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Great Expectations: Stage 2 Discussion Questions

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Stage 2 Chapters 20 - 39.  Answer questions to check for understanding.

All answers should be in fully developed paragraphs unless otherwise instructed.

Chapters 20 and 21

1. Discuss Pip’s impressions of London and give examples.

 

2. Describe Mr. Jaggers’ office and how it is representative of the lawyer.

 

Chapters 22 and 23

1. What does Pip find out about Miss Havisham’s past? Relate her story and its effects upon her life.

 

2. Discuss how Herbert’s new name for Pip is appropriate.

 

3. What is Pip’s impression of Belinda and Matthew Pocket’s home life.

 

4. Compare Belinda Pocket’s obsession with social status and nobility with that of Pip’s quest for social status and becoming a gentleman.

 

Chapters 24 and 25

1. Discuss the dual personalities of Mr. John Wemmick.

 

2. Describe Mr. Wemmick’s life at Walworth.

 

3. Discuss the irony of Mr. Wemmick’s labors at the Castle being an acceptable source of pride, and Joe’s labors as a blacksmith being unacceptable to Pip.

 

Chapters 26 and 27

1. Compare and contrast Pip’s dinner engagement at the home of Mr. Jaggers with that of Mr. Wemmick.

 

2. Discuss Joe’s visit with Pip. How has Pip changed?

 

3. What characteristics make a gentleman?

 

Chapters 28 and 29

1. Discuss the different kinds of love presented in the novel. Give examples to support your essay.

 

2. Describe how Dickens uses coincidence to piece together his novel, and how do the coincidences affect Pip.

 

3. How has the relationship between Joe and Pip changed from the beginning of the novel? Explain the reasons for the changes.

 

Chapters 30 and 31

1. Discuss the romantic involvements of Herbert and Pip. Which relationship is more realistic?

 

2. What is a farce, and how is Mr. Wopsle’s performance an example of this term?

 

3. Explain how Pip’s love for Joe has changed.

 

Chapters 32 and 33

1. Discuss the influence of prisons, convicts, and criminal lawyers upon Pip’s life.

 

2. Explain why Mr. Wemmick is compared to a gardener in Newgate Prison.

 

3. Does wealth bring happiness to Pip? Explain this term in Pip’s and Estella’s relationship.

 

4. How have Miss Havisham’s relatives played a part in Estella’s and Pip’s lives?

 

5. Define and discuss the use of similes in these two chapters.

 

Chapters 34 and 35

1. How has Pip’s fortune affected him and those around him?

 

2. Describe the funeral of Mrs. Joe.

 

3. Discuss Pip’s and Biddy’s relationship at this time.

 

Chapters 36 and 37

1. Compare and contrast Mr. Wemmick’s life in London working for Mr. Jaggers and his life at the Castle in Walworth.

 

2. Explain the conditions of Pip’s financial situation.

 

3. Discuss the theme, “Does money bring happiness?”

 

Chapters 38 and 39

1. Trace the references to convicts in Pip’s life. How have they influenced his life?

 

2. Discuss the second stage in Pip’s life and how it may be called one of sin or adolescence.

 

3. How does the realization that the convict and not Miss Havisham is his benefactor affect Pip and his expectations.

 

4. Dickens’ characterizations are well known. Describe the character of Estella and her impact upon the novel.

 

5. Discuss the character of the first convict. Describe his motivations and relate his story while in Australia.

 

 


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