• Sunday, April 15th, 2012








            In Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, the protagonist named Pip is a round, dynamic character. Pip displays many different character traits as he develops through the novel. These character traits can be displayed by the protagonists of “Edd, Ed, n Eddy”. Pip can be similar to Edd, Ed, or Eddy at any point in Great Expectations.

            Ed is not very smart, but he is very hard-working, caring, and strong. Before Pip goes to school and becomes a gentleman, he is most similar to Ed. Pip showed his love for his father figure, Joe, and displays that he is hardworking and diligent when aspiring to become a blacksmith. Pip also helps out an unknown convict in the marshes, although this act of kindness was most likely born from fear. Before Pip meets Miss Havisham, his personality is like a mirror image to that of Ed’s.

           Edd — sometimes referred to as “Double-D” because of the spelling of his name — is very intelligent, curious, and socially awkward. Pip shows these traits while going to school and learning to become a gentleman. He shows to be passive at this point in Great Expectations, obeying the commands of most people that are of a higher class than him, including Estella and Miss Havisham. Despite being the intellectual leader of the three, Edd is like a lemming to Ed’s and Eddy’s Leadership. Whenever the three engage in their daily adventures, Edd sees the experience as an opportunity to learn. Pip’s amalgamation of humility and a desire to learn makes him most similar to Edd at this point.

            Eddy is sometimes seen as the leader of the group. He is greedy and ill-tempered; with his short stature he is seen as the epitome of a napoleon complex. After coming of age and becoming a gentleman, Pip displays qualities similar to Eddy’s. He is embarrassed by the fact that he was raised under a different social class, despite his previous pride in his family and life. Eddy avoids his family in most episodes, with an enmity for all of his relatives excluding his brother. At this point in Great Expectations, most of Pip’s desires are centered on either Estella or Pip’s inheritance.

            Pip, the protagonist of Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, has a personality which is in a constant state of flux. Pip’s traits vary so much throughout the novel that he could be reflected by 3 completely different characters. These three characters are specifically the protagonists from the show “Edd, Ed, n Eddy”.

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• Friday, March 23rd, 2012


            Some things in life are one time opportunities. Some may take a long time to achieve. Others, could come up by surprise or fortune. In Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, parts of the story line are remarkably similar to the story line of Harry Potter. In both Great Expectations and Harry Potter, Pip and Harry are given the opportunity of a life time to fulfill their destinies.

            Pip was an ordinary apprentice to a blacksmith. Other than living life as a blacksmith, his future was bleak. Pip wants to become a gentleman in order to impress Estella, a rich young lady. Harry was also just an ordinary town boy. His parents were dead and he was living with his abusive aunt and uncle. Harry learns from Hagrid that his parents were wizards and that he is a wizard too. Hagrid takes Harry away to Hogwarts in order to fulfill his destiny and become a wizard. Pip was also given a chance to fulfill his destiny when Magwitch became his secret benefactor and gave him a chance to go to London to become a gentleman.

            Pip and Harry also meet friends along the way that help them in their travels. Pip meets Herbert Pocket, Wemmick, and Magwitch. Harry meets Ron and Hermione. In Great Expectations, Magwitch is Pip’s benefactor and helps Pip to become a gentleman in London. In Harry Potter,  Ron and Hermione aid Harry in his struggle to defeat Voldemort and avenge his parents’death.


            In Great Expectations and Harry Potter, Pip and Harry both are from very normal families ;however, they both become something better than they were before. Harry is met by Hagrid and is taken to Hogworts to become a wizard. Magwitch terrorizes Pip in the graveyard, but realizes how nice and compassionate Pip is. Magwitch then becomes Pip’s benefactor in order send Pip to London to become a benefactor. Both of their one time opportunities describe how Pip and Harry received one time opportunities to become something more.

• Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The struggle to break free from social inequalities transcends the boundaries of time. In both Great Expectations and 1984 the main characters (Pip and Winston Smith respectively) both wish to escape from their current living conditions. Both characters wish to escape social injustice, they both have plans through which they believe they can do so, and both find that perhaps they should never have tried.

            In both Victorian England and the dystopian Oceania social inequality abounds. In Victorian England the rich hold a high position in society and treat the poor poorly. They are often pardoned for crimes where a poor man would have been found guilty. Many spent vast sums of money (often inherited) on many luxuries while the lower classes often struggled to survive. Pip knows that if he wants a luxurious life, and a chance to be with Estella, he must find a benefactor in order to gain the money that needs to become a gentleman. In Oceania the Proles and Outer Party members live in abject misery; many wander the streets without shoes or food. Even the Outer Party, the middle class of Oceana, barely makes it by. They are kept under close surveillance as well because the Party knows that the middle class is the most likely to revolt. There is simply no way to increase in social class within Oceania regardless of your actions. Winston knows that the only real way to provide any true freedom for the people of Oceania is to rebel against the Party. Both of these tasks are quite difficult although Winston’s is much more so.

            Both Pip and Winston have at least a basic outline of a plan in order to improve their living conditions. Pip thinks that by going to Miss Havisham’s house and doing as she wishing will cause her to become his benefactor. He continues to visit her and Estella for many years but only becomes more and more infatuated with Estella (and thus he wished more and more to become a gentleman). Eventually he received a small amount of money from Miss Havisham after it is decided that he no longer needed to continue to travel to Satis House. His plan had clearly failed but there was a mysterious light at the end of the tunnel as he did indeed receive a benefactor. However, Winston’s situation is very different and much darker. In order to secure any freedoms for himself and all of the other Proles and Outer Party members he would have to engage in open rebellion. Such a rebellion would be extremely foolish due to the Party’s advanced psychological control systems and massive army. Despite knowing this he still hates the Party and fights it in his own little ways. He decides to try and join up with the Brotherhood, a rebellious group within Oceania, but finds out that his contact is actually a thought police captain who arrests him and has him “reintegrated” into society. Both Pip and Winston’s plans prove to be foolhardy and presumptuous although Pip does end up in a better situation than Winston

            Unfortunately, both characters soon find that they should never have attempted to alter the standard social balance. Pip becomes corrupted by his new-found wealth and his debts soon grow out of control. He begins to act selfishly and becomes quite depraved and condescending. All ties with his family are broken and he soon only associates with the “right” type of people. Soon he is so altered by his gentlemanly status that he is disgusted and horrified by most of the people who lived then as he had lived before. He eventually sees the errors of his ways but this took the death of his benefactor and father figure, Magwitch, and his need to deal with his mounting debts. Winston faced a very different challenge after he was caught by the Thought Police. Everything he thought he knew was mocked to face as though it was a foolish thing to believe at all; the Inner Party did truly act only to increase its own wealth and power and cared not for the suffering this caused in all of the other social classes. He was forced to betray the one person that he trusted and cared about just as she was forced to betray him. He was then forced to fully accept the teachings of the party and lost what little individuality he had had to begin with.

            Pip and Winston’s both wished to change the social order and had a plan to do so but both soon found that they should not have tried at all. Perhaps it was their right as humans to fight against the system and the powers that be against all odds but it was clear that there is many reasons why this system is in place. Should we exalt these men as heroes and voices of the people or revile them as dissidents, troublemakers, and ne’er do wells?

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• Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Is it true love if you have to change yourself to have it? In Great Expectations Pip tries to change his life for a girl, just like Danny does in the movie Just Go With It. Pip, the main character from Great Expectations, goes to the Satis House as requested by Miss Havisham. There he meets Estella and falls madly in love with her immediately. She does not feel the same way as Pip and Pip feels that he needs to become a gentleman to gain her love. He leaves everything he had ever known and is now ashamed of and goes off to London to become part of the higher class. Danny Maccabee, the main character in the movie Just Go With It, is a successful plastic surgeon who pretends to be married so he can get girls to talk to him, without them worrying about him flirting with them. One night he meets a girl, Palmer, who he thinks he develops true feelings for, she finds the ring and he made up a story about how he was married but he was in the middle of a divorce. The Palmer insists on meeting his soon to be ex-wife and so the lie grows into a bigger lie. He has his assistant pretend to be his ex-wife and has her kids act as his kids. While trying to get Palmer to fall in love with him, he starts to fall in love with his assistant, Katherine Murphy. Both fell for a girl they thought was better than what they were, and who they thought they truly loved. Throughout these two boys’ stories their ultimate goal is to end up with the one they love, and will do anything and will hurt anyone to get to that point. They will hurt the ones they truly love, lie to themselves and eventually realize everything they have done.


In Great Expectations Pip, on his way to the top, hurts Joe, someone who had always been there for him. He was ashamed of where he grew up and was ashamed of Joe, even though Joe had done so much for him. He was ashamed when Joe met Miss Havisham and was ashamed when Joe came all the way to visit Pip in London. Pip hurting Joe is similar to Danny hurting Katherine and her family. In the movie Just Go With It, Danny changes his life along with the life of Katherine, and he son and daughter to try to get the girl. He convinces Katherine to lie and eventually works his way into her children’s life and getting them to lie. He develops feelings for Katherine’s kids and Katherine. In the process of getting Palmer to believe his lies, Danny hurts Katherine because she starts to develop true feelings for him and he hurts her kids because he was a father figure to them and it was all a lie to get another girl and when he hurt their mom, he hurt them. Both of these male characters not only hurt the ones they truly loved but lied to themselves.

            Pip and Danny lied to themselves and who they really were to get what they thought they wanted, Estella/Palmer. Pip had convinced himself that he was not good enough for Estella and never considered that no matter how he was Estella would never love him the way he loved her. He had every intention on finding ways to change himself and never thought that he was good for someone else the way he was. Lying to himself for as long as he did destroyed  his chance with Biddy and changed his relationship with Joe forever. In the same way, Danny was lying to himself, when he continued to chase after Palmer even when he could see that he was no longer “in love” with her but in love with Katherine. He and Katherine had many moments in the movie where they seemed more than friends and he ignored them. These lies hurt Pip and Danny along with the ones they loved, however, eventually they realized their actions and tried to make right.



The wrong actions of Pip and Danny towards the end of their stories are noticed by the characters themselves. Pip didn’t realize during his actions but later came to the conclusion that how he had treated Joe was wrong and did not help him get to the top but in fact lowered his chances of a support system if he and Estella did not end up together. He had thrown everything about his life in the lower class and realizes that maybe he was better off when he didn’t know Estella and he had his life and relationship with Joe. He knows that he can never undo what he has said to Joe and must live with the fact that the relationship will never be as close as it was before. Danny comes to his conclusions on his decisions when he was about to get married to Palmer. Katherine was at the bar when he surprised her and told her everything he could possibly think of that he had done wrong and how he loved her not Palmer. Danny states how he was standing waiting to get married and he looks out into the beautiful scenery and wanted nothing more than to share it with the person he loved. He then says how he couldn’t go through with the wedding because that person was not the person he was about to marry but was Katherine. Realizing the wrong actions of themselves allowed a new chapter in the lives of Pip and Danny’s lives to be opened.


