….it just might exist


The purpose of these Empathy Posts is to understand events in Pip’s life and to find connections between his life and yours. This will be an ongoing blogging assignment (kind of like a journal), but it will not follow the same word count guidelines and deadlines as normal blog posts. An Empathy Post (identified as “GE” below) need only be 150 words and will have a faster turnaround than a week – usually over the weekend, opposed to 7 days.

Note: If you wish to include Pip in these posts (make an explicit connection between you and Pip), be my guest; his mentioning, however, is not required.

GE1 (due Monday, March 3)

Write about a life you have always wanted to experience. In what way is this life different from your own? Why does it interest you? Do you find this desire to experience another life a source of inspiration or an unwelcome reminder that you are not living the life you want? Explain.

GE2 (due Monday, March 10)

This empathy post is about “unrequited love” (the feeling of being completely, hopelessly, desperately in love with someone, all the while knowing that your feelings will never reach them or be returned in the same way they are given). Consider Pip’s predicament for a moment: He continues to love and idolize Estella even though she tells him it can never happen between them.

For this post, write about an experience you’ve had where your affections have not been returned in the same way they were given. How did it feel? How did you deal with it? What did it do to you?

If you haven’t been in this situation (or have no idea what Freedman is talking about), write about a time when the request or desire for a friendship was not reciprocated. Same questions apply.

GE3 (due Monday, March 17)

Pip isn’t in the habit of telling lies, but he is the habit of omitting the truth and assuming an identity that isn’t really him. If you think about it, there seems to be a strong undercurrent of innocent untruths in a lot of what he does (think convict at the beginning and living as a gentleman from chapter 22 on.

 For this empathy post, think about a time when you either omitted the truth or told an outright lie to your family or friends? Describe what you said, where you were, what it was regarding and what happened after you told the lie. Was it worth it?

(And please, don’t even think of claiming that you’ve never lied…that would be too ironic.)

GE4 (due Monday, March 24)

As Pip grows up and realizes that the life of a blacksmith is not for him, he begins to slowly adopt the attitudes and characteristics of those of a higher class. He may not do this intentionally or maliciously (with the intent of hurting), but he ends up feeling that he’s better than Joe (and eventually Biddy). 

For this post, write about a time when you felt the pulse of superiority in you; maybe how you felt better than someone else, almost as if you placed that person on a different, less equal level. If you haven’t felt this way (if you’re being honest with yourself I am sure you’ve felt a smattering of superiority), then write about witnessing this in society (i.e. a friend, a family member, on TV). How did this experience make you feel? What did it teach you about yourself? How has it influenced the way you interact with others?

GE5 (due Monday, March 31)

The lead in to this post would give away what’s soon to happen when we get back to Great Expectations….so…there’s your lead in. The topic here is “regret” (and once again, don’t claim to have never felt it – regret is as natural and as necessary as breathing). Dig deep and be honest:

Write about a time when you felt a sense of genuine regret for actions you thought were necessary, or actions taken for all the right reasons, but eventually turned out bad. 

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