Questions for Great Expectations
- How do descriptions of landscape establish tone and mood in the novel's opening and reinforce Pip's consciousness? Find specific examples and explain--you might focus on Chpts. 1 and 3.
- Discuss Joe and Mrs. Joe as individuals and as parents. Provide us with helpful examples.
- Compare Pip and Joe's education (Ch. 6) to education in OT and DS. What can you say about education in this novel and in the Victorian Period?
- Take the class through a close reading of chapter 8, focusing on the depiction of Satis House and Miss Havisham. What key details reveal her character? In what way are descriptions of the house significant? Consider other chapters as well.
- Also in chapter 8, Miss Havisham commands Pip to "play!" (59). Consider her command (and the idea of play itself) using the following quotations: "It is in playing and only playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self" (Playing and Reality, D. W. Winnicott). "Play is voluntary, free, disinterested, and fun" (Homo Ludens, Johan Huizinga). How does the concept of play help us understand both Pip and Miss Havisham? What about Pip's boxing match with Herbert Pocket? (Ch.11)
- Discuss Estella and her relationship with Pip.
- Discuss importance of chapters 17 and 18. Why key ideas/events are revealed?