• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is Great Expectations a Romance?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Emily Grant Is Great Expectations a Romance? Before being able to classify a novel, correctly or otherwise, into a certain genre, it is necessary to understand that genre and what constitutes it. The idea of a romance has changed somewhat since the time Great Expectations was written-now, it would be easy to confuse a 'romance' with a 'romantic novel'. The themes and issues involved in a typical, traditional romance are rather different to those explored in a modern romantic novel, which usually centres around the commonly understood view of 'romance' meaning love. In a glossary of literary terms, romance is defined as follows: Romance: A broad term, usually denoting a narrative with exotic, exaggerated, often idealized characters, scenes, and themes. If you were to look up romance in a dictionary, you would be informed that the word romance as a noun has a number of main meanings. The first deals with love-the second, describes it as "A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful"-the third, explains the idea of romance in literature, usually medieval, mentioning "chivalric heroes' and 'extraordinary or mysterious events". Although romance nowadays is widely understood to be closely associated with sexual love, the definition of a romance is more than this. ...read more.

Middle

There is an enigma surrounding Estella's past; when Pip inquires as to who her parents were and when she was adopted, he is told: "There has always been an Estella, since I have heard of a Miss Havisham." To not know who one's parents are, or to have been an orphan all one's life, is undeniably a romantic concept, however unpleasant in reality-it paves the way for all sorts of eventualities, and automatically adds an element of mystery to a character, essential in a romance. There are constituents of Great Expectations that are synonymous with a traditional romance. For example, many elements of the plot are fairly unrealistic and fantastical-the character of Miss Havisham, her eccentricities and her life, the way she obsesses over Estella and lives her life through her: "She hung upon Estella's beauty, hung upon her words, hung upon her gestures, and sat mumbling her own trembling fingers while she looked at her, as though she were devouring the beautiful creature she had reared". The ending of the story, a reconciliation and suggestion of love and friendship between Estella and Pip, is a most unlikely one-however, a true romance must have a happy ending. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pip turns his back on his roots, feeling ashamed of his family and his life: "I thought long after I laid me down, how common Estella would consider Joe, a mere blacksmith: how thick his boots, and how coarse his hands"... "I was ashamed of him.". He is blinded by wealth and status, and chooses this above all that was good and true in his life, including Joe-this isn't noble or chivalrous, this isn't what a romantic hero would have done. The gentleman Pip becomes, greedy, selfish and scornful of his old way of life, is unpleasant to say the least; here Dickens is commenting on 'gentlemen' of the time. More typically to a romance would be the idea that all gentlemen were noble and chivalrous. The main plot of Great Expectations doesn't centre around love, or indeed relationships of any kind, and it isn't fantastical. Dickens also uses comedy within the novel, which would not usually feature in a typical romance. Comedy is made of Mrs Joe's death and funeral, whereas in a traditional romance this would have been romanticised and dramatised. In conclusion, there are arguments both for and against the statement that Great Expectations is a romance. There are points within the novel that do support the idea of it being a romance; however, many aspects would not typically feature in a romance. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. Great Expectations

    Also Estella is arguably reminding him what class he is and tells him not to get higher than his "station". One could even suggest that pip does not even know what "common" is. This shows us that Pip is naïve and has no idea of how Victorian society works.

  2. Great Expectations Analysis

    Contrary to Magwitch and Havisham, Wemmick is loquacious and congenial. Dickens expresses Wemmick's benevolent disposition through layers of complex sentences which accentuate the exhilaration in his voice. Dickens has also inserted an exclamation mark to add emphasis to the phrase 'There he is, you see!'

  1. Compare how the audience and purpose of Dickens' "Great Expectations" and Lively's "The Darkness ...

    Written by Penelope Lively, "The Darkness Out There" is a subverted modern fairytale. It tells the story of Sandra and Kerry, who help out with their schools' Good Neighbours' Club. They help Mrs Rutter - an old lady - doing household chores for her.

  2. Lord of the Flies and Great Expectations - How circumstances cause characters to change.

    Jack does not just hunt for food but also for self-satisfaction and personal enjoyment. He speaks about his desire to kill, he may not be prepared to do it now but what about when he can inflict major violence upon another whether it a pig or a person.

  1. An exploration of the ways in which issues of class and status are presented ...

    Maudsleys social aspirations. It is interesting that Hartley begins to narrate the novel from this viewpoint of respect for women of social status. Nevertheless, Hartley toward the end relays much more negative aspects of the Maudsleys. Marion is found having degrading sex with Ted outside in the rain, Marion at

  2. What are your impressions of the relationships between men and women in the novel ...

    be considered in any sense prepared for this union under 21; 25 is better." However, at the same time, statistically, women who didn't marry early in life might not be able to marry at all. This was shown by Miss Havisham, as she was old, and stood little chance of ever marrying, as she was getting even older.

  1. Great Expectations. Discuss how the theme of class is explored through the first part ...

    She states "they always begin by asking questions" to frighten Pip from thinking about how people end up in certain classes. Interestingly the unfairness of Pip's treatment is linked to society's assumption that the working class should stay ignorant.

  2. Great Expectations

    Magwitch is desperate. This is shown by the way he speaks to Pip aggressively, and threatens him "keep still you little devil", and also by the way he roughly handles Pip. "The man, after looking at me for a moment, turned me upside down and emptied my pockets".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work