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Great expectations

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English Essay: Melissa Samuels 10P "I had never thought of being ashamed of my hands before; but I began to consider them a very indifferent pair." Great expectations, the finding of one's true identity, the journey from boyhood to adult maturity. In this novel, Pip encounters many characters that will end up having influence upon what he considers to be right and wrong, two of these characters being Joe (his brother-in-law) and Ms Havisham (his mentor), Dickens wrote these two characters to be similar but also rather contrasting. Dicken's presents both characters distinctively. Great expectations is based upon traditional Victorian life, the period of time when all boys aspired to be gentlemen and all ladies desired to be ladies. Our main character, Pip is tackling the troubles we still encounter up to this day. He is troubled with the traditional themes of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, love vs. hate, rich vs. poor, general decisions that will effect his outcome. This relevance attracts readers. The character Joe is presented as Pip's first male influence. A tender man with a big heart, although this seems to be his main weakness as he and Pip are constantly abused by the ironclad grip of Mrs Joe. Joe shows his nobility by marrying Mrs Joe and taking Pip in too, when he was merely an orphan. " And bring the poor little child, there's room for him at the forge" At this moment, Joe is portrayed as a humble superhero doing his duty to protect the innocent. ...read more.


abusive things and moves on with his life, rather than dwell on the past, "My father were that good in his hart, don't you see?" He teaches Pip to forgive and the need to learn. Joe wants to see Pip succeed in ways that he could not succeed himself and is therefore ecstatic when he learns that Pip will be going to spend time with Ms Havisham. Ms Havisham is quite similar to Joe in many ways but the two also thoroughly diverse. Ms Havisham is Dickens' stereotype of a Victorian spinster; she is bitter, cold, vengeful and heartless. In this novel, Pip seems to meet hard women and Ms Havisham is no exception. She is Pip's first experience of someone in upper class and makes him feel quite ashamed of his poor heritage. Joe gave Pip a positive feeling about himself but Ms Havisham made him feel low and common. " I was a common labouring-boy; that my hands were coarse; that my boots were thick; that I had fallen into a despicable habit of calling Knaves Jacks; that I was much more ignorant than I had considered myself last night, and generally that I was in low-lived bad way." Pip thinks this of himself after his first meeting with Ms Havisham and her adopted daughter Estella. Estella constantly refers to Pip as 'boy' although they are almost the same age, this language confirms Estella feels she is superior to Pip due to the fact she is richer. ...read more.


"that a clock in the room had stopped at twenty minutes to nine." Ms Havisham leaves everything in its original position as from the moment she found out she was not to be married. She wears white at the time to show her innocence (this was traditional for Victorian women) but now all white has faded to yellow and the innocence becomes vengeance, determined to hurt a male. Dickens compares her to a withered flower, no brightness. She speaks to Pip eerily which is quite a contrast from the informal tone which he was used to with Joe. "what do I touch?' 'your heart.' 'Broken!' She touches her heart as a gesture to signify how much pain she feels even after so many years. She emphasises the 'broken!' She is seen as Victorian spinster, unmarried and resentful. Ms Havisham makes Pip feel ashamed of being poor yet Joe makes him proud, Joe represents money can't buy love yet Ms Havisham represents money can buy material items. Later on throughout Pip's life he will need a balance between both characters in order to prevail in the modern world. I personally think Dickens presents the characters so differently to represent the two moral choices Pip could choose to follow. They are similar but the way they choose to make decisions differ significantly, this is due to the fact that they come from the two opposite sides of society. ...read more.

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