One cold Christmas Eve towards nightfall, young orphan Pip, brought up by a bullying older sister and her gentle husband, visits the grave of his dead family in the churchyard. He is “growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry” when the desolation is abruptly broken by the terrifying Magwitch, a convict escaped from the Hulks. Under threat of being eaten alive and having his liver cut out, Pip is terrified into stealing food, drink and a file from home. The next day he witnesses the prisoner’s recapture and, although his own crime is never discovered, his guilt is complete….
Full of tingling twists, vivid images, violence and sentimentality, this is one of Dickens’ most popular novels. Spellbinding in its intensity, vivid portrayal of childhood fears and anxieties, rich in humour and sorrow alike, Great Expectations echoes Dickens’ own his childhood memories as it explores a greater theme of knowing oneself.
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