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Great Expectations - A key theme in the novel is that of pride and revenge - What is the outcome of Miss Havisham's desire for revenge?

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Introduction

Great Expectations: A key theme in the novel is that of pride and revenge. What is the outcome of Miss Havisham's desire for revenge? Charles John Huffam Dickens. An English novelist and one of the most popular writers in the history of literature. Dickens combined storytelling, humour and irony with sharp social criticism of people and places, both real and imagined. Dickens was born February 7th 1812, in Portsmouth. He spent most of his childhood in London and Kent, both of which appear frequently in his novels. He started school at the age of nine, but his education was sadly ended when his father, an amiable but careless minor civil servant, was imprisoned for debt in 1824. Dickens was then forced to support himself by working in a shoe-polish factory. It was then he grew a sense humiliation and abandonment, one, which would haunt him for the rest of his life. As you can see so far, Dickens has had quite a traumatic life, this may be the reason for his ambitions to become a success. He later described this experience, only slightly altered, in his novel David Copperfield (1849-1850). From 1824 to 1826, Dickens attended school. However, he was mostly self-educated. His favourite books were those by such great 18th-century novelists as Henry Fielding and Tobias Smollett, and their influence can be noticed in Dickens's own novels. In 1827 Dickens took a job as a legal clerk. After learning shorthand writing, he began working as a reporter in the courts and at Parliament, perhaps his job helped him develop the power of precise description, this probably aided him when writing as it made his creative writing so remarkable and detailed. In December 1833 Dickens published the first of a series of original descriptive sketches of daily life in London. A London publisher commissioned a volume of similar sketches to accompany illustrations by the celebrated artist George Cruikshank. ...read more.

Middle

It is these types actions carried out by Miss Havisham that add to her whole evil character. Miss Havisham is using Estella because she wants revenge against all of the male sex because she feels they are inferior, selfish and evil. This is ironic as everything she hates and despises about males; best describes her as a person, and type of character. This is because when she was younger, she was left standing at the altar by her husband to be. This is probably were a lot of her hatred and her desires for revenge started; she hates the male sex probably because her heart was broken. However if her heart was broken this shows she was once in love and sensitive, adding another side to her complex character. This incident however changed her into a bitter woman, the Miss Havisham we are all familiar with now. " We went into the house by a side door - the great front entrance had two chains across it outside- and the first thing I noticed was, that the passages were all dark, and that she had left a candle burning there. She took it up, and went through more passages, and up a staircase, and still it was all dark, and only the candle lighted us." This gives us the first impression that Miss Havisham may have been a vampire? Or a witch? The way she lives in total darkness and seclusion. They entered into a room in which Miss Havisham was permanently situated "I entered, therefore, and found myself in a pretty large room, well lighted with wax candles. No glimpse of daylight was to be seen it. It was a dressing room, as I supposed from the furniture, though much of it was of forms and uses unknown to me." Here we see further evidence that she is indeed a very strange woman, with no natural light in the room this can again further suggest, could she be a vampire or something else along those lines, this adds mystery and intrigue, it also asks questions, why is she secluded to the world? ...read more.

Conclusion

But also the people closest to him like Joe become distant due to the social divisions. Dickens is showing that social divides are stupid, as everyone is the same. If a country boy can become a gentleman, Dickens shows that this divide is not because of personality but purely down to ignorance. However, Miss Havisham finally realises what she has done and apologises for the way she has been in the past and how she brought up Estella. As Pip leaves the room, he accidentally knocks over a candle and her room goes up in flames, Pip tries to save her but he is unsuccessful and she dies. This refers back to what Pip saw that first time he was at Miss Havisham's house, he saw a figure in the brewery yard, which looked like Miss Havisham hanging there. "I turned my eyes - a little dimmed by looking up at the frosty light - towards a great wooden beam in a low nook of the building near me on my right hand side, I saw a figure hanging there by the neck. A figure all in yellow white, but with one shoe to the feet; and it hung so; that I could see that the faded trimmings of the dress were like earthy paper, and that the face was of Miss Havisham's." This may signify that Pip had an early vision that Miss Havisham would have a painful slow death, this did happen, her death started when she was jilted at the alter and her desire for revenge. Overall you could say that her desire for revenge finally caught up with her, and it was her own fault for wishing bad fortune on other people. Her desire for revenge was one of the reason Pip came back to the house, if she was not so fuelled with revenge through out her life, she may of endured a slightly more peaceful death. I feel that her desire for revenge was met with what she rightfully deserved accident or not. 10 1 ...read more.

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