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Families within great expectations

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Families within great expectations * The Gargerys The Gargerys can be described as a dysfunctional, sometimes brutal, family although there is some love as well. The violence at the heart of the family derives from Mrs Joe. She is resentful that she has had to take on the burden of her sister's orphaned son, Pip. Mrs Joe is the dominant member of the family - unusually for Victorian times. She isn't afraid of asserting her dominance by beating Pip, and, indeed, Joe either - all the more surprising since he is the local blacksmith. (This adds some humour to the book.) The discipline is fearsome, abusive, random and excessive. She may enjoy punishing Pip and 'gets the Tickler' at every opportunity. Pip's relationship with Mrs. Joe clearly isn't ideal. Pip depends greatly on his however. Pip is an orphan, and would quite probably be homeless if it wasn't for her. Pip knows this and that's why he has put up with his mistreatment/victimisation, timidly... Pip tries to make the best of their relationship, but Mrs. Joe Gargery is too domineering, a fact respected by Pumblechook. She constantly says that she bought Pip by hand, degrading Pip in the process. ...read more.


In the first stage of the novel, she is a beautiful young girl. She has been brought up as a young lady, but uses her education to talk down to Pip and make him feel inferior. Estella is cruel to Pip yet loyal to Miss Havisham. She is bitter and twisted due to the strange upbringing she has received by Miss. Havisham. Estella does not fully realise that she is being used by the old woman and that she is, herself, little more than an agent for Miss Havisham revenge. Estella has been educated as an accomplished and sophisticated young lady. She warns Pip time and time again that she has no heart and can never love anyone. She tells Pip that he is only one to be so warned and that she fools of the other men. She seems to become tired of this way of life and is almost self-destructive in her determination to marry such a brutal and ill-mannered man as Bently Drummle. Even Mrs. Havisham tries to persuade her. At the end of the Novell, she is a widow and has little property left. Her hard experiences seemed to have softened her, and she implies that she regrets having rejected Pip's love for her. ...read more.


Pip's failure to export Magwitch out of country makes him pity Magwitch. During Chapter 56, we notice their relationship at it's strongest. Magwitch is sentenced to death for his crimes, but dies naturally before. Pip is at his bedside. Pip's and Magwitch's language is solemn, as if with a lump in their throat. They have become good friends. Pip's final words "You're daughter is beautiful and I love her" is a sweet end to an otherwise bitter life, and more fulfilling than having created a gentleman. The language and emotions shared between them is one as if they're father and son, which links with Magwitch said back in Chapter 39... "Look'ee here, Pip. I'm your second father. You're my son - more to me nor any son." - Magwitch, pg.313 - Bottom. The devotion between Pip and Magwitch shows there is a genuine love between them. "O Lord, be merciful to him, a sinner!" Magwitch's created gentleman has now really become a gentleman. The grouping of Pip and Magwitch is the only one that actually works as a whole. The grouping/quasi family features qualities that keep the grouping together and functional. The members of group rely and can trust each other, they pity each other and they love each other. As a whole none of the other quasi families feature these qualities and so, can be called dysfunctional. ...read more.

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