Although in Just Go With It  Danny and Katherine end up together and in Great Expectations Estella and Pip’s future is unsure, they both when through the phases of love, hurt and regret for true love. The two experienced what they thought was love and got a life lesson out of it. Even though Pip didn’t end up with the girl and Danny did, they got what was best for their situation. Pip and Estella’s relationship ending unsure was a way for Pip to start fresh as he pleased and Danny and Katherine ending together gave Danny a fresh start. The movie and novel had the a cycle that changed the life of the characters for true love.

• Monday, March 19th, 2012



            Everyone has a mystery, but it isn’t always as pleasant as Pip’s in Great Expectations or the girls in Pretty Little Liars. It also may not be a simple to solve as you think. There is always a twist, or a change in mysteries. That’s what makes it a mystery. In Great Expectations and Pretty Little Liars, it is revealed that Pip has a benefactor that is a mystery, and the girls have to solve their best friend’s murder. 

           In Great Expectations, Pip is in love with Estella, and in the hit T.V. show Pretty Little Liars, many of the girls are in love with their boyfriends.  They relate because in Great Expectations, Miss Havisham has taught Estella to break men’s heart. This means, she gets a man to fall in love with her just to break his heart. She has been taught this by Miss Havisham, who also got her heart broken on her wedding day. So for revenge, she has taught Estella to hate the male race. In Pretty Little Liars the girls have “A” intruding and breaking apart their relationships. If they do something “A” doesn’t like, then “A” takes away something the girls like. Miss Havisham and “A” are alike because they are preventing Pip and the girls from having a relationship. Overall, in Great Expectations and Pretty Little Liars, there is someone ruining their relationship.

            Also, in Great Expectations, Pip is trying to find out who his benefactor is, and to find his benefactor he goes to London and becomes a gentleman. Pip thinks being a gentleman means having nice clothes, not having to work, and having money. His benefactor is providing his fortune. Meanwhile, he thinks that Miss Havisham is his benefactor, just like the girls in Pretty Little Liars thinks Jenna is their mysterious “A”.  In Pretty Little Liars, Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hannah are trying to find out who this mysterious “A” is. “A” keeps sending them letters, texts, and various clues when they get close to solving their friends’ murder. So, in order to stop “A”, they have to find out who “A” is. In this situation, Great Expectations and Pretty Little Liars are similar because they are trying to solve a mystery that has been part of their life since they were little kids.

            In Great Expectations, Pip has a sister named Mrs. Joe, and in Pretty Little Liars, Spencer has a sister named Melissa. Mrs. Joe is Pip’s sister that has raised him up ‘by hand.’ Mrs. Joe is nice to Pip when she thinks he is going to be getting good fortunes, but in the end Pip wasn’t the only one that thought his sister was mean. Orlick also had a fight with Mrs. Joe and ended up hitting her on the back of her head, which killed her. Meanwhile, Spencer’s sister, Melissa, is in suspicion for killing Allison. Melissa is nice to Spencer when she knows that Spencer doesn’t suspect her for doing anything to Allison. But when Spencer thinks that Melissa might be involved, everything changes. Melissa starts threatening Spencer, telling her if she turns her into the police, then Melissa will turn Spencer and her friends into the police. While all this is going on, Melissa is just covering up for Garret, the police officer, who then gets arrested for Allison’s murder. In conclusion, Great Expectations and Pretty Little Liars are similar because they both have a sister that is part of their everyday life and has a story within the story.

             In Great Expectations and Pretty Little Liars, it is revealed that Pip has a benefactor that is a mystery, and the girls have to solve their best friend’s murder. While, Pip is trying to figure out who his benefactor is by becoming a gentleman, and having to deal with his beloved sisters’ death, the girls are trying to conclude who killed their best friend, with Spencer’s sister getting in the middle of a murder case. Being involved in a mystery, shouldn’t determine who you are and what kind of person you are.

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• Friday, March 16th, 2012

What is a criminal? A criminal is a person who commits a wrongdoing against the law. This description fits two characters – Magwitch from Great Expectations, and Stanley and Zero from the movie Holes. All men have been sent to a prison or camp for their wrongdoings. These men relate in many ways because of their luck, money, and experiences.

Luck is something no one can control, it is simply chance. Stanley is known for his bad luck. He is accused of a crime he did not commit, and is sent to camp for it. Magwitch does not have the best of luck either. Throughout his life he has been, “in jail and out of jail and in jail and out of jail.” The luck of these men has limited them both in accomplishing major goals in life and achieving big things. Both Stanley’s and Magwitch’s luck is similar in the fact that the odds are not in their favor.  

All three characters, Magwitch, Zero, and Stanley, all have experienced major events in their life. The hardships that have occurred to them have helped them to learn and let their mind grow. Magwitch has spent his life fending for himself. He has always been poor and never known any different. Magwitch resorted to stealing food and supplies to survive, and he never knew better. Much like Magwitch, Zero has also spent a life living off of very little. Having his mother leave him caused Zero to have to live on his own at a very young age. Both Zero and Magwitch stole goods solely to survive. Stanley’s life was a life of never succeeding. He never tried, but somehow nothing ever worked out for him. Similar to Magwitch who also, did not have his life go according to plan. Magwitch’s marriage ended with a divorce, and he never met his daughter. These hardships suffered through by Magwitch, Stanley, and Zero all made them stronger as people and taught them lessons that no one could ever teach.

Aside from the terrible past, the future for all three of these men is bright. All three men acquired a large sum of money and had the chance to live and make up the time they lost. Zero and Stanley discovered a family loot and both retired to living next door in large houses. These boys turned their life around and started over a new chapter. Like the boys, Magwitch turned his life around as well. He went to Australia and herded sheep for a couple of years. Doing this allowed Magwitch to become very wealthy. Upon all of the the men’s new fortunes, they had the opportunity to become the people they have always longed to be.

These men learned that when a person works towards a goal, no matter how many times they fall, try try again. The three men learned to get back up again because anything is possible. The boys Stanley and Zero from Holes and Magwitch for Great Expectations relate through their lives and the amazing outcomes.

• Friday, March 16th, 2012


In life everyone wants to love and to be loved. However sometimes ones love is unrequited. Pip in the book Great Expectations knows this dilemma all too well and can relate to Lucas in the show One Tree Hill. Lucas and Pip both fall in love with assertive self-assured girls, have to find ways to move on, and they were changed by their experience.

The first way Pip and Lucas’s situations relate is that the girls that they fell in love with have very similar personalities and act in similar ways. Pip is in love with a girl named Estella and Lucas’s love is Peyton. Pip describes Estella when he says, “I thought of the beautiful young Estella, proud and refined” (265).  By describing Estella as ‘proud’ Pip emphasizes that she is very self-assured which is true of Peyton as well. Both Estella and Peyton know how to speak their minds and are independent women. A second way Peyton and Estella are alike is they both lead their admires on and later denied doing so. When Pip tells Estella of his love for her all she has to say in return is, “I don’t care for what you say at all. I have tried to warn you of this, have I not?” (363) Peyton, on the other hand, told Lucas when he expressed his love that she wished he could have just left it alone. Great Expectations may have been written many years ago however love was still a conflict then just as it is now.

Secondly, Pip and Lucas have similar problems because they both must find ways to move on after having their hearts broken.  Pip expresses how hard moving on will be when he says, “You are part of my existence, part of myself” (364). Pip is describing his love for Estella. Pip describes Estella as part of his existence. He means that by losing her love he is losing a part of himself. Lucas feels the same way about Peyton because he tells her he can’t live without her. A second way they are similar in how they moved on is they both tried to find another love. For Lucas he tried to make things work with Brooke, and Pip wanted to marry Biddy. Pip and Lucas both walked similar paths to get over their unrequited love.

The final way that Pip and Lucas are alike is they both were changed by the experience of not being loved in return. Pip reveals that he was changed when he says, “Suffering had given her a heart to understand what my heart used to be” (490). Pip directly says that his heart has been changed. This is similar to Lucas who claims to be a better person because of knowing Peyton. Furthermore, it is shown that Pip has changed when Dickens writes “You have always held your place in my heart”(489). Pip becasue he meet Estella and interacted with her, from then on she always held a special place in his heart. Just as Peyton holds a special place in Lucas’s heart. Love and love lose changes a person all the same.

Lucas and Pip both face the tradgedy of unrequited love. They both fall in love with similar girls, have to find a way to move on and are changed by the experience. The relations between Pip and Lucas prove that love is something that is hard for everyone to figure out weather you are living today or hundreds of years ago.


• Friday, March 16th, 2012


            When one thinks of something essential to a plotline of a classic like Great Expectations, smuggling is not usually a word that comes to mind. I noticed a great similarity between the attempt at smuggling Abel Magwitch out of England, and the smuggling of Harry Potter into Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. These two attempts at smuggling had three particular aspects which I noticed were similar. The measures taken to hide the person before they were at their destination, having to get someone that was not acquainted with the person being smuggled to help them, and the complicated process of getting the person to their destination. The qualities that are made similar are evident in the respective descriptions of the attempts at smuggling.

            There are great endeavors in both stories in order to conceal the person that is being smuggled, a high-value target for the antagonists. In Great Expectations, Pip locks Magwitch in a spare room and instructs him not to come out. He also lies to his caretakers and tells them that Magwitch is his uncle, and that his rest is not to be disturbed. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry, Hermione, and Ron travel only in desolate places where no one would see them, or under the invisibility cloak. And when they set up camp, Hermione casts spells to conceal their presence, if anyone should stumble across them. Their actions signify the importance of surreptitiousness, an idea important in both processes.

            Having someone that is a bit of a stranger is a common idea in both of the attempts as well. Pip and Herbert bring Startop along as a companion to help them in their quest. While Startop is not really a stranger, he is definitely not very familiar with Pip and Herbert as other characters are. He isn’t mentioned all too much in the story, and is a stranger to the reader. When Harry, Ron, and Hermione sneak into Hogwarts, they need the help of Aberforth Dumbledore. Background is given on Aberforth, and the reader learns a lot about him, but there is no real interaction between him and other characters, not enough for the reader to feel a connection to him. The outside characters’ willingness to help conveys the magnitude and severity of the job, that even a bystander would be willing to show compassion to assist.

            The complexity of the process needed to be commenced for the smuggling attempt to be successful is another great similarity between the books. Pip and Herbert have to adopt a habit of rowing on the Thames quite often, in order to make sure people think they are regular rowers. They also have to plan when and where they are going to catch a steamer that is heading out of the country, they have to plan for a place to stop, and implement certain methods to make sure they are not being followed. Harry, Ron, and Hermione, however, have to walk through a secret tunnel in a picture frame, a picture frame that is hidden in a particular room of a particular building in Hogsmead. They had to prepare extensively for the journey to the general area of the picture frame. They actually wouldn’t have made it to the tunnel, if not for Aberforth Dumbledore, who beguiled a death eater into believing that he saw Aberforth’s patronus, and not Harry. With luck, they made it into the castle. If Aberforth hadn’t been there, their complex plan would have fallen to pieces. Pip and Herbert’s plan actually did fall to pieces, because Compeyson outwitted them. These sophisticated plans detail the gravity of the process; the relation to the climax of action, and the conclusion of certain plotlines.

