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Discuss the Significance Of The Events, Which Occur In Chapter Eighteen of Great Expectations And Relate These To The Novel As A Whole.

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Discuss the Significance Of The Events, Which Occur In Chapter Eighteen of Great Expectations And Relate These To The Novel As A Whole I shall now discuss the significance of chapter eighteen, and how the effects of this chapter relate to the whole novel, Great Expectations. In Great Expectations, the names of the characters symbolize their personalities. For example, Biddy is a very timid person who will do your bidding obligingly. Then Pip is a small and insignificant sounding name, just like the actual character is. Jaggers, is a man with sharp wit, and features, he has a bullying manner, which can cut you up in front of an audience, just like a jagged knife. Pip on his first encounter with Jaggers comments on how the smell of scented soap came from his hand. This is symbolism. One does not wash ones hands unless they are dirty, and since Jaggers is a criminal lawyer, they must be prone to doing illegal or immoral acts, in order to save his clients. Hence, he always has to wash his hands, in a sense, so that he is not caught by the courts, and found guilty of anything. To prevent any legal trouble, Jaggers puts a lot of thought into the way he phrases his dealings with clients. ...read more.


A perfect example of this is the Magwitch/Compeyson trial. Although it was actually Compeyson that led Magwitch aside, because he knew the right people and because he was a gentleman, he managed to pass most of the blame onto Magwitch. Compeyson got a sentence of seven years, and Magwitch fourteen years, just because Compeyson was a 'gentleman. In chapter 18, when Jaggers is discussing with Pip and Joe the situation of Pip having Great Expectations, he offers Joe a compensation (Wemmick's property) 'for the loss of his (Pip) services' Joe denies the compensation, but Jaggers, who is completely, shocked of this news keeps on badgering him, because he thinks Joe is a fool not to accept the money. He also says, 'Brag is a good dog, but that holdfast is better' which means that Jaggers is telling Joe, to say he doesn't want the compensation is nothing, but to actually keep by the word is something else. Joe to everyone's surprise gets up in a mood of rage, to fight Jaggers, for badgering him in his own home. This shows us that Joe's character is un-materialistic, and to be offered money is not something he is pleased by, as a replacement for his friend. It also shows us that Joe is not the type of man who can be bullied in his own home, by a man like Jaggers. ...read more.


Another example is when he says to Biddy, 'You are envious, Biddy, and grudging. You are dissatisfied on account of my rise in fortune, and can't help showing it.' I think this behavior by Pip is the worst because he thinks that he is superior to Biddy, who is so timid, and caring. The elder Pip criticizes on his actions here, for speaking 'in a virtuous and superior tone' When Pip was got his wish to become a gentleman, through Jaggers, he became emotionally blind. Even when Joe and Biddy, congratulated Pip on his fortune of going to become a gentleman; 'there was a certain touch of sadness in their congratulations that I rather resented.' This really shows how foolhardy and unfeeling Pip was at that time. Since the touch of sadness was actually because they both love Pip, and shall miss him and his company once he is gone. The significance of chapter 18 is great, since it is the chapter where Pip gets his wish to finally become a gentleman. Also, it is where we, the audience, see how emotionally blind, and how focused on the superficial things about a person Pip begins to become. It is where Pip and we are introduced to the bullying figure of Jaggers, and also the foreshadowing hint of Pips unhappiness in his life to come. ...read more.

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