Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Discuss the significance of the title of the novel Great Expectations.

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The title of Charles Dickens's second-to-last work in which he writes with what critics term "extravagant didacticism" and stylistic decorations that "exceed all bounds" indicates the grand expectations he had for the novel. Perhaps, however, Dickens' efforts underscore the meaning of the lines of Sir Phillip Sidney in his Astrophil and Stella sonnets as he refers to

. . . that friendly foe,

Great Expectations . . .

since while many reviews were negative, readers were so eager for this novel that it had five printings.

Indeed, the novel is a "friendly foe" for many of the characters as well...

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toffee5 | Student

The title of Charles Dickens’s novel Great Expectations mainly refers to Pip’s "great expectations" which are many dimensional and ever-evolving. His great expectations arrive in the form of his fortune and are embodied in his dream of becoming a gentleman. These expectations also take the shape of his longing for a certain cold star named Estella. Each of the three parts of the novel treats a different expectation, and we watch how Pip changes in the face of his changing expectations.

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