Why is the first chapter so important?

2. Compare and contrast Pip and the first convict.

3. What examples of humor can be found in the first chapter?

4. Explain why the story is more interesting written in first person point of view.

Chapters 2 and 3
1. Explain how guilt has affected Pip’s life.

2. Define pun, and how it is used in these chapters.

3. Discuss the theme of right and wrong or good and evil.

4. How is the relationship between Pip and his sister different from the relationship between Pip and Joe.

Chapters 4 and 5
1. Describe the Christmas dinner from Pip’s point of view.

2. How are the attitudes of Pip and Joe toward the first convict similar? How does the convict’s behavior warrant some compassion?

3. What themes are beginning to emerge from these chapters?

Chapters 6 and 7
1. How does Dickens build suspense in his novel?

2. Explain how the bond between Pip and Joe becomes even stronger.

3. Describe Joe’s relationship with Pip and his relationship with his wife.

Chapters 8 and 9
1. How does Pip’s day at Miss Havisham’s change him forever?

2. Compare Miss Havisham and Satis House.

3. Describe Estella and her effect on Pip.

4. Relate examples of Joe’s goodness.

Chapters 10 and 11
1. Explain how Pip’s visit to Miss Havisham has affected him.

2. What does Dickens use to create suspense and interest in his novel?

3. Discuss Pip’s encounter with Miss Havisham’s relatives, and what were his impressions?

4. Explain how humor is used concerning Pip and the pale young gentleman?

Chapters 12 and 13
1. How has Pip changed? Give examples of his dissatisfaction concerning his life and his family.

2. Explain what being an apprentice means and how this affects Pip.

3. Write a character analysis of Uncle Pumblechook.

4. Describe the relationship between Joe and Mrs. Joe.

Chapters 14 and 15
1. Write a character sketch of Orlick.

2. Describe Pip’s return visit to see Miss Havisham.

3. Describe Joe and Pip’s relationship.

Chapters 16 and 17
1. Explain the relationship between Pip and Biddy.

2. Discuss the attack on Mrs. Joe and how it affected Pip.

3. Write a character sketch of Biddy.

Chapters 18 and 19
1. Explain the circumstances or coincidences that help make Pip believe Miss Havisham is his benefactor.

2. Discuss the first stage of Pip’s life. How can this stage be called one of innocence or childhood?

3. Discuss the two settings in the novel—that of Satis House and that of the forge with its marshes. What characters are associated with each, and how do they affect Pip?

Chapters 20 and 21
1. Discuss Pip’s impressions of London and give examples.

2. Describe Mr. Jaggers’ office and how it is representative of the lawyer.

Chapters 22 and...

(The entire section is 1382 words.)