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Great Expectations

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Introduction

Great Expectations By Aiden Izan The novel Great Expectations was written in the Victorian times by Charles Dickens. The Victorian ere was very different from the modern world we live in today. For example there was not the technology we now have and that the value of money was much greater in the Victorian era because of the change in currency .During the Victorian times the roles of women were different, there roles were to have children and tend to the house, in contrast to men which is completely different in the 21st century because everybody is treated as equals and everyone is entitled to a good life. Being a gentleman was desirable in the Victorian era because if you were a gentleman you had loads of money and you were of a high class. To the Victorians being a gentleman meant you were better than other people. I think the novel is called "Great Expectations" because the main character pip has different expectations of his life at different stages of the novel. Later on in the novel everything starts to change for Pip including his expectations, and his expectations of others. The novel is narrated in retrospect by Pip who is the protagonist of the novel. Pip comes from a poor family and is an orphan. He is looked after by Mrs Joe his sister and Joe Gargery, the blacksmith. Being a blacksmith would not have been a profession that enabled you to become a gentleman because it was a lower class job. ...read more.

Middle

this reflects the novel's theme that a real gentleman is not someone that has money or manners, but someone who does good. And also this might tell us that Magwitch had a poor start in life which has condemned him to a life of a criminal. In chapter 8 of 'Great Expectations', the author, Charles Dickens, initially presents Miss Havisham through Pip's eyes as an eccentric old lady "her hair was white", who lives in seclusion with her adopted daughter, Estella. She lives vicariously through Estella, all her inner thoughts and feelings are brought to life through Estella; therefore she is able to teach her to break the hearts of men. We discover that she was deserted on her wedding day, and then made it her life's purpose to raise Estella as a cruel- hearted woman who'll break the hearts of men and seek revenge on the male population for her unpleasant experience, "Well," says Miss Havisham, "you can break his heart?" She lives in the past, wearing her yellowing wedding dress, "the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress." This implies an image to Miss Havisham as being an antithesis of a traditional bride. In chapter eight Dickens begins with a detailed description of Satis House, we are given a vivid idea of what is in store for Pip right from the beginning. The language and phrases used emphasise the darkness and forbidding nature of the house. ...read more.

Conclusion

All that is left are memories. The passages leading to Miss Havisham's room were very dark, this is a very unpleasant atmosphere for Pip to enter. The only little bit of hope in the house, in Dickens' view, is Estella, as she had left a candle burning. In the garden he has a morbid fantasy that Miss Havisham is dead. He looks up at the window just in time to see her bend over and go up in a column of flames. Rushing in to save her, Pip sweeps the ancient wedding feast form her table and smothers the flames with the tablecloth. Miss Havisham lives, but becomes invalid, a shadow of her former self. Pip stays with her after the doctors have departed; early next morning he leaves he in care of her servants but unfortunately dies and is laid out on the table as requested by herself earlier in the novel. Pip returns to London to find Estella and to tell her that he loves her. In this chapter, Miss Havisham is asking for forgiveness from Pip for lying to him and for having been a part of breaking his heart. She commiserates with him because her heart had been so broken once from being ditched on her wedding day. Pip immediately forgives, but believes her to have been much more of a disservice to herself and to Estella in her actions. She took away the light (both daylight and a spiritual sense of joy) from both hers and Estella's Lives. In so doing, she destroyed a young girl's capacity to love, and she herself grew old with no-one to love her. ...read more.

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