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Great Expectations

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Introduction

Great Expectations Analysis Great Expectations was written in the mid-19th century by world-renowned novelist Charles Dickens who was known for his exceptional novels such as; Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and many more. Most of his novels were based on social hierarchies and reform. The novel itself is based on a young orphan named Pip who lives with his sister and her husband in Kent. Miss Havisham is a wealthy dowager who is extremely eccentric. She has adopted a young orphan called Estella who happens to be Pip's age, the reason for her idiosyncratic behaviour is due to her husband-to-be's abandoning of her at the altar on her wedding day. Upon Pip's entrance to Miss Havisham's room we can clearly see her state of mind as being fragmented and irreparable. Dickens describes her attire to be made of "rich materials" stating her great wealth; "satins and lace, and silks all of white: Her shoes were white... long white veil... her hair was white", the repetition of white in Dickens' description of Miss Havisham is a reiteration of her purity and wealth. Miss Havisham's wealth is implied frequently by Dickens' description of her jewels: "some bright jewels sparkled on her neck and on her hands ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore phrases such as "tangled wounds" give us the impression of a house that is in disrepair although once it had been loved and cared for, these characteristics no longer exist which is the unequivocal impression we get from Miss Havisham's clothing and the manner in which she speaks and looks. One can imagine a young girl (Miss Havisham) wearing the particular items, her wedding dress, prayer book, flowers, satins and lace and silk being the exact opposite of what she is now, cared for, loved, beautiful and pleasant. In correlation we can also imagine a fine manor (Satis House) which has a newly-pained gate, fresh bricks lain with cement, not a trace of moss in sight and all the sections of the house being in use (brewery, sty, stable etc.) which is the exact image Dickens intends to put into the reader's imagination. Miss Havisham shows a great deal of authority over Pip: "Where shall I have you here again?" this is due to her immense wealth albeit her status as a spinster. Miss Havisham's apparent disregard and for society and her insanity are shown in this exchange of words: "I know nothing of the days of the week; I know nothing of the weeks of the year", ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to this section of society being literate, Dickens' sought to spread awareness of the conditions of orphans through his books. Also Miss Havisham's place in society is very irregular due to her immense wealth which is shown from her possessions and residence and her status as a spinster. Women in Victorian times were almost always owned by a male; their father before they were married off to a man and their husband when they were married. Although Miss Havisham may be wealthy her status as a dowager may have caused some within society to have looked down upon her. Overall Dickens has effectively used the description of Satis House and Miss Havisham to correspond together and the description of the house to set the scene for the upcoming description of Miss Havisham. These are both shown to be two very similar things in terms of description although being two different things (character, person and house, setting). I feel this is an effective way to enrapture the reader and place them in the right mindset. This makes the description of Miss Havisham infinitely more effective due to the house having been described just prior to the description of Miss Havisham. This is a very intelligent technique due to its roots not being apparent without further investigation. Mohammad Shirazi Rad ...read more.

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