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Discuss the Role of Women in the lives of Pip and Laurie.

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Introduction

Catherine Haymes Discuss the Role of Women in the lives of Pip and Laurie Both novels were written in different eras and have striking differences in style and attitudes to women. Women play a vital role in both novels and are expressed by the authors in different ways. Essentially, the two novels differ from each other because "Cider With Rosie" is an autobiography of Laurie Lee's early childhood, while "Great Expectations" is a novel that describes the reformations of people, society and the growth of the nation through the eyes of a young country boy. The novel "Great Expectations" revolves around the central character of the story, Phillip Pirrip (Pip). He was orphaned from a young age and was brought up by his older sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery. Pip sees her as a mother figure because she is the only mother Pip would know since his mother was dead. His true mother was buried in the graveyard beyond the marshes surrounding his country home. Engraves on his father's gravestone are the following words: "Also Georgiana, wife of the above..." Oddly, Pip always refers to his true mother by that "name". This shows that Pip is innocent and, possibly na�ve in his nature. However, it is this characteristic which often lured Pip into trouble with Mrs. Joe. An example of such an occasion is in the second chapter when Pip returns home after his first encounter with Magwitch in the graveyard. ...read more.

Middle

Just that, and no more was said about the man. Time had moved on, so had he, and so had the words of the novel. However, there is one similarity between Miss Havisham and Pip's mother - they both knew that their loved ones were gone, but waited for time to flow on by and bring their loved ones back amongst the waves. Pip's mother also was constantly reminiscing about the past, but the difference with Mrs. Lee was that instead of clinging onto the bad times, she was clinging onto the good times, and overruled the bad times with the good. Laurie wrote of how she spoke of him like "...it was yesterday..." and also said: "His later scorns were stripped away and the adored was adoring again." This does lead to a very important question: is Miss Havisham really cold-hearted, or is she a victim of life and the way it has treated her? The answer is debatable. A man who she doted upon had left her to decay with Satis House, and to seek revenge, she adopts a young, pretty girl and had metaphorically killed her in spirit and taught her not to be loved, but then asks a common labouring boy to try and change that by telling him to love her. Obviously, Estella is representing womanhood and Pip is representing manhood. This is a sadistic game, it could possibly be a deliberate contradiction to do such a thing, and any person will say that she is cold and stone-hearted to do that, but what makes ...read more.

Conclusion

This means that she was unhappy with the way she was. I believe that Estella knew of the sadistic game Miss Havisham was playing, because in that quote she has realised Miss Havisham's intentions, and reflected upon it briefly here. Although she knew of the "game", she continued to participate and in the end she broke Pip's heart. I think that she felt that the only way to escape this game was to play the game out as Miss Havisham wanted and then find freedom in marrying Drummle. She was unhappy because she was tired of the "game" and wanted it to be finished, regardless of the consequences. Despite all of her flaws, I feel sorry for her because she was in a no-win situation; if she backed out of the plan conjured up by Miss Havisham, she would have nowhere to go, broken Pip's heart and lead a miserable life, but if she finished the "game", she would break Pip's heart and marry someone who she knew didn't love her for who she was, but lusted after her because of her beauty. Therefore she was very unhappy because she was trapped, and she knew it. In both novels, it is surprising how the roles of women are so great in these novels. It is the women such as Estella, Miss Havisham, Rosie and Laurie's mother who cause and strike up emotions within Pip and Laurie, and that makes the women stronger than the men in the novels. One thing is for certain, and that is that without the women characters in the novels, the novels would not be as great as they are. ...read more.

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