Great Expectations

The Theme of Unrequited Love Throughout Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations College

Since its publication in 1860, Charles Dickens’s novel Great Expectations has garnered a reputation as one of the most powerful and moving works of the nineteenth century. Great Expectations follows the story of a poor young boy named Pip into his more fortune adult years of transforming into a gentleman. One constant through Pip’s ever-changing life is his love for the beautiful and cold Estella. Pip is introduced to Estella when he is just a boy, and his affection for her only grows as the years pass. However, Estella will never return his love due to the fact that she was adopted and raised by Miss Havisham, whose sole purpose in life is to wreak havoc on men. By using Pip and Estella as pawns in her sick game of revenge, Miss Havisham transforms into a twisted puppeteer, she sits behind the scenes pulling the strings just to watch tragedy ensue. Though Miss Havisham eventually gets what she wants, both her, Pip, and Estella’s hearts are all left in shambles.

The unrequited love as shown between Pip and Estella throughout the novel illustrates the negative effects of ruthless revenge from love gone wrong. Throughout Great Expectations, both Miss Havisham and the people in her life suffer greatly because of her quest for...

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