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According to "Great Expectations" what is a Victorian Woman?

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Introduction

According to "Great Expectations" what is a Victorian Woman? The image many get of a Victorian Woman is a lady who stays at home, looks after the children, and does all the domestic work, and as their place is in the kitchen, they would be wearing aprons, and long dresses. Each female character has many different sides to them and the book explores this. For instance Estella, who was an orphan, is a very independent woman. This and all her other characteristics aren't actually her, because it is actually Miss Havisham. She has been the one who has influenced Estella to turn out the way she has. To be a woman who seeks revenge on all men, because of what Miss Havisham went through. Estella says this in ch 38 "So" said Estella "I must be taken as I have been made. The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me". Pg 306. Also, her name Estella really reflects that of a star. Beautiful, but cold and distant. This is how Pip thought of her, "That's true," said Estella, with a cold careless smile that always chilled me." Pg 301. This cold hearted, cruel way of her is also reflected at the beginning when they first meet. She treats him like he is of lower class, although they are both the same age, but later on, we find out something. ...read more.

Middle

ch 1 "...and having a square impregnable bib in front, that was stuck full of pins and needles" pg 8. As a mother figure, we would expect her to be a stereotypical Victorian Woman. Not only would she have to do all the domestic work, but also care and nurture her children, or in this case Pip. However, this is not quite the case with Mrs Joe. In many cases, when a mother brings up her child "by hand," she would care and nurture for her child with a lot of love. Mrs Joe however, has adopted a different style of bringing up Pip, "by hand". She hits and slaps Pip, to bring him into line, and there is no evidence in the story that shows Mrs Joe loves Pip like she is expected to. This distant relationship is shown in the above quote. As Mrs Joe has an apron full of needles and pins, Pip cannot get close to her physically, and so this image of a young child clinging to its mother's apron, is lost. This shows that as a woman in the Victorian times, this expectation of caring and nurturing your child with love is highly expected, but Dickens' has created a character that has completely overturned any expectation. As mentioned before, the image of a Victorian Woman is very stereotypical, but in Dickens' book, this is reversed because in ch 22 we see Mrs Pocket doing the total opposite. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe that Miss Havisham is so pitiless and spiteful that she adopted a young girl to seek out revenge on all men, just because of what happened to her. I also think that this book explores the many sides of a Victorian Woman very well, because the stereotypical image of Victorian Women being those who stay at home and do all the domestic work is overturned. 1)*According to Great Expectations what is a "Gentlemen"? In Great Expectations the word "Gentlemen" is shown in many different ways by different characters. You can tell this by the things they say, what they do and what others say about them. The main people who show this are Pip, Joe and Magwitch. Pip Pumblechook - Throughout the rest of the novel, he will shamelessly take credit for Pip's rise in social status, even though he has nothing to do with it, since Magwitch, not Miss Havisham, is Pip's secret benefactor. Drummle In his mind, Pip has connected the ideas of moral, social, and educational advancement so that each depends on the others. The coarse and cruel Drummle, a member of the upper class, provides Pip with proof that social advancement has no inherent connection to intelligence or moral worth. Drummle's negative example helps Pip to see the inner worth of characters such as Magwitch and Joe, and eventually to discard his immature fantasies about wealth and class in favor of a new understanding that is both more compassionate and more realistic. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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