There is also a theme of love between Pip and Estella.Crime, Guilt, and Innocence- this theme in the novel isseen through the characters of the criminals (Magwitch and Compeyson) and thelawyer (Jaggers).Social Class – In Great Expectations, Dickens discoversthe class system at that time.
He mentioned and described all social classes: poorpeople in the country- Joe and Biddy, criminals -Magwitch, middle class-Pumblechook and rich- Miss Havisham. The social class theme is important tothe plot, because Pip realizes that social class together with wealth are lessimportant than inner worth. Ambition and self-improvement have three forms inGreat Expectations and that is: ethical, social, and educational. This theme motivatesbest and his worst behavior of Pip all through the novel.Themes in Great Expectation:Ambition and Self-Improvement- Pip is an idealist; every time he can achieve somethingthat is better than that what he already has, he instantly wants to improvehimself.
For instance when he sees Satis House, he wants to become gentleman;when he realizes that he cannot read, he wants to know how to read. Pipbelieves in opportunity of development in life.Pip’s story is told in three steps: his childhood and adolescencein Kent, where he dreams of becoming more than what he is now; his time inLondon where he was learning how to be a gentleman and then his disappointment whenhe discovers who is his secret supporter, followed by his realization of falsevalues he desired. These three stages are divided into twelve parts of identicalsize.Even though the novel is written in first person GreatExpectations is not an autobiography, it is a novel which presents a narratoras protagonist .
This is not a diary, it is a memoir. It is Pip recalling his entirestory of life simultaneously.There are many different literary genres in GreatExpectations, containing the bildungsroman (the entire book is about how characterdevelops from one point to another, in other words how Pip develops himselfthrough the novel). It is also a gothic novel, crime novel, comedy, melodramaand a satire. It belongs to the romance.”We Britons had at that time particularly settled thatit was treasonable to doubt our having and our being the best of everything:otherwise, while I was scared by the immensity of London, I think I might havehad some faint doubts whether it was not rather ugly, crooked, narrow, anddirty.”(20.2)All over England, the upper class’ behaviors were veryfirm and traditional: for example gentlemen and ladies were expected to be welleducated and to behave suitably in many social situations.
London was a big city,and England was influential, rich, worldwide giant.But, Charles Dickens in his novel Great Expectations doesn’t really agree thatLondon was rich and healthy city.The entire plot of Great Expectations is set inVictorian era. The Industrial Revolution (1760 – 1840) changed the social sceneand allowed financiers and producers to make enormous wealth. Birth did notdetermine social, but the separations between rich people and poor stillexisted. London formed a harsh contrast with the rural areas and because ofthat more and more people moved from the country to the city looking for bettereconomic chances.