            The events of Great Expectations and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are made similar through the use of certain plot devices, such as the measures taken to hide the person before they were at their destination, having to get someone that was not acquainted with the person being smuggled to help them, and the complicated process of getting the person to their destination. These devices help to emphasize the importance of the event they relate to. The extreme detail used by the authors helps build suspense leading up to the event, helping establish the proper mood for the story. In this instance, it is for the climax or near the climax in both stories, a pivotal point of the plot. These devices used by Dickens and Rowling are great examples of quality writing; they are crucial to the development of highly praised classic novels.

• Friday, March 16th, 2012





Great Expectations is closely related to Harry Potter. Both stories have an orphan as narrator, they both leave home, and wanted to go to a higher social class. The stories are so closely related that I wonder if the author of Harry Potter had looked at Charles Dickens for inspiration.

Both characters had an orphan as narrator. Harry Potter’s parents were killed by Voldemort, whereas Pip’s parents were just pronounced dead at the beginning of the story. Their reactions are different to being orphaned though. Harry wants to avenge his parent’s death and is constantly trying to get over it, but Pip doesn’t really care. I think it is because Pip has a father figure in Joe, but Harry has no father figure.

Harry and Pip both leave home and are happy about it. Pip leaves home to go to London and become a gentleman and Pip goes to Hogwarts to become a wizard. They both dislike there home life, and both are given an opportunity to leave home from an unknown person and take it. They both relish the opportunity and take it without debating it at all. It is almost selfish of them to do so. The reason for their need to leave home is so they can rise to a higher social class.

Harry wants to become a Wizard because he will get to leave his home. But when he leaves to become a wizard the reason for not coming back is different. His social class was raised when he became a wizard and he did not want to go back to his old life. Pip knew that his social class would become higher if he went to London and that was his goal. He wanted to become good enough for Estella so he went to London. But at the end of both of their stories they both end up at the social class they started. Pip had lost his money and Harry had chosen to become a parent. They were both happier at the end when they were at their lower social class.

J.K Rowling must have looked at Great Expectations for some inspirations, because there are a ton of similarities between the two books.  Both stories have an orphan as narrator, had the main character leave home, and had them both raise social classes.

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• Friday, March 16th, 2012

            Many people think that the amount of money someone has classifies them, but that is not the case. Quite often people become selfish because of money, and they cut out the most important things in their lives, such as family. In Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and the movie A Christmas Carol, main characters Pip and Ebenezer Scrooge both are obsessed with wealth, have similar opinions of the upper class, and learn a valuable lesson about family in the end of the book. Although Pip and Scrooge themselves are not very similar, their actions are similar in many ways.

            Both characters are obsessed with being wealthy. Pip immediately leaves for London when he learned that he had a benefactor and was to become a gentleman. He left everything behind because his goal was to ascend in social class and not be common anymore. All Pip wanted was to not be common, but instead be wealthy. He thought wealthy people had the best lives. The idea of being wealthy was what he always talked about and wanted, and it made him selfish. On the other hand, Scrooge was already wealthy, but he thought money was more important than anything. He was mean to people and selfish with his money. He never donated to charity and he paid his employees very little money. Because both characters were obsessed with wealth, it made them very selfish and care more about social classes.

            Pip and Scrooge both have similar, strong opinions of social classes. They think people of the upper class are better than everyone else. Pip’s idea of being rich meant that you were superior to others and were better people. Once he started visiting Miss Havisham he became embarrassed of his family. He said, “I wished Joe had been rather more genteelly brought up, and then I should have been so too,” (60). This shows that Pip was embarrassed of Joe and wished that Joe had been brought up in a higher social class and then Pip would have been in a higher social class as well. He always wanted to be rich like Miss Havisham because she was higher and more important the lower, common people such as his sister, Mrs. Joe, and her husband, Joe. When Pip did rise in social class, he became more selfish. Similarly, Scrooge thought being wealthy gave him the power to be mean to others. He made one of his employees work on Christmas because he believed he had the authority to do that. Just because he had power because he was wealthy doesn’t mean he should have used it in mean ways. Both Pip and Scrooge were selfish and cared more about their place in social classes than their families.

            By the end of each story, each character learns an important lesson about family and wealth. They learn that one should never abandon their family and that begin wealthy is not the most important thing in life. Pip learns that he should not have left his family for his benefactor because, as it turns out, his benefactor wasn’t who he thought it was. He goes to his family and asks for forgiveness. Much like Pip, Scrooge realizes that he has become a mean and selfish man, and he has completely forgotten about the importance of family. He realizes that because he has been so tied up with being so wealthy that he hasn’t really been there for his family. Scrooge tries to fix things with his family and he attends Christmas dinner with them. He also becomes less stubborn with his money and starts doing generous deeds with his great fortunes. Although Pip and Scrooge made the wrong choices by putting their wealth before their families, they made the right choice in the end by asking for forgiveness.

            Pip, from Great Expectations, and Scrooge, from A Christmas Carol, both are obsessed with the idea of being wealthy, have strong opinions about the upper class, and learn a very important lesson about family. They let ideas of being wealthy and better than others take over their lives. Luckily, they both redeemed themselves from being selfish by asking for forgiveness from their families. Being wealthy and part of the upper class is nothing compared to family because family will always be there.

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• Friday, March 16th, 2012

The Power of Love

     Love is a powerful force that can control a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. This is a main theme in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Pip has such strong love for Estella that he does not even know what to do sometimes. She was his first love. In Great Expectations, Pip’s love for Estella changes his personality, actions, and thoughts.

     First love only comes around once, and sometimes it takes a while to realize that you love someone. Because of their difference in social classes, Estella thinks that she is much better than Pip, so she plays “hard to get.” The relationship between Estella and Pip reminds me of the relationship between Ronnie and Will in The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. Ronnie ignores Will and shows no interest in him. Something else that Estella does is that she eggs Pip on in a fight to win a kiss on her cheek. Pip says, “I think I would have gone through a great deal to kiss her cheek. But, I felt that the kiss was given to the coarse common boy as a piece of money might have been, and that it was worth nothing” (102). This quote shows that Pip was elated to give Estella a kiss on the cheek, but he feels that it had no true meaning.  These two stories, Great Expectations and The Last Song are both stories of true love, but have different endings. Ronnie stops being so stubborn and realizes that she loves Will, but on the other hand, Estella never returns Pip’s love for her.

     Pip’s love for Estella is unrequited, or unreturned. This is very degrading to Pip and often makes him upset. He feels so much love for Estella, but she cannot return this love because she claims she has “no heart.” This unrequited love between Estella and Pip reminds me of the movie “Legally Blonde,” where Elle has unrequited love for Warner. In Great Expectations, Pip is doing anything he can to impress Estella, even if it means changing who he is (a blacksmith.) In “Legally Blonde” Elle decides to apply to Harvard Law School to become the girl of Warner’s dreams (a Vanderbilt-like law student.) These two stories are alike in the fact that Pip and Elle are changing themselves for the person that they love. These two characters realize their faults in changing themselves for someone else.

     Pip’s love for Estella is never returned in the end, which is slightly different from Elle and Warner. In the end, Warner wants Elle back, but she realizes that she changed herself too much for a person that she would never want to be with, so she rejects him. After Pip realizes that his benefactor was Magwitch and not the expected Miss Havisham, he now knows that he will never have Estella. He realizes that he had been so rude and mean to Biddy and Joe, and goes back to get their forgiveness. Pip feels bad that he treated them so poorly, with nothing good resulting from it. This is like “Legally Blonde” because Elle realizes that Warner was not even worth it in the end. Changing themselves to please others taught Pip and Elle something about themselves. Pip discovers that he tried to change himself to win the love of snobby Estella, and Elle tried to change herself for conceited Warner. Pip does become a gentleman, and Elle does become a lawyer, which are both accomplishments, but they would not have done this if they were not influenced by others. This shows how strong love can be.

     In Great Expectations Pip’s love for Estella changed his actions, inner thoughts, and his character. The power of Pip’s love for Estella made him want to be good enough for her and to become a gentleman. Estella was Pip’s first love, but his love was unreturned. Pip learns in the end that he affected other people’s lives (Joe and Biddy) by becoming an upper-class gentleman. This story shows how strong love can be and how it can change people.


• Friday, March 16th, 2012

Leaving home for the first time can be scary, but sometimes it can lead to great adventures. In Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Pip leaves home to become a gentleman. This reminds me how in Harry Potter, Harry leaves home to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Not only are the novels similar in the fact that they leave home for better opportunities, but both novels have very similar characters, and plots.

Firstly, Pip and Harry Potter are alike because they want to leave home to have a better life. Pip leaves his home because his sister is mean to him, and he wants to rise in social class. Harry leaves his home for the same reason that he has a mean aunt and uncle that look after him, and he wants to become a better wizard. Both of these places they are going involve learning different topics. Pip leaves home to go to London to learn the art of becoming a gentleman. At Hogwarts, Harry will learn the art of becoming a better wizard.

Also, Great Expectations and Harry Potter also have very similar plots. Both Harry and Pip are orphan boys who are raised by different family members; Pip by his sister and brother-in-law Joe and Mrs. Joe, and Harry by his aunt and uncle Vernon and Petunia Dursley. Pip and Harry both lost their parents at a young age, and now were adopted by their family members. Both characters mourn in the fact that their parents are gone. Both characters leave home and go to different places in hope to live a better life; Pip to London, and Harry to Hogwarts.

Lastly, Great Expectations and Harry Potter are alike because they have similar characters. For example, Herbert takes care of Pip just like Hagrid takes care of Harry. Also, both of the novels include a bad guy trying to kill the main character. In Harry Potter, Voldemort kills his parents and tries to kill Harry throughout the whole story. In Great Expectations, Orlick tries to kill Pip and he kills Pip’s sister, Mrs. Joe. Other characters that alike are Mrs. Joe and Petunia Dursley. Mrs. Joe cares for Pip just like Petunia cares for Harry. Both of these adopted moms do not treat their adopted child very well. They both do not care for them, and overall do not want the children to live with them.

In conclusion, Great Expectations and Harry Potter are very alike in many different ways. Both novels have similar characters, plots and consist of a character leaving home for a better life.

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• Friday, March 16th, 2012


           Life isn’t always about how it is started or what your social class is like; it’s about how you make it and what you make out of yourself. The Blind Side and Great Expectations closely relate and have the same overall theme of the plotline. Michael Ore and Pip both lived the same lifestyles growing up as an orphan, being raised, and both of having positive and negative impacts affect their lives.

