Great Expectations is usually described as a bildungsroman, a type of novel that was popular in Victorian times. Bildungsroman is a German word used for novels that show the psychological and moral development of the main character as he or she grows up. However, Great Expectations, like most of Charles Dickens’s novels, cannot be so easily defined. It is also a story about love and passion, a mystery story, and a story that comments on the society of the time.
Great Expectations is set on the marshes of Kent and in London in the early to mid-1800s. The main character is a poor orphan boy called Pip, who lives with his older sister and her husband, Joe. One day he meets and falls in love with a rich girl called Estella. She laughs at him because he is a poor village boy and he starts to become unhappy with his life.
A few years later he learns that he has a secret benefactor, who wants him to live the life of a gentleman. Now that he is rich, he thinks that he has a chance of winning Estella’s love. He leaves his village and goes to live in London, where he makes new friends. He starts to feel ashamed of his home and his family, particularly Joe, who he treats unkindly. However, after many adventures he is finally able to recognize his mistakes.
Charles Dickens originally wrote a sad ending for Great Expectations but he decided to change it to a happier one because of a suggestion from one of his friends. Most books today contain the new ending but there are some that also include the original one.
● Helbling Classics（經典英文文學改寫）
● Helbling Fiction（當代原創英文小說）
1. About the Author（作者簡介）：介紹作者，幫助認識創作背景。
2. About the Book（本書簡介）：介紹故事內容概要，幫助了解故事的背景與旨意。
3. Before Reading（閱前活動）：設計各種問題和活動，幫助暖身，啟發各種探討與學習。
4. After Reading（閱後練習）：設計各種深入的問題和題目練習，幫助復習內容，加深英語的學習印象。
7. Answer Key（解答）：針對「閱前活動」、「閱後練習」和「測驗」，提供解答。