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Charles Dickens Great Expectations

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Introduction

Charles Dickens - Great Expectations How does Dickens use the themes of isolation and imprisonment in the novel Great Expectations to convey how the main characters all feel trapped in their lives and, at the same time, reveal the oppressive nature of Victorian Society? Charles Dickens was well known in the Victorian era for his great contribution to classical English literature. Dickens had a fascination with prisoners and convicts because his father, John Dickens, was imprisoned for bad debt. In the Victorian era Dickens attacked English institution with ferocity that had never been approached. Luckily he managed to do it without making people go against him. This is what the successfully did with Great Expectations. In this novel the characters that are imprisoned are characters such as Pip, Estella and Miss Havisham because all three are presented in an environment undesired by anyone. Dickens also uses settings to emphasise the theme of the novel and uses language and imagery to create a sense of imprisonment by describing how Pip and Estella were brought up. He also uses this technique to describe the environment the three characters live in and to express their feelings. Pip as a child grew up in a theme of imprisonment and isolation because he was an orphan and was raised up by his older sister, Mrs Joe Gargery. ...read more.

Middle

Even though he were more aware of class Estella, Miss Havisham's adopted daughter, reminded Pip frequently of what class he really comes from by calling him "boy", which makes him feel insignificant. Despite of being mocked by Estella he still had the ambition to become a gentleman just to impress Estella. Pip's only friend throughout most of his young life was Joe Gargery and to repay his friendship Pip wanted to become Joe's apprentice blacksmith. Joe and Pip had a very good relationship with each other; they both suffered the same problem called Mrs Joe Gargery. Joe helped Pip a lot, sometimes he saved Pip from getting beats from his sister. Early in the novel s Pip makes his way to his parents' graveyards and there he comes across with a convict named Magwitch. His first impression on the convict was that he was solitary, tormented and hungry. Because of his suffering and hunger he threatened Pip into getting him food. "After each question he tilted me over a little more, so as to give me a greater sense of helplessness and danger." He was so desperate to eat that he had to make Pip scared and feel powerless to get what he needed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both were in a way abused by their guardians, whist Estella was abused in emotionally; being taught to be loveless like Miss Havisham, Pip was abused by being brought up by hand. At the end Dickens changes the atmosphere from oppressive to hopeful, now Pip and Estella are free at last. Now they don't have Mrs Joe Gargery or Miss Havisham to imprison them. Dickens has used the characters, settings and language to convey the theme of imprisonment. Miss Havisham, Estella and Pip all shared the same condition of living; all three were imprisoned and abused. All the settings emphasised the isolated theme and the language expressed their character, expressed the way they thought. At the end of the novel I feel sympathy for Pip, Estella and Miss Havisham because all three was hurt. Pip was humiliated by Estella at the begging and Estella was emotionally abused by Miss Havisham. In Miss Havisham's case I do feel sympathy for her sometimes because the same way she got hurt Pip and Estella was hurt too, but they stood up and carried on with their life whist Miss Havisham chose to spend the rest of her life in a locked room, living a miserable life. On the other hand for her not to overcome her pain immediately shows me that the pain she was going through was bigger than her. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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