            In Great Expectations Pip is an orphan and in The Blind Side, Michael Ore doesn’t have a stabilized family, so he is basically considered an orphan as well. From the times Pip could remember he was an orphan and never had a real family to actually raise him. Mrs. Joe and Mr. Joe had raised Pip throughout his whole life. Michael, in the Blind Side had an unstable mother that was addicted to drugs and couldn’t remember all of her kids. He was brought into a bunch of different houses to try to give him a home, but he always ran away. Michael was not the average orphan, but he was considered one. Pip and Michael are alike because they were both orphans and they both lived a hard early childhood life without the right parenting techniques.

            Raising a child is a hard task, but trying to be raised by someone that you know aren’t your real parents is even harder. In Great Expectations Pip wanted to be a gentlemen, but he didn’t have much money and he was not in the high social class, so there is no way that could be possible. Miss Havisham had helped Pip and gave him the correct education that he needed to be raised. He also had a benefactor that helped him in traveling to London and to get the right education a gentleman needs. Michael Ore had a special talent in football that he didn’t know about and the Tuohys had taken him into their home because he was wandering the streets alone at night. He didn’t have a family or anything, but with the support of the Tuohys he had been taken in with a great family. Both of these characters were orphans and they didn’t have a home or any education, but with the help of some people in their lives it got turned around and it made such a great impact on them.

            Not always do the impact of other people affects the people they are trying to help it the matter that they would like it to help. Pip became very arrogant and forgot about his old family once he became a gentlemen or at least started acting as if he was. When Joe came to visit him in London he was very appalled because he didn’t think Joe was worthy enough to be with himself. The effects did not change the way Pip was it just changed some of his thinking for the worst at times, but at the end it changed him  for the good because he turned to learn a lot of things. Michael was affected by this change just as Pip was because at first he started to change a lot and get pressured into doing things that he shouldn’t have been because his family pushed him so hard. In the end he became an amazing football player with the great support of his family. Both Pip and Michael were taught a lot in this process and in the end it changed both for the good.

            Great Expectations and Blind Side both closely relate because of the three major plotlines: growing up as an orphan, being raised and beneficiated, and being affected by the good and bad of this change. Michael and Pip were very much alike and learned life lessons from their hard childhood and then aggressing towards the high point in their life.



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• Friday, March 16th, 2012

          Almost every Hollywood movie about high school has the classic “teen girl drama” plot line.  These made up girls always seem to want to nicest clothes, best hair, cutest boyfriend, most popularity, etc.  They never seem content with being an average person with a simple life.  These exaggerated “Hollywood teens” can be so easily related to Pip, a character from one of Charles Dickens’ most popular novels, Great Expectations.  Pip is a common boy who grows up wanting to be part of the rich, upper-class life he sees while at Miss Havisham’s.  Both Pip and Hollywood’s teenage girls are ultimately convinced that if they have a wealthy environment, high-class friends, and a constantly monitored external appearance, they will rise in status and popularity.

            In Pip’s early years, he thinks nothing of his average life.  However, after he meets Estella and is told he is “common” he begins to wish for a life revolving around money and class.  His up-hill struggle is driven by the want for a nicer home and a “better view”.  He then moves into a small apartment in London where he can mingle with the upper class.  A classic Hollywood teenage girl portrayal is the character Sharpay Evans from High School Musical.  She, like Pip, dreams of leading a rich and fancy life in the city.  Her character is very materialistic and self-absorbed and believes you must be in a high-class environment to attract high-class people.  A typical teenage character, such as Sharpay, is comparable to Pip on the grounds of wanting to be physically among the rich by being in their communities and environments.

As Pip starts his new life among the rich, he begins to socialize more and more with people of higher stature and less with his lower-class family and friends.  For example, Pip spends more of his time trying to impress Drummle and Miss Havisham for acceptance.  Although these companions tend to bring him down and make him feel more ashamed of himself, he justifies his actions by saying how “throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people who we most despise” (pg. 170).  Thanks to many recent movies and books, girls are well noted for their ability to tolerate destructive friends for the purpose of becoming more popular.  A few of the most popular teen drama movies among girls are Mean Girls and The Clique.  These stories follow two teenage girls named Cady and Claire who befriend the popular girls at their new schools to try and become more popular.  Pip is similar to these Hollywood characters by joining higher classes of people to ultimately become high-class themselves.

Along with being physically among the upper class and being “friends” with them, Pip also shares common interests with a Hollywood teenage girl character by wanting to look the part by having nice clothes and a nice appearance.  Before he heads off to London, Pip goes and gets some suits made by Mr. Trabb and also buys more elaborate capes and accessories throughout his time in London to look the part of an English gentleman.  He always makes a point to look and act the part by dressing nicely and showing extensive manners like when he visits Miss Havisham, he kisses her hand and speaks humbly.  To Pip, self-image is an important factor to fitting in with the high-class crowd.  Many female characters also exhibit these morals and behaviors.  As an example, in the movie Material Girls, sisters Tanzie and Ava build up reputations of being high-class heiresses.  Their characters are always dresses fashionably and have to keep a cool attitude in public so that they come off as untouchable to others.  Hollywood’s portrayal of a teenage girl and Pip both have to control their outer appearances to others so that they can look the part of the higher class.

            Hollywood styled teenage girls use their exterior appearances to look the part, have friends in high places, and wish for lives in elegant homes.  These clearly made up characters are comparable to Pip because he too strives in all of these ways to become part of the upper class.  Hollywood has created countless “coming of age” movies about high school drama that have plot lines about girls competing for titles and reputations.  These exaggerated girls always want what they don’t have and are never content with their lives, no matter how good they really are.

• Friday, March 16th, 2012

Season one of the critically acclaimed television series Chuck is a phenomenal contemporary version of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.  In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens’ main character and protagonist Phillip Pirrup, or Pip, is acutely similar the main character and protagonist in Chuck, Chuck Bartowski.  Both characters exhibit similarities in their backgrounds, relationships, and in overcoming class boundaries.  Their family life and woman problems surely unite these two characters with comparable environments and hardships.


       In Great Expectations, Pip is without both of his parents, as the pair passed away when he was young.  He is then required to live with his biological sister of about twenty years older and her husband.  “My sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, was more than twenty years older than I, and had established a great reputation with herself and the neighbors because she had brought me up ‘by hand’” (p. 6).  The quotation represents how Mrs. Joe lets Pip live with her instead of making him live in an orphanage, but expects him to act a certain way so he can elevate his importance.  This is eerily similar to Chuck Bartowski’s situation in Chuck.  Chuck’s mother deserted his sister and him at a young age, and he never had a good relationship with his father, so Chuck was emotionally distant from both his parents.  In essence, his parents were dead to him figuratively.  Additionally, Chuck rooms with his sister and his brother-in-law, just like Pip did in Great Expectations, and his sister constantly pushes him to move up in the world.  This evidence makes Chuck and Pip’s home lifestyle nearly indistinguishable.


        In an episode of the first season of Chuck, Chuck and his new spy partner/love interest Sarah are locked in a room with a ticking bomb!  All is lost until Chuck saves the day by decoding it, saving both of their lives.  After this impressive display of courage, Sarah rewards Chuck with a passionate kiss that makes him question the boundaries of their relationship.  Sarah tries to dismiss the incident as not important, but this only makes Chuck try harder to win her affections.  This situation presents itself again in Great Expectations.  Pip fights the pale, young gentleman (Herbert) and after he wins, Estella rewards him with a kiss on the cheek.  The effects of this kiss boggles Pip’s mind as he is even more entrapped by Estella’s pure beauty and elegance.  The connections made between Sarah Walker’s fervent kiss with Chuck and Pip’s kiss on Estella prove that Charles Dickens’ writings will last forever and that his literatures impact every day current events and culture. 


        In both stories, the main character grows to love a girl that seemingly cannot be tamed, and definitely won’t be tamed by him.  In Great Expectations, Pip’s endless adoration for an apparently loveless young woman in Estella is an obsession that takes over his entire life.  He cannot do anything if it does not involve the thought of winning Estella’s heart, or even being in her presence.  In Chuck, Chuck Bartowski is the same way.  He is constantly admiring Sarah’s every waking move, but she cannot reciprocate those feelings because “spies don’t fall in love.”  In their line of work, showing emotion and affection is a detriment and could result in getting hurt or even death.  Chuck and Pip both go against the grain and against common reason, and stride for the forbidden love that they have for their hopeful, future paramour to be returned, so that they can spend the rest of their lives together as a pair and in unity.


        In each of these tales, the protagonist/main character is stuck between a rock and a hard place, as they both have lost their parents and have a tough time chasing down the girl of their dreams.  Both characters, Chuck in Chuck and Phillip Pirrup in Great Expectations, display resemblances in their family history and relations with their perfect woman.  The shared privations and situations that Pip and Chuck have bond these two characters beyond the obvious. 

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• Thursday, March 15th, 2012

            Love is an emotion that can make you feel happy in a way you have never experienced before, but it can also leave you feeling heartbroken, and more upset than you thought you could be. Many books and movies use the theme of love because it is such an important part of who we are. In both Great Expectations and Cinderella Pip and Cinderella experience similar things such as, love at first sight, receiving an unexpected gift, and the life of the lower class. All three things relate to the love for someone else.

            Love at first sight is something that is very controversial, some believe it can happen, while others believe that it could never happen. For those who have experienced love at first sight, they know how powerful it is. Pip experiences love at first sight when he meets a young girl named Estella. Estella treats him coldly, but Pip still continues to do everything he can to be worthy of her. Pip’s experience with love at first sight impacts the rest of his life. Like Pip, Prince Charming has a million girls who want to be with him, but the second Cinderella walks in the door she becomes all that he thinks about. She leaves her glass slipper at the Ball and Prince Charming knocks on the door of every girl’s house in the town in search of the girl he fell in love with the night before. Prince Charming’s life changed the night he found love at first sight and he and Cinderella became happily married. Both Pip and Prince Charming experience the feeling of love at first sight and both of their futures are forever changed.

            Receiving an unexpected gift is something that doesn’t happen very often, but is a nice surprise. Pip receives an unexpected gift, he gets an unknown benefactor. Pip’s gift helps him go to London to become a gentleman, so he can be worthy of Estella. The unknown gift helps Pip achieve his goal and fulfill his love for Estella. Like Pip, Cinderella receives an unexpected gift from the Fairy Godmother. The Fairy Godmother gives her a carriage to ride in and a beautiful dress to wear to the Ball. Cinderella’s unexpected gift helps lead her to the love of her life. Both Pip and Cinderella receive an unexpected gift that helps them get closer to being with the people that they love.

            Social class is a major part of life and to some people it is very important. Pip belongs to the lower class in society and as a result is looked down upon. His position in social class makes him feel like he is not good enough for Estella, so he learns to become a gentleman so that he can be with her. Pip experiences the life of being poor in the lower class and isn’t treated as well as he is when he becomes part of the upper class. Like Pip, Cinderella is part of the lower class in society and is looked down upon, especially by her stepmother and step sisters. They treat Cinderella like a slave and make her do everything for them because they have money and feel that they are superior to her. All of Cinderella’s hard work pays off when she marries the man of her dreams and becomes part of royalty in the upper class. Both Pip and Cinderella experience life in the lower class and aren’t treated well and they both experience life in the upper class and how much better they are treated and seen in society. Social class has a major impact in both Great Expectations and Cinderella; the experience makes them stronger and better people in the end.

      Pip and Cinderella share many things in common and it is shown by the events that take place in their lives. Both characters experience similar things such as love at first sight, receiving an unexpected gift, and the life of the lower class. Both characters are closely related and those three things have an impact on the rest of their life.

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• Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Pete Dennis                                                                        

March 15, 2012

One of the most prevalent themes of Great Expectations is that moral values are more important than wealth and he does a fantastic job of displaying this with his characters.  Dickens characters are not stereotypical of their class to prove that it doesn’t matter how much money you have because money shouldn’t dictate your attitude or moral backbone.  He shows that even though you are poor you can have gentlemanly characteristics and be a good person with his character Joe Gargery.  He shows the contrary with his character Henery Drummle.  Drummle displays that even though he is rich and comes from a wealthy background, he is lazy and extremely mean, which goes against the standard expectations for a wealthy man because they are supposed to be generous and well mannered.  What Dickens does is a lot like the theme of the movie The Blind Side, because that movie shows that even though Micheal Oher came from a rough background he is still extremely nice and sweet.   

           In Great Expectations Joe Gargery is a character that isn’t stereotypical to what the normal perception of what a poor blacksmith.  You would usually expect a poor blacksmith to be bitter and less thoughtful of others but Joe is extremely nice and very mindful of Pip’s needs throughout the book.  He pays off all of Pip’s massive debts and tends to him when he has fallen ill.  Joe also helps Pip by allowing him to go to London to become a gentleman.  Joe probably didn’t want to lose a good friend of his and his apprentice but he allows Pip to go to London because it was selfless and he had Pip’s best interest at heart.  He is always very kind to Pip, for example, on Christmas Eve when all of the adults are insulting him, Joe is spooning him extra gravy every time an adult makes fun of him. 

           Henery Drummle is nearly the polar opposite of Joe Gargery.  He is extremely selfish, mean, and one of those people that is just impossible to like.  He is extremely mean to Pip during his time in London and treats Estella, whom he marries, very badly.  Drummle is constantly reminding Pip of his past which he is not proud of and he takes Estella from him.  Though at the end of the book he gets what’s coming to him because he dies, and he and Estella get a divorce. 

           In the movie The Blind Side, Micheal Oher is huge football player from a rough part of town and looks like the kind of person that could seriously mess you up, but he is portrayed as extremely nice and sweet to everyone he meets.  The way the movie portrays him makes him a character that it is very easy to feel sympathetic towards, but in order to make him easily sympathized with the writer of the movie had to make him against the stereotypical view.  In one part of the movie it says very openly that when a boy comes from a background like his they are dangerous, criminals, and very violent but Micheal is the opposite of that.  His biggest problem when he begins to play football is that he isn’t violent enough. 

The writer of The Blind Side and Great Expectations use stereotypes to give their story more depth.  Though they do this in very different ways because in Dickens novel, he uses stereotypes to create social satire and the writer of the movie does it to give his character more depth and appeal.  If Dickens hadn’t used anti-stereotypes then his book wouldn’t have been famous and ground breaking because it would just be a love story but he gives it a theme with his characters and their actions.  If the writer of the movie hadn’t used anti-stereotypes to make Micheal a good person that people can feel sorry for then the movie wouldn’t be a tear jerker and it would just be about a really good athlete who exercises his anger on the field which is hard to sympathize for.  Either way, both writers are able to make their stories have themes that are hard to pick up on because their characters display what the author tries to get across to the reader with their actions instead of words.

• Thursday, March 15th, 2012

            The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens relate in many ways besides that they are just great stories. In The Outsiders, Pony, just like Pip in Great Expectations are orphans. They are also being raised by a sibling and someone they can trust. In Great Expectations and The Outsiders, there is a fire that has a significance to it.  Also, both the main characters Pip and Ponyboy leave home.

            In Great Expectations, Pip does not know his real parents and lives with his sister and his father-like figure Joe. Joe is someone that Pip can trust and be real around. Pip however does not get along well with his sister. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy is alike in one fact that they are both orphans. Also, Ponyboy as well doesn’t live with his parents. Ponyboy lives with his brothers. He doesn’t get along well with his older brother, Darry, alike with Pip and Mrs. Joe. Ponyboy however does have Sodapop who is like Joe. Ponyboy get along well with him and can be himself around him. Pip and Ponyboy are both orphans and have that one person they can trust and be real around.

            Pip and Ponyboy both leave home. They are both tired of the way they are living at home and want to get away. Pip goes to London to become a gentleman. Ponyboy goes not too far, but far enough with one of his friends. Ponyboy lives in an old church. Both Pip and Ponyboy live a better life not at home. They don’t have to worry as much and are safer. Ponyboy loves being away and doesn’t want to leave. He later on though realizes he needs to go home. That is like Pip. He loves London, but in the end, he realizes that it is time to go home. Ponyboy wants to stay a long time, until one thing makes him realize it is time to go.

            Not many people think of fires of have a reason or a significance. But, if you think about it, in both The Outsiders and Great Expectations, a fire happens and signifies something. In both stories, the fire represents a fresh start. In Great Expectations, the fire happens at the Satis House. The fire burns Miss Havisham’s wedding dress. You might not think that it is good, but it is. It gives Miss Havisham an awakening and fresh start. It makes her not mourn her wedding so much and gives her a new start. During the fire, Pip gets burned. In The Outsiders, the church burns down. This would make Ponyboy realize it’s time to go home and time for a fresh start. However, his courageous self goes into the fire and saves a school class that was in the church for a field trip. Ponyboy didn’t get the chance for a fresh start and to go home. He was burned just like Pip, but more severely. This just shows that fire has the power to hurt people, but to also signify things.

            The Outsiders and Great Expectations are completely different stories, but have very alike characters. This just shows that you can find relativity between anyone. In both the stories, the main characters share being an orphan, raised by a sibling and someone they can trust, leaving home, being burnt by a fire, and also the fire meaning something. This truly shows how Dickens has impacted the thinking styles of many modern writers.


• Thursday, March 15th, 2012


Some people let greed run their lives. They make everything they do part of the plot to get what they want and they won’t rest until they get it. In both Great Expectations and A Series of Unfortunate Events, there are characters whose lives are controlled by their constant greed and lust for another parties money.

People will do anything to get what they want. In Great Expectations, Miss Havisham as a lot of money. Her family, mainly the Pockets, are out to get her money. They pretend to take care of her and be there for her just to get her money. In A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Baudelaire Orphans inherited a lot of money from their parents who died. Count Olaf pretends that he is going to take care of the orphans but instead he just makes them do what he says and locks them in their room. The only reason that he lets them live in his house is so he can get their money.

Fires can be very devastating. In Great Expectations, there was a fire inside The Satis House. The fire destroyed her wedding dress and it burned not only her but Pip. The fire could have been deadly. In A Series of Unfortunate Events, there is a fire inside the Baudelaire Orphans mansion. The fire not only takes the lives of their parents, but it destroys their entire mansion and everything that they own.

Both of the children are sent to someone that is looking to harm them. In Great Expectations, Pip is sent to the Satis House. Miss Havisham is looking for Estella to emotionally harm him by breaking his heart. Pip had done nothing wrong but Miss Havisham still wanted to hurt him. In A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Baudelaire Orphans are sent to Count Olaf’s house. They are upset about their parents recent death, but he doesn’t care and isn’t nice to them. They were used to a happy live with their family, and for no reason he subjected them to a live of poverty and manual labor.

In both of these novels, the characters are subjected to ill conditions because someone else is trying to either get something out of them or to hurt them. In Great Expectations, Pip is hurt by Miss Havisham and Miss Havisham is hurt by how the Pockets only want her money. In A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Baudelaire Orphans are subjected to the treatment of Count Olaf, who only wants her money. Both of these situations are unfair.


• Thursday, March 15th, 2012


            Most great stories have a plot or theme similar to other great stories because of how people react to such a plot line. I believe that “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens is most like the story “Aladdin” originally from 1001 Arabian nights in some plot lines. Both stories have a strong class system, intent to change class, and love between classes. All of these aspects are used in many stories and are very common in literature.

            In “Great Expectations” love and hate is a main concept used throughout the story between many of the main and side characters. Love drove people to do bad things, such as when Orlick went after Pip because he loved Biddy. But love can also drive people to try and make themselves better, like when Pip tries to change himself for Estella. Pip goes through a long and rough plotline with loving Estella that last almost the entire book. This love drives Pip to do things that he otherwise would probably not do.

            In “Aladdin” love is the main basis for the story between Aladdin and Jasmine and changes how Aladdin acts. Aladdin was from the lower class and lived in the slums and was expected to only love and associate with other people from the lower class. Jasmine was a princess so she was part of the highest class of society so it would be almost impossible to marry a boy from the lower class. Then after the two fell in love it became apparent to be even more unlikely than before.

            Both stories have a rigid class system with almost no intermingling between classes for anything. In the stories the poor male tries to act different and change to get the upper class girl despite themselves being in the lower class. In both stories the man also becomes part of the upper class by a certain turn of events. In the story Pip is guided by Miss Havisham and Aladdin is guided by the genie into the upper class. And in one ending of “Great Expectations” Pip and Estella might end up together and the ending of “Aladdin” they end up together.

            Romance plays a big part in the plotlines of both stories and changes how the characters want to live their lives. Both stories have a strong class system, intent to change class, and love between classes. This kind of romantic plotline can be found in many stories written throughout many time periods.

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• Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Experiences can be a burden on one’s self especially when they cannot escape the state of mind or idea they have experienced. This idea of being “spell-bound by an experience relates to Miss Havisham from Great Expectations and the acting family of River Jude Phoenix in a sense that they cannot escape the culture or the mental state in which they are confined by. For Miss Havisham and the Phoenix family, they both have a similar pattern in which they get into their entrapment, being confined by the entrapment and both have a similar way of escaping the idea in which they are confined by.

            For the entering of the state of mind, Miss Havisham thought she was entering a marriage yet she ended up being left at the altar by her fiancé. Because of this, she got drawn into a sense of reclusiveness and she closed up her house starting at the time of 9:20, or the time she got left at the altar. Much like Miss Havisham, the Phoenix Family thought they were entering a new live style be joining a cult in Venezuela. As they soon found out, the cult leader was a pedophile and an anti-Semitist plus his ideas were not what the Phoenix family was expecting. As a result, the family was not allowed to leave and was stuck believing the cult ideas for some time. The central idea that both people/groups of people are deceived by what they thought was going to happen and that deception caused them to be constrained by ideas is a similar within each person(s).

            Along the course of time, both people/groups of people where confined by their new ideas that they followed. Throughout Miss Havisham’s life after her new behavior of living her life stopped at the time that her wedding fell through. She continued living in this state of mind of having vengeance of men and wanting to stop her life in the case that her fiancé reappears and they could get married as soon as possible. Within her mind set, she continued to live her life in the lifestyle after her wedding and could not be relieved of this burden. AS for the Phoenix family, they were bound by the leader of the cult and they must accept the beliefs of the cult or else they would suffer from torture and possibly death.  Furthermore, each of the people were not able to escape the culture or idea that they were bound by and cannot escape due to higher or mental means. Though it does not seem escape is a possibility, each has a unique yet similar way in which they escape their past.

The last portion of the similarity is by the way they escaped the confinement in their lives. This is the most similar in the way of a similar theme that relates directly to each other. For Miss. Havisham, her wedding dress caught on fire while in her house and because the dress was burnt off of her body, the fire acted as a key which unlocked the cell like confinement of the dress. As a result a new beginning was formed from the ashes that were created by her dress. The Phoenix family started out as the Bottom family while in Venezuela but in order to leave the cult, they had to sneak out and find a way back to the United States and they ended up sneaking into a cargo ship and left Venezuela to enter the United States. Once they were in the United States, they changed their name to Phoenix which is a mythical bird that would catch on fire and then be born out of the ashes and would have a new beginning. They chose this name for they now had a new beginning not that any of them caught on fire. This idea of having a new beginning after a fire, the relationship refers directly to Miss Havisham who began a new life after her dress burned into ashes and that a phoenix has a new life after catching on fire.

With the theme of new beginnings, the Phoenix family and Miss Havisham have similar lives in the sense of being confined by an idea or mental state of mind. Although the two people are slightly different in a way, they each have a very similar way of getting into their state of mind, sustaining that idea, and finally they share almost identical ideas when escaping their burden. The main theme that goes with both of the people is the idea of the life of a phoenix. This idea is created through the Phoenix family is that they changed their name from Bottom to Phoenix after the bird who has a new beginning after they catch on fire and then resurrect from their ashes. The idea follows Miss Havisham by a fire burning her wedding dress off of her and that dresses ashes resemble the burden being burned off of her and her life has almost a new beginning. All in all, the burdens that Miss Havisham and the Phoenix family have are relieved in the same idea of a Phoenix.


Category: Block 7  | One Comment
• Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Most people have times in life where they succumb to judging people on his or her looks or social class. In Great Expectations, Pip learns that he should not judge people on their social class; he learns that some people in the upper-class are bad-natured, and some in the lower-class are thankful and caring. Likewise in Mean Girls, Cady learns that she should not judge people on their social class or their looks; she finds that no one is characterized on their insides by the way they look on the outside. In Great Expectations and in Mean Girls, both stories use stereotypes, plot twisters, and character development to create the theme that people should be judged on their character, and not on their social class.

In both stories, stereotypes play a large role in the negative view of the upper-class that leads the main character to realize that being a part of the upper-class does not make one better than those who are in the lower-class. In Great Expectations, Uncle Pumblechook is consistently portrayed as “exasperating” (480), yet he is a part of the upper class. He is stereotypical with the name Pumblechook (many believe it has a snobby connotation). He is the stereotypical lecturing, egocentric uncle. Similarly in Mean Girls, Cady finds Regina Gorge acid-tongued, though she is a part of the high-school ‘upper-class.’ Stereotypically, she is white, blond, and deceiving. Both stories have negative stereotypical upper-class people. Pip and Cady both learn from these characters that public characterization of class doesn’t judge people’s character.

Secondly, in both tales, plot twisters lead the protagonist to realize people should be judged on their character. In Great Expectations, Magwitch and Molly, both criminals, unexpectedly, were the parents of Estella, a proud upper-class citizen. For a reader, this was a huge plot twist because Estella is the fullest of pride. Her parents could be described as deprived of pride, both in the lower-class and felons. Estella doesn’t realize she judges people on their class, when her parents are in the lowest of all classes. In the same way in Mean Girls, viewers expected Cady, Damien, and Janis’s plan of destroying the ‘plastics’ to be the conclusion of the story, but a huge plot twister came when Cady truly became a ‘plastic’ in character and Janis and Damien, with fury, voiced to her how much she had changed, and how she had become “one of them.” Cady later realized how she had become full of herself and dishonest, judging them on their class and looks. In both plot twisters, the main character unpredictably learns that they should not judge people on class.

Lastly, both stories use character development to teach the theme that people should be judged by character, and not by social class. In Great Expectations, Magwitch went from being a “fearful man” (2), who “turned [Pip] upside down, and emptied [his] pockets” (2), to being a man that Pip would “[wait] for at [a] gate” (464) to see every day. Magwitch was once a criminal, but grew to be a wise and sincere man. Likewise in Mean Girls, Cady went from being one of the ‘plastics,’ who judged people on their looks, to a ‘mathlete,’ (one who solves math problems in school competitions) who learned her lesson from the junior class outrage that judging people on their looks did not define their character. After the junior class outrage (where she was implicitly denoted to lower-class because of everyone’s hatred for her), Cady took a step back and realized what she had become. She vowed to become a better person, joining the ‘mathletes’ and changing her attitude. Both characters learned that upper-class or lower-class; people are defined by their character. Characters developed into benign people, regardless of class.

In Great Expectations and in Mean Girls, both stories use stereotypes, plot twisters, and character development to create the theme that people should be judged on their personality, and not on their social status. In Mean Girls, Cady learns that looks don’t make someone better than someone else, and that she should not judge people on their high-school ‘social-class.’ In Great Expectations, Pip realizes that some people in the upper-class are unappealing while some people in the lower-class are charming. He changed his attitude of looking down upon the lower-class. Most people have learned to grow from the bad nature of judging people’s social status and become one who judges people’s character.

Category: Block 7  | Tags: ,  | 3 Comments
• Thursday, March 15th, 2012


   “Love at first sight.” To many individuals, the concept of falling in love with someone at the first instant they meet seems impossible. To others, it seems to be very possible but, not so probable. Today, there are many fairytales and other literary works exemplifying this theory of “love at first sight.” This theme is evident in both Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. The main characters in both of these book seem to experience this phenomenon of love at first sight, irresistible attraction, and forbidden love.

     In the book Twilight , the main characters develop love at first sight and an irresistible attraction. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen face the conflict of forbidden love. Although, upon first sight of the other person, each fell in love.  Their attraction to each other was irresistible. While laying in bed after the first day Bella met Edward, she whispers to herself,  “I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him” (195). With this quote, it is made evident that Edward and Bella were affected by the concept of “love at first sight.” While the two were discussing their future, Edward says, “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb” (274). In this quote, Edward is comparing their love to that of a lion and a lamb. He is confessing his irresistable love he has toward Bella. Therefore, it is evident that Edward and Bella experienced the phenomenon of love at first sight and irresistable attraction.

     Great Expectations contains another relationship where the characters experience the same phenomenon.  The main character, Pip, falls in love with the beautiful Estella the first time he meets her. Then, while Pip and Herbert Pocket were discussing Pip’s love for Estella, Herbert asks, “can you not detach yourself from her” (250). Pip responds, “No, impossible” (251). With Pip’s words, the reader can conclude that Pip is madly attracted to Estella and cannot leave her. Herbert later asks, “You can try, Handel” (251). Pip again responds, “No, impossible” (251). With Pip’s repetition of the phrase “no, impossible” there is no doubt in the readers mind that Pip cannot stop admiring his first love, Estella, and has an irresistible attraction toward her. Also, after Estella and Pip finished discussing Estella’s fate with Drummle, Pip states, “….I must give one chapter to Estella. It is not much to give to the theme that so long filled my heart” (300). With this quote, it is easily concluded Pip loves Estella with all of his heart, and has an irresistible affinity toward her. Therefore, Pip experiences an irresistible attraction toward Estella, his first love.

     Both Great Expectations and Twilight contain the concepts of forbidden love. The characters of Bella, Edward, Pip, and Estella are very similar in their love attractions to each other. Although, Bella and Edward’s love is mutual, while Pip and Estella’s love is not. Both relationships share similar love characteristics. Both Edward and Bella’s love along with Estella and Pip’s love is forbidden. Bella and Edward’s love is looked down upon because of the tense relationship between humans and vampires, while Pip and Estella’s love is unrealistic due to the fact that Estella is upper class and Pip is lower class. Therefore, both relationships are based on the ideals of forbidden love.

     In todays world, people may have many differing opinions on the debate surrounding the concept of “love at first sight.” This attraction may be accompanied by an irresistible affinity between individuals or a instance of forbidden love. This was the case in both Twilight by Stephanie Meyer and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. These concepts may be very worthy of argument, but they may play a key role in lives of people to today.

• Thursday, March 15th, 2012

            Very few people get the chance to start a new life. In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens uses diction and detail to portray Pip and Cinderella’s similarities. In both Great Expectations and Cinderella, Pip and Cinderella want to change their lives. Cinderella and Pip consequently want to change their lives for the person that they love. They both are able to achieve this with the help of a benefactor.

             Firstly, Pip and Cinderella want to change their lives. Cinderella is an orphan who lives with her step-mother and two step-sisters. Her step-mother and step-sisters treat Cinderella very dreadfully. They make her do all of the cooking and cleaning and make her sleep in the attic. Thankfully, she has mice and other animals who are kind to her and help her out. Like Cinderella, Pip is an orphan. He lives with his sister, who is almost like Cinderella’s step-mother, and her husband, who is almost like the animals who help Cinderella out. Cinderella and Pip desperately want to change their lives, but do not know how.

            Secondly, Pip and Cinderella want to change their lives for the person that they love. Cinderella is in love with the prince, but knows that she can never be good enough for him. When Pip first meets Estella, he things she is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. “…who was very pretty” (pg. 53). In this quote, readers can tell by “pretty”, that Pip thinks Estella is very pretty and has fallen in love with her. But, Estella does not return Pip’s love. “’And what coarse hands he has! And what thick boots’…she denounced me for a stupid, clumsy labouring-boy” (pg. 58). The words “coarse hands” and “thick boots” reveal that Pip is of the working lower class and Estella thinks he is a “stupid, clumsy labouring-boy”. After his encounter with Estella, Pip wants to become a gentleman, so that Estella will return his love. Pip and Cinderella hope that their lives will change, so that the ones that they love will love them back.

            Finally, Pip and Cinderella are both fortuitous people. With the help of a fairy godmother, Cinderella is able to wear a beautiful dress and go to a ball. There, she sees the prince, and the princes falls in love with Cinderella. Like Cinderella, Pip gets help from a secret benefactor, allowing him to move to London and become a gentleman. “’…and be brought up as a gentleman – in a word, as a young fellow of great expectations’” (pg. 133). Here it is revealed that Pip’s benefactor has expectations that he wants Pip to fulfill. It turns out, that Pip’s secret benefactor is Abel Magwitch, a convict Pip once helped when he was a child. “’…Pip, dear boy, I’ve made a gentleman on you’” (pg. 309). As thanks for helping him, Magwitch has “made a gentleman” out of Pip.

            Although Cinderella was able to have her happily ever after, it is unclear if Pip was able to have his with Estella. In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens uses diction and details to portray Pip and Cinderella’s similarities. Pip and Cinderella wanted to change their lives, they were able to do so, with the help of a benefactor, and they both wanted to change their lives for the people that they loved. In the end, it is shown that Pip and Cinderella have very similar lives.

• Thursday, March 15th, 2012

            Everyone loves a story with a happily ever after, but in some cases, an unexpected ending is more satisfying. Charles Dickens writes an ending to Great Expectations that is much unexpected, somewhat like the ending of Titanic. In both stories, the two characters fall in love, expected to be together in the end, but ultimately do not end up together. Because of differences in class, and how they were raised, both Pip and Estella, and Jack and Rose, do not end up together. Even though these endings are unexpected, and altogether unconventional, they are satisfactory.

            In Great Expectations and the Titanic¸ differences in social class weaken the relationship between lovers. In Great Expectations Pip loves Estella, before she loves him back. After his first day at the Satis House, Pip realizes that he is in love with Estella. Although at first he believes she is “proud” and “insulting,” he comes to say that he loved her, “Against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be” (p.233). This quote describes Pip’s unconditional love for Estella. His love for her blossomed, but she despised him for his lower social status. She was of the upper class, while he was of the lower, working class. These differences are what caused Estella to not love him back at first. Similar to the dividing differences in Great Expectations, in the movie, Titanic¸ social class plays a huge role in the complicated relationship between Jack and Rose. Jack was of the lower working class, and only got a ticket for the Titanic by gambling. It was pure luck that he was able to board this ship. Here, he falls in love with Rose, of the upper class, for similar reasons; because, she was proud and a little insulting, but he admired this about her. He falls in love with her, but she is engaged to a man named Cal. Cal is somewhat like Drummle in Great Expectations. He is considered a “gentleman” although he is a truly mean and nasty man. Rose will not consider marrying anyone but Cal at first, because she is obdurate in the fact that she must marry a rich man. In both instances, social class prevents the rich girl from realizing her love for the poor boy.

            Another factor that divides Estella and Pip, and Rose and Jack, is the fact that they were raised very differently. In Great Expectation¸ Estella is raised by Miss Havisham who teaches her to be cruel to men. She teaches her that men are nothing but heartbreakers and because of this, she must break their hearts instead. This is what keeps Pip from being with Estella. Estella is so blinded by what she has been taught, that she cannot imagine being with Pip. Pip was raised differently. Pip was taught to follow his heart, and to provide for his family. For this reason, even when Pip thinks Estella is cruel, he follows his heart because he knows he truly loves her. Similar to Great Expectations¸ in Titanic, Rose is raised to marry a rich man. Her mother has taught her that people of the lower class are not worth her time. Because of what Rose is taught by her mother, she believes that Cal is the perfect man for her. This is what keeps her from being with Jack. Jack was raised very contrarily. He was taught to take chances, and to follow his heart. For this reason, he gambled and was able to snatch a ticket for the Titanic. Without this ticket, Jack would have never met Rose, and would not have fallen in unrequited love. In both stories, the way the lovers were raised, affects their chances for love.

            Eventually, both women learn to set aside their differences, and return the love of the poor man. But for Estella, it was too late. In Great Expectations Pip simply forgets about Estella, because she got married. Estella did love Pip, but she was too stubborn to marry him because of his lower class. One day he sees her in town. She calls him over and they simply shake hands, and never see each other again. This is a harsh ending for such an intense love story. In the Titanic¸ the ending is a bit more dramatic. Rose does end up falling in love with Jack, although she must keep it a secret. When the ship sinks, she is put on a lifeboat, but jumps off because she did not want to be without Jack. If she would have admitted that she was in love with Jack, he might have been able to board the life boat with her. Because he was just thought of as a second-class man, he was not able to be saved. After the ship crashes, Jack freezes to death in the ocean, while Rose lives. In both stories, the expected ending where the lovers get married and live happily ever after, never comes

            In both stories, in place of a happily ever after, is a cold ending, which is unexpected. In Great Expectations, Pip simply outgrows Estella, and matures and learns to live without her. In Titanic¸ Jack dies in the end, and the ending is a bit sadder. In both cases, the ending is cruel and unexpected, but this is somewhat satisfying. Sometimes, a happily ever after just does not suffice, but the cold hard truth, and a real life ending, is what makes the audience satisfied.

Category: Block 1  | 2 Comments
• Thursday, March 15th, 2012

“When you don’t get what you want, you suffer. If you get it, you suffer too since you can’t hold onto it forever.” –Peaceful Warrior, on the fallacy of attachment. In Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and The Lying Game by Sarah Shepard, the two authors show in a very similar way how people will go out of their way and turn on others in order to get what they want. The two stories are very similar in that they both have very twisted families, deal with social classes, and doing whatever it takes to get what is ultimately wanted.

In both Great Expectations and The Lying Game, the characters’ families are all twisted. Estella is Molly and Magwitch’s daughter, who was given to Miss Havisham by Jaggers. Molly works for Jaggers as his maid and Magwitch is a criminal. His partner in crime is Compeyson, who was Miss Havisham’s fiancé that stood her up. In The Lying Game, Sutton and Emma are twins who were separated at birth and somehow found each other. Sutton asks Emma to pretend to be her while she goes to look for their true birth mother. Sutton was adopted illegally and Emma had gone from foster home to foster home, so they both were very curious. Sutton’s adoptive dad, Ted, is married to Kristen. Like Estella, Sutton knows she was adopted, but the new mother doesn’t exactly know how because they were adopted through other people. Ted’s best friend is Alec, who is Mad’s and Thayer’s dad and has recently married Rebecca. Mad’s and Thayer are Sutton and Emma’s friends. They are also friends with Char (Rebecca is her aunt). The twins think a woman named Annie Hobbs is their mother but it turns out she lied and had only kidnapped Emma. Then, Sutton finds out that Rebecca is their mom but keeps it a secret from Emma for a while. So, Char is technically their cousin. In both stories, the father is a very secretive and criminal-like character. In The Lying Game, Sutton’s father, Ted, keeps secrets from his wife, Kristen, about how they were adopted and avoids the subject when asked. They also work their way around things through social class.

Estella thinks she came from royalty all along and Sutton acts like she was too. They both picture themselves in a higher social class. Emma is in a much lower class then Sutton and is so thankful of all the things Sutton has. Emma is a kind-hearted and sweet girl, much like Biddy. Sutton had a secret relationship with a boy named Ethan, who was a much lower class than she. However, she was cheating on him with Thayer, who was in a higher social class. When Emma comes along, Ethan and her start dating and he totally forgets about Sutton. Sutton still has feelings for Ethan though. The two stories relate in that they both have a character that loves someone that is in a different social class than they are and doesn’t love them back. The girls start to do whatever they can to find their true mother so they can possibly be in a higher social class. Pip goes to London so he can be in a higher social class and become a gentleman. The characters are determined to reach their goal and get what they want.

            Pip does whatever he can to make sure he gets to London and becomes a gentleman, even if it means leaving the people he loves. Sutton and Emma are determined to find their birth mother so they can finally live a normal life. On Pip’s way to reaching his goal, he forgets who he truly cares about—Joe and Biddy. On Sutton’s way to reaching her goal, she forgets who she truly cares about—everyone. Her friends and family see that she only cares about herself now and don’t want anything to do with her. Pip is sort of in the same situation with Joe and Biddy. He finally goes back home after he got what he wanted and became a gentleman. He looks back and sees Biddy has always been there for him and wants to marry her. When he goes back home, he finds that Biddy and Joe are married. He finally sees he lost his opportunity because he was too busy getting what he wanted. Sutton had lost everyone including her boyfriend. She realized she still loved him but it was too late since he was dating Emma.

            Overall, the characters in both stories experienced many of the same things. Both authors showed how the stories were similar because the characters went out of their way and turned on the ones they loved to get what they wanted. They got what they wanted and still suffered since they couldn’t hold onto it forever.


• Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Money; It can divide not only classes, but relationships. In Gossip Girl, Dan Humphrey is a lonely Brooklyn boy fighting to be accepted and treated equally by the Upper East Siders. Dan is vying to win the heart of a beautiful, yet proud, Serena. This is very similar in Great Expectations; where Pip is trying to win the well-heeled Estella’s heart, despite their money differences. In both stories the beautiful girl is ill-raised, the poor young boy finds new meaning to what they thought they wanted, and both lads never wind up getting the heart of the one they love.

Now, parents influence the way children behave growing up. Serena Vanderwoodsen’s parents were never around as a child and she so she had to raise herself and younger brother. While, Estella’s ‘mother’ raised her to be cold-blooded and discourteous towards men. Estella says, “I am what you made. Take all the praise, take all the blame; take all success, take all the failure”, to which Miss Havisham replies, “Look at her, so hard and thankless” (chpt. 38 pg. 305). Estella had no influence other than a broken-hearted mother in her life; no one to teach her how to care and love others. She grew up cold and hard like stone, never really getting to experience being a kid. When Estella cries ‘I am what you made me’ it makes the reader think as though Estella is like a robot, that Miss Havisham twisted and turned to make her very own creation, not through love, but reason. Also, Serena’s mother scorned her when she would talk back or make indecent comments at her. This is no different when Miss Havisham utters, “But to be proud and hard to me” (chpt. 38 pg. 306). Neither adults were expecting their ‘little creations’ to lash out at them, but when they did they couldn’t handle it. It was a freeing moment when the characters realized who their ‘mothers’ truly were and that they weren’t going to live by their rule anymore. Parents may impact the way a child develops, but they will not affect who the adult is.

Sometimes the things you most wish for are not to be touched. Here, all Dan desires is a taste of the high life, to be treated fairly, have a voice that matters, and most significantly catch the eye of Serena. Eventually, Dan realizes that everyone may not love him or treat him fairly, but he can make his silent voice be heard, loud and clear. On the other hand, Pip is speaking by Magwitch’s side and tells him, “You had a child” “and I love her”. He solaces Magwitch with the veracity of his daughter to show his magnitude in maturity. Pip has come so far from believing that money and power in social classes was the only way to succeed. Every day when Pip comes to visit Magwitch in jail, he is sitting in the same places in which he used to know as ‘dirty’. He is visiting the same person in which he used to know as ‘coarse’. Pip no longer worries about the approval of Miss Havisham and Estella, but the ones he spends every day with. Moreover, Dan and Pip both wanted wealth. For Dan money meant the newest gear to impress everyone else, mainly Serena, but to Pip the money meant approval from Miss Havisham for Estella. Pip states that the “sharpest and deepest pain of all” was finding out that Miss Havisham wasn’t giving him the money. The reader can relate that that ‘cut’ hurt Pip the most because all of his ‘great expectations’ from this point on were to become a gentleman for Estella’s love. Now that he knows Miss Havisham was not supplying him with the money, he feels useless and weak. He had worked so hard to come as far as he did. As the reader can tell, to get what you want, you must know what you have.

Finally, you may love someone forever, but if they don’t love you back you will never truly be happy. When Dan loses Serena, he believes that all is lost. Now, Pip doesn’t find love with Estella either. After all he had worked for, he still doesn’t get the girl. “I am greatly changed, I know, but I thought you would like to shake hands with Estella, too, Pip” (chpt. 59 pg. 490). Estella doesn’t say kiss or love, but ‘shake hands’ a simple gesture of friends. Estella’s heart was mangled and disoriented, she was never meant to love. While, Pip’s heart was bruised and beaten by someone who couldn’t love him back. In the original final chapter, it is so that Pip and Estella will never be together. Next, the other woman. Dan had always also had feelings from another beautiful, but poor Vanessa. When Dan tries to pursue his old feelings he realizes that they are no longer there, and that he’s only trying to subdue the pain of his broken heart. Here, Pip had also loved another commoner, Biddy. Not the same love he had had for Estella, but a love of friendship. As Pip is becoming a gentleman he begins lose his bond with his dear old friend, “Biddy” Pip cried “I shall always tell you everything.” Biddy calmly replies, “Till you’re a gentleman” (chpt. 17 pg. 130). Pip had been gone for so long and now realizes that he was losing all the relationships he cared for the most. He was used to Estella treated him so coldly, but never his dear companion, Biddy. He wanted nothing more than to be her friend and have her back in his life. In both stories, all love is lost, when they aren’t being truthful to whom they correctly are.

Great Expectations and Gossip Girl are very different stories, but underneath all the contrast the reader will find a similar plot line. No one is truly happy with what they have; they will always want more. Dan loses everything, except for his family and, just as well, for Pip. The stories correlate in love and lost relationships. For all is lost when love is lost.

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• Thursday, March 15th, 2012

The concept of redemption is quite simple. All it is about is somebody making up for their wrongdoings. Even though this idea seems easy paper, it is much harder to translate into the real world. In the novel, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, the protagonist, Pip, has to resolve some problems that he created. There is another instance of redemption in the properly named video-game, Red Dead Redemption. The protagonist of this game, John Marston, has to deal with some of his old demons. This motif affects the characters’ personalities, has a lot to do with the storyline, and affects the outcome of each protagonist.

Pip is a young man who goes from rags-to-riches, while John Marston is a retired outlaw. These two characters have different backgrounds, but they both share similar attitudes. John is a very serious person who keeps to himself; he cares about his family and his family only. Pip is the same way, but he doesn’t openly display his affection for his loved ones. Instead, he makes feeble attempts at reconciling with them, but worsens the situation with each attempt. However, once redemption starts to play a role in these characters’ lives, their personalities go through a drastic change. Pip gives up his obsession to become a gentleman so that he can reconnect with his family. He also has a happier attitude and doesn’t worry as much. On Marston’s road to redemption, he begins to open up to the world and form relationships that will last long after the game ends. One trait that these two characters definitely possess is their honor. Pip has to regain his slowly, but once he leaves his money behind, that trait becomes present in his everyday life. John Marston lost his honor due to his former life as a criminal, but with the guidance of a few friends, he gets back on the right track.

The personalities of these characters wouldn’t have changed without a redemption aspect in the story. In each storyline, redemption is one of the most dominant game-changers. This idea doesn’t pick up in Great Expectations until halfway through, but once it does, it stays strong for the rest of the story. This is actually quite the opposite for Red Dead Redemption; it is present from the start and is one of the leading factors of the game. For Pip, he has to redeem himself by going back to his roots. He abandoned them in the beginning of the story for the opportunity to become a gentleman, but the flaws in this decision are later seen. After continuing hurting his family, Pip can hold himself to going back. But as the book progresses, we see Pip trying to get back to his old life and family. The story for John Marston is much different. As an ex-criminal, John is hired by the FBI to take down his old gang led by Dutch van der Linder, John’s best friend. As he gathers more clues on were Dutch is, he gets closer and closer to his goal-to return to his family and put an end to that old chapter of his life. The adventure he undergoes puts him in many situations that require him to help other people; for every person he saves, he wipes off more of his pass. These two plots are very different in some aspects, but still contain redemption. Both characters fight to mend their pasts while dealing with current issues. Both redemption plots also surround the characters’ families. Pip and John are both trying to get home by solving their problems.

When the stories start to wrap up, the readers and gamers can feel that these two characters have changed. The introduction of redemption in their lives heavily affects them. It also determines how their story ends. Because of redemption setting Pip on the right track, he starts to work for a friend while remaining in contact with his family. He severs most of his ties with the upper-class and decides to stick it out without his benefactor’s money. This shows the readers that Pip is happy with his place in life. John Marston has similar results, but a more gruesome outcome. He returns to his family and starts working on his farm again. He feels that he redeemed himself and the government will leave him alone. This isn’t the case because after a week or so, federal agents surround his property and kill him. However, his sacrifice allows his family to be free from being hunted. Most gamers were upset with this ending because of their attachment to John Marston, but it really shows that he is willing to go as far as possible to make up for the past.

Overall, both stories use the redemption to intensify and redefine the characters. Redemption is also used in the major parts of the plots. The outcomes of the characters are also affected by this theme, which ties up both stories for the better or worse. It was a very good choice of Dickens and the developers of Red Dead Redemption to use this theme because of how many ways the consumers can interpret its usage.

Category: Block 1, Redemption  | One Comment
• Thursday, March 15th, 2012







             We all have those certain people in our lives that control what we do and when we do it. Whether it is our parents, grandparents, or a guardian, they rule our lives. In the novel, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, there are many people in Pip’s life that tell him what to do, including his obscure benefactor. Also in the hit television series, Pretty Little Liars, there is a person, or persons, that control the lives of the four main characters: Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna.

            In, Great Expectations, Pip’s guardian and older sister, Mrs. Joe, controls what Pip does. She orders him around like a servant and demands to know where he is, “Tell me directly what you’ve been doing to wear me away with fret and fright and worrit…” (9 Ch. 2). Just like how Mrs. Joe wants to know where Pip was, the mothers of the girls in Pretty Little Liars want to know what the girls have been up to and why. Because these two characters have the motherly essence, they feel worried and protective, and that is why they always want to know where their child, or brother, is at all times.

            Love: A feeling that people will do anything and everything to have. In both Great Expectations and Pretty Little Liars, there are people that the main characters “love” and will do anything to please. In Great Expectations, Pip tries to change who he is just to get the attention of Estella, the snobby adopted daughter of the rich old hag, Miss Havisham. Just because Estella calls Pip “common” he starts to doubt himself and becomes ashamed of his background, “…and that she had said  I was common, and that I knew I was common, and that I wished I was not common…” (67 Ch. 9). Also in Pretty Little Liars, “A” is the person(s) that control the lives of the four girls. This person does whatever he or she can do and will do it. Because “A” will hurt the characters loved ones, they have to sacrifice themselves to keep their loved ones safe. “Keep Toby safe. –A.” Since this is what “A” told Spencer to do, she listened and told Toby that she can’t ever talk to him again and broke up with him. Because of the characters loved ones, the protagonist in the situations had to sacrifices and change themselves to try and be with their loved ones.

 Pip has an unknown benefactor that has made him into a gentleman. This benefactor is made to make Pip’s life better. “…he be immediately removed from his present sphere of life and from this place, and be brought up as a gentleman—in a word, a young fellow of great expectations.” (133 Ch. 18). This is the opportunity that Pip has dreamed about for a life-time.  However, unlike Pip, the four girls have the mysterious character, “A”, which is sending them many threats and secrets that make their lives a constant nightmare. This “A” character sends texts like “My dresses, my games, my rules. –A” “Do it right. I’ll be watching. Just like Tom Sawyer. –A” and like, “You’ll get you $$$ back if you do what I say. Sweet dreams. –A.” Due to these threatening texts, the girls have to be careful of what they do and say.

            Great Expectations and Pretty Little Liars are similar in various ways. Mostly because they have characters in their lives that control the actions that they perform daily. Even though one situation is better than the other, the two have similar characteristics. These controlling people are why the main characters lives are the way they are now.


**One of “A’s” text messages to Emily talked about Great Expectations,

“Hey Em – You weren’t the only one with Great Expectations. Check it out. –A”

• Thursday, March 15th, 2012

While some people are dying to move up in social class every day, and don’t want to have their old lives. While other people hate their lives and just want to be in a lower class or get out of the spotlight. Pip can’t wait to move to London and become a gentleman like everyone else wants to be. This is not how it is throughout the story though. Near the end he regrets everything and realizes that being in the upper class changed him for the worst. Some people are scared about that like in the movie Princess Diaries. When Mia realizes that she has to be a princess, she flips out. People are never satisfied with their own life. In Great Expectations and The Princess Diaries Mia and Pip move up in social class; both are told by people that they are, they don’t know what to expect, and they are treated very differently by people.

            While most people just move up by jobs or making more money; Pip and Mia are just plain out told that they are moving up in class. On a plain day, Jagger’s tells Pip that he is moving to London and getting paid to be a gentleman. He is so surprised and doesn’t know why he has to do this. But back in the day if you get a chance to become a gentleman, you have to do everything to be one. Mia is a normal girl in high school that not too many people like. She is called a “nerd” as some people called her. Her grandmother, that she does not know, comes to her house just telling her that is a princess of Genovia. Many people would be scared to leave your own house that you have been in for a while and just go to a place someone tells you to go to. In both stories they aren’t forced to go, but they both end up going. The reason to that is they need a new start to their lives. Both of their lives are not very good to begin with so they decide to be spontaneous and just go with the flow.

            Going somewhere new is hard for everyone and you just don’t know what to expect. In Great Expectations Pip is moving to London just to become a gentleman. He has never been there because he could not afford it. In The Princess Diaries Mia goes into the family business of being royalty but she didn’t know that her dad’s mom was the queen. She has to be taught everything on how to be a princess and she wasn’t expecting that at all. When you go into something new, people have to just go along with everything; including becoming a gentleman or a princess. Even though what Pip and Mia are doing is easy in some standards, they still have to do things that are new to them.

            People change all the time; for the better and sometime for the worse. When you move up in social class people will treat you differently. Pip and Mia are both treated very differently but they are treated in such different ways. Mia’s friends at school are trying to become her friend since she is a princess, but her best friend hates all of Mia’s attention she is getting. The paparazzi even comes to her school because she becomes very famous all of the sudden. While on the other side Pip changes his personality because of this. He acts very stuck up and thinks he is above everyone else. All of the people Pip used to live with disgraces him as a person and they don’t want to be around him. When people change they are treated very differently, and in this situation Pip and Mia are hated by some people and loved by others.

            Pip and Mia are the protagonists of both stories and that involves them to change a lot. They both started out as not the most popular or the richest, and then they become very popular and wealthy like they have always wanted to be. They move up highly in social class which causes them to be treated differently and they have no idea what to expect from any of this. They are also “told” of what they are supposed to do in their social class standings. Overall, Pip and Mia change because of this social class position to where they are in life now.