Exploring Victorian Elements In Great Expectations English Literature Essay

May 16, 2018 English Literature

Then, Pip becomes a gentleman, he assumes that great outlooks mean that he may no longer be content with the good things he already has. When Mr. Joe visits Pip in London, Pip looks down on Mr. Joe and thinks that he does non suit to his new environment any longer. Pip thinks to himself, ”Not with pleasance, though I was bound to him by so many ties ; no ; with considerable disturbance… If I could hold kept him off by paying money, I surely would hold paid money ” ( pg.186 ) . Although Joe protected and assisted Pip throughout his childhood and adolescence, Pip was still embarrassed by him. However, in the terminal he regrets for handling him so rude.

After so many letdowns ( He was be aftering to get married Biddy, but she married Mr. Joe. He expected that being a gentleman would supply him a opportunity to get married Estella, but she married Bentley etc. ) , he is eventually