Great Expectations - Study Guide

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Click here for a sample section of Great Expectations Study Guide!     E-Guide Version available immediately   

#17 on the Big Read List (UK’s top 200), Great American Read #29

This classic book is the sometimes complicated, always fanciful and entertaining story of Pip from small boy to adult. Living with his sister, Mrs. Joe, and her husband the blacksmith, Joe Gargery, Pip is looking forward to the day when he can be apprenticed to Joe. But a chance encounter with an escaped convict in a church graveyard and a demand from the strange spinster, Miss Havisham, for a young boy to come play at her estate, changes Pip's life forever.

Pip has his world turned upside down when Estella, Miss Havisham's protégé, sneers at Pip's commoner habits and appearance, and Pip becomes ashamed of who and what he is. Then an anonymous benefactor contacts Pip through the services of the lawyer, Mr. Jaggers, and promises to make a gentleman out of him and pay his way through life.

Years later, the grown man, Pip, has developed "Great Expectations" about Estella, Miss Havisham, wealth, and his future life. However, everyone has their own expectations and nothing is as it appears.

Charles Dickens fills this classic with memorable characters and sharp insights into the human soul.

Through Charles Dicken's classic novel of wealth and status, Great Expectations, students will learn:

Historical Background: Industrial revolution.

Author Biography: Learn about Charles Dickens.

Before-You-Read Activities: Penal colonies, blacksmithing, Newgate prison, caricatures.

Vocabulary words used throughout the novel, utilizing a variety of activities to stimulate retention and growth.

Literary Techniques: In context, rhythm, pacing, mood, comic relief, irony, point of view, foreshadow, foil, antonym, synonym, anthropomorphism, exposition, repetition, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, compare/contrast, anaphora, pathetic fallacy, dictionary, epiphany, dramatic structure, coming-of-age, dynamic/static, theme, aesthetic distance.

Moral Lessons and Character Values: Caring for widows and orphans, responsible for our actions, self-image, social rank, wealth, encouragement, allusion, juxtaposition, contentment, pride, empathy, money/debt, vanity, God is our security, work, female roles, cognitive dissonance.

Activities and Writing Assignments: Expectations, knighthood, ancestry, funerals, lotteries, financial planning, depression, art, eulogy, multiple writing/essay choices, drama.

Suggestions for Further Reading:  We include an in-depth reading list of more books by the same author(s) and other books that tie in with, or are similar to, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. 

All of the unit lessons are written from a Christian worldview!

Features and Benefits of the study guide

 Printed Workbook Format

  • Large 8.5x11 format is convenient to read and easy on the eyes
  • Every question has plenty of whitespace for student’s answers
  • Encourages neat and clean handwriting practice
  • Easily transports without the need for a laptop or other expensive equipment
  • Provides a permanent record of the student’s work
  • Convenient, removable answer key included for the teacher!

 CD Format

  • Provides the study guide in universally compatible PDF format (works on Mac AND Windows)
  • No costly software purchases necessary
  • Our Interactive Study Guide should be opened with the FREE Adobe Reader program. With the interactive feature, students have the capability of entering their answers directly on the computer and saving their work in progress.
    Note: Mobile Devices/Tablets may require alternative app that supports and saves fillable form fields.
  • Or choose to conveniently print what you need, when you need it:
    • Print the whole guide at once
    • Print single lessons or pages as the student completes them
    • Print multiple copies of the entire guide for classroom sets
  • Easy to use with multiple students
  • Complete separate answer key file included for the teacher!

Check out our other high school literature curriculum titles!

Recommended Grade Level:
England 1800s
British Literature
Study Guide Page Count:
94 pages
Study Guide Author:
Michael S. Gilleland
For the Book By:
Charles Dickens
Workbook ISBN: