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2 pages/≈550 words
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Literature & Language
Book Report
English (U.S.)
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The Use of Symbols to Portray Theme in Charles Dickens Great Expectations (Book Report Sample)


The five elements of a novel are characters, setting, plot, theme and point of view. For this essay assignment, your thesis must share an opinion or attitude towards one of those five elements. Your essay must be a 5 paragraph essay complete with an introduction paragraph with thesis and a conclusion paragraph. The piece should be a thoughtful response to the novel and should address a very specific aspect of whatever element on which you decide to focus.Include a works cited page for the text of the novel in our book. Topic How a series of motifs and symbols demonstrate a particular theme Thesis in mind: Expectations can ruin the hopes-- more expectations, more disappointments. (People expect more, they will disappoint more) You must use the TEXT FROM BOOK as support for your ideas. you should not research this topic online, but should develop this idea from what caught your attention as you read. Thesis: In the Charles Dickens novel, Great Expectations, many symbols demonstrate that People have more great expectations, they will be disappointed greatly.

The Use of Symbols to Portray Theme in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations
The novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens portrays the unfulfilled quest for social status and wealth by the story's major characters, Philip Pirrip, Estella, and Miss Havisham. As the story's title suggests, the characters initially have great expectations and ambitions for their future. However, their lives take a different course from what they hoped as they all fail to achieve their dreams. One major aspect of Dicken's treatment of the theme of the quest for wealth and social status is that the characters with the most ambitions and expectations are the ones who get frustrated the most. The more the character's expectations, the most he or she is frustrated later in life. In portraying this theme, the author uses symbols to capture the doomed future of the characters. This essay discusses Dickens' use of symbolism in Great Expectations to portray the relationship between the characters' expectations and their frustrations in life.
In the novel, Philip Pirrip, otherwise known as Pip, is born into a low class caste, in a society where class is determined material success and education. He grows up as an orphan under the care of his elderly sister. From his early days, he nurses the dream of becoming a gentleman and earning respect in the Victorian society of 19th century England. However, his future is doomed from the very beginning of the novel, where he is first introduced sitting at a cemetery mourning his dead parents. The cemetery, as a symbol of death, foreshadows the "death" of his dreams and ambitions. Pip has a burning desire to win the heart of Estella, a beautiful girl he is obsessed with, and through marriage to her, get the opportunity of inheriting Miss Havisham's wealth. He reveals his great expectations of marrying her when, in a regretful tone, he says: "I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be" (Dicken 191). However, this plan does not materialize since Miss Havisham is using Estella's beauty to kill the dreams and destroy the hearts of men. In this regard, the author uses the cemetery to symbolize the doomed fate of Pip's every plan and ambition. It is a symbol of bad omen, and it serves to show that all...
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