Explore the ways in which Charles Dickens portrays the female characters in the novel 'Great Expectations'

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Explore the ways in which Charles Dickens portrays the female characters in the novel "Great Expectations"

Throughout the novel great expectations Dickens interprets female characters in a way that is quite unique and specialized. It could be said that he was a great philosopher about their sex.

In great expectations there are three principal female characters, these being Miss Havisham, Estella and Mrs Joe. My aim is primarily to explore each of these principal characters and then link them altogether.

When one studies woman and their status in the nineteenth century some important conclusions can be made. Firstly great expectations was written in 1861 and it was in keeping with the nineteenth century period. It could be said that Dickens presents his female characters in Great Expectations in a very unique way, a way that differed from the 'way of the world.'

In the nineteenth century it is a fact that women were seen in a different light to men, They were disregarded and carried a lower social status than men. When writing a novel, one would think that the writing would reflect the times, it could be said that Dickens totally reversed this in Great Expectations.

The three main female characters are Miss Havisham, Estella and Mrs Joe. Dickens carefully chose names and one can presume a lot about the character from the simple knowledge of a name. An example of this is Miss Havisham, this could be linked to a very rough Latin translation of 'Have I shame' Estella can also be linked to a Latin translation of 'star' Dickens does not give a Christian name for the character of Mrs Joe, this remains constant throughout the whole novel. This fact alone suggests that her character could be could, as her first name isn't even shared. Another name in Great Expectations is the name 'Sattis House' It's the name of Miss Havishams house. The word Sattis is Latin, and when translated it means 'enough house' this suggests its old and has literally had enough of life, much like the owner.
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As mentioned before, Dickens places women in a higher position than men during most of the novel. A good example of this is Mrs Joe. In Great Expectations Mrs Joe's role is a housewife, however she is not a 'typical' housewife of the nineteenth century. During this period one would expect the mane of the house to be the head of the household and bin charge. This is totally the opposite in this case. "My sister throwing the door wide open and finding obstruction behind it immediately divined the cause and applied tickler to its further investigation. This ...

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