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Great Expectations: Stage 3 Discussion Questions

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Stage 3 Chapters 40 - 59. Answer questions to check for understanding.  Class discussion on alternative ending.  Form your opinion and be able to support it.

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

Chapters 40 and 41

1. Discuss the effect of the mysterious man on the stairs.

 

2. Mr. Jaggers tells Pip that he has no evidence that Miss Havisham was his benefactor. What evidence or indications did Pip have to believe that she was the author of his great expectations.

 

3. Is it possible to separate oneself from the past? Discuss this theme in relation to Pip and the convict.

 

4. Discuss the convict’s purpose in making Pip a gentleman.

 

Chapters 42 and 43

1. How much influence does a person’s appearance have on others? Cite examples from the court trial of Compeyson and Provis.

 

2. Relate Provis’ story concerning his background. Would this knowledge explain why Provis is so intent on making Pip a gentleman?

 

3. Describe the relationship between Provis and Compeyson.

 

4. Compare how guilt affects Arthur and how it affects Compeyson.

 

Chapters 44 and 45

1. Describe the confrontation with Estella and Miss Havisham at Satis House.

 

2. Discuss the benefits of moving Provis to a room in the same rooming house as Herbert’s fiancee.

 

3. Discuss the friendship that exists between Wemmick and Pip.

 

Chapters 46 and 47

1. Explain how Pip’s attitude toward the convict has changed from first meeting him at the Temple.

 

2. Discuss the plans for helping Provis escape from London.

 

Chapters 48 and 49

1. Discuss the changes in Miss Havisham, and what has brought about these changes.

 

2. Relate Molly’s story and how her past is interwoven with Miss Havisham’s past even though they never meet.

 

3. Trace the changes that have taken place in Pip’s character since arriving in London.

 

Chapters 50 and 51

1. Relate Provis’ story of his past.

 

2. Discuss the prison and court system concerning children in nineteenth century London.

 

3. Research and describe the working conditions for children during the nineteenth century in London. Discuss the child labor laws and how they came about.

 

Chapters 52 and 53

1. Discuss in what ways Pip has changed since finding out that Provis is his benefactor and not Miss Havisham.

 

2. Describe Orlick’s plot to murder Pip.

 

3. Write a character sketch of Orlick and his part in this novel.

 

4. Discuss how Pip’s feelings for Provis have changed. Why has this happened?

 

Chapters 54 and 55

1. Describe the escape and capture of Magwitch.

 

2. Discuss how Dickens uses humor in these chapters.

 

3. Discuss how Mr. Jaggers is a central figure who ties all the other characters together.

 

Chapters 56 and 57

1. Research and discuss the court system in London during the nineteenth century.

 

2. Describe the last days between Pip and Magwitch.

 

3. Discuss the many ways that Magwitch has influenced and changed Pip’s life.

 

4. Explain why Joe becomes more distant as Pip becomes healthier.

 

Chapters 58 and 59

1. Describe the two endings of the novel. Which one do you prefer and why?

2. Discuss the idea or theme that money brings happiness. Cite examples from the novel to support your opinion.

 

3. How has guilt affected Pip’s life?

 

4. Explain why the love between Joe and Biddy is the only true love in the novel.

 


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