Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
‘Great expectations’ is a novel written by Charles Dickens. He wasinterested in bringing about change and his novels dealt with suchtopics as justice and punishment, the widening gap between the richand poor and so on. He believed that the divisions between the classeshad produced a diseased and unhealthy society. During the Victoriansociety, women suffered many disadvantages. Women were dependent onmen, unless they were rich. Women were expected to “serve” and obeytheir husbands. In this novel the main character is Ms. Havisham. MissHavisham is an eccentric wealthy old woman who lives in a manor housenear Pip’s village, who has isolated herself to take her revenge onmen because ‘Compeyson’, the bride groom who she is supposed to getmarried left her on the day the marriage was fixed. This resulted inMs. Havisham’s isolation. With a kind of manic, obsessive cruelty,Miss Havisham adopts Estella and raises her as a weapon to achieve herown revenge on men. She has raised Estella to be the instrument ofher revenge, training her to break men’s hearts. Ms. Havisham calls onfor Pip, a little boy to play in her house. He is both the character,whose actions make up the main plot of the novel, and the narrator,whose thoughts and attitudes shape the reader’s perception of thestory. Pip meets Estella, the proud and haughty adopted daughter ofMiss Havisham. She delights in humiliating Pip, calling him a commonlaboring boy with coarse hands. She want to make Pip fall in love withEstella so that she can take her revenge. Ms. Havisham representsDickens view of woman who did not perfectly fulfil their female roleas well as the rich upper class who he saw as “diseased”. The way Ms.Havisham speaks and also the language used by Dickens gives the readera clear picture of her. The language used to describe her isexaggerated and unrealistic as this is the situation in which we findher in. This essay will explore whether this character is reallyunrealistic or whether Dickens intends to show Ms. Havisham to beexaggerated for a certain reason.
On Pip’s first visit to Ms. Havisham’s house, ‘Satis house’, heobserves a very old house which is barred. The house is made of ‘oldbrick, and dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it.’ There was alarge brewery at the side of the house and it seemed that there was nobrewing going on there for a long time. The windows are all walled up.This gives the impression that the house has been isolated from the