What is Charles Dickens's message in Great Expectations?

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Dickens conveys his message through the experiences of his main character Pip, who is young, intelligent, and impressionable. Pip learns several hard truths about life, all of which may be considered part of Dickens' message. Pip's "great expectations" are all disappointed. He learns that money cannot buy happiness and certainly cannot buy love. He learns that the fine ladies and gentlemen who seem to lead such enviable lives of leisure and refinement are really mostly pretenders who contribute nothing to society and who are incapable even of supporting themselves; they are parasites who prey on the humble people of the world, people like Magwitch, Joe Gargary, and Biddy. He learns that old friends are the best friends and that real love is a rare and precious thing. He learns that the kind of people he admired and aspired to associate with are often selfish, cruel, avaricious, hypocritical, and corrupt.

Leo Tolstoy developed a comparable opinion about the upper classes in his later...

(The entire section contains 620 words.)

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