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Great Expectations

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Introduction

Great Expectations Charles dickens was a very famous author of the Victorian times who lived from 7 February 1812 - 9 June 1870, exploiting many different problems of the tome in to his own stories. 'Great expectations' is about a poor orphan boy named Pip who is raised by his sister and her black smith husband who he becomes good friends with. As the book advances he turns from rags to riches with the help of Abel Magwitch; an escaped convict that Pip saves, in the beginning of the novel, from starvation. As Pip progresses into the upper class he becomes less and less humble and more ignorant and looks down upon the poor. Dickens intention for this might be to show that wealth and power are not the source of happiness or to make you a better person. At the beginning of the novel Pip is sitting by the graves stones of his family looking very depressed no just because his family are dead but also because the way he has to live. In the time Great Expectations was written (Victorian times) life was a constant challenge for every orphan in England as many of them had to resort to begging, child labouring and stealing just to keep themselves alive for the short period of time many orphans lived. ...read more.

Middle

Havisham sees Pips discomfort and exposes it by saying to Estella "well, you can break his heart." Making sure that Estella will never have to suffer like Miss Havisham was her only goal in life and so she brought boys to be testing grounds for Estella's education on how to break men's hearts as revenge for Miss Havisham pain. "I stole her heart, and put ice in it's place." When Pip feebly ask to leave, Miss Havisham replies "you shall go soon, play the game out." This shows how much power Miss Havisham has over pip and how she owns everything on her property even Pip. The next time pip meets Magwitch in chapter 39, the shoe is on the other foot. Pip discovers that Magwitch is his benefactor and instead of felling grateful and pleased he feels disgusted and repulsion, as know he knows were his money has come from and how it is 'dirty money.' "The abhorrence in which I held the man, the dread I had of him, the repugnance with which I shrank from him" Dickens puposely makes Pip the narrator as we see everything from his point of view. When pip thinks Miss Havisham is his benefactor so do we but when he finds out that Magwitch is the benefactor we are just as surprised as he is. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a total character change. She now has "a new expression on her face, as if she were afraid of me and her movements are tremulous" which is repeated over and over to show what a fragile and desperate state she was in. When Havisham finds out that Pip has found out about her hidden motives, she tries to bribe him - "If I give you the money for this purpose, will you keep my secret"? This shows how low she is prepared to stoop to keep her secret hidden. Havisham owns a once grand mansion, and great wealth, but she breaks down completely at loosing the one and only precious thing to her - Estella. "She dropped to her knees" at Pips feet symbolising them literally switching positions as Havisham is now below Pip in both sense of the word. She "hung her head of it and wept" repeating "what have I done, what have I done!" as she wrung her hands and crushed her white hair "as if she was reliving the pain of the day she was left at the alter and finally realising her blindness to what was most valuable to her all her life. Dickens uses words such as "grievous, "diseased" and "monstrous" to describe Havisham and her dark past, showing just how emotionally scarred she was from her past experiences. ...read more.

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