Can anyone help me start off my Great Expectations essay? the essay question is "to explore the themes of expectations in the novel" and i have to start it off writing about historical and social context and a bit about Charles Dickens and the themes of expectations and how it affects the characters and their lives. all that in one intro to an essay, god school these days i very hard!!

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What is so great about enotes is we have all the information you need to write your essay. Go to the link below for complete details. I'll give you a start and suggestions about how to proceed.

Historically, industrialization changed nineteenth- century England. The rich invested in machines and factories, and the poor were willing to work twelve to fourteen hour shifts for little money. Women and children were the most vulnerable because they could be easily intimidated and didn't join labor unions.

The theme of expectation and ambition is seen in many of the characters, but especially Pip. He wants to improve his status at first to be worthy of Estella. Dickens uses Pip to show how superficial the class system and the upper class are. Education is a major part of improvement, and this was denied to the poor, making it hard for them to ever get ahead. Pip also learns how to be a moral, thoughtful person in his efforts of self-improvement.

Dickens makes it obvious that ambition without morality is dangerous. He shows the wealthy to be insensitive to the plight of the poor. Their snobbery makes them look foolish, and their behavior is ridiculous.

Enotes has a full biography about Dickens as well as all of the other information you need. On the right, click on "Historical Context", "Characters", and "Themes" to get full details.

Good luck on your essay!

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial