What did Pip expect that his "great expectations" would bring him? What did they bring him instead?Irony is another element of plot that Dickens uses to bring important themes into sharp focus....

What did Pip expect that his "great expectations" would bring him? What did they bring him instead?

Irony is another element of plot that Dickens uses to bring important themes into sharp focus. Irony occurs when the outcome is opposite to what had been expected. What did Pip expect that his "great expectations" would bring him? What did they bring him instead? Explain how Estella's parentage is ironic. Cite at least two (2) other instances of irony in Great Expectations.

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Pip expected that his "great expectations" would bring him a good income which would enable him to become a gentleman. He wanted to become a gentleman because he had fallen in love with Estella, and he thought he could win her hand in marriage if he had money and genteel manners. He even assumed that Miss Havisham was providing the money he was receiving through Mr. Jaggers the attorney and that it was Miss Havisham's intention for him to marry Estella eventually. He turned his back on the people who truly loved him, Joe Gargary and Biddy, because they represented the humble background he wanted to get away from. What Pip's "great expectations" brought him were disillusionment and unhappiness. He learned that the gentlemen he aspired to resemble were mostly selfish wastrels and parasites. He discovered that Estella's parents were a convict and a murderess. Two other instances of irony were his finding out that it was Magwitch, the convict, who was his real benefactor instead of Miss Havisham, and that Joe took care of him when his rich acquaintances abandoned him. It was ironic that Trabb's boy helped save him from Orlick, ironic that the apparently cold-hearted Jaggers had been responsible for saving Estella from the probable fate of a pauper who was the child of two hardened criminals, ironic that becoming a gentleman made him look and feel like a fop, a fool, and a wastrel, like many another young Englishmen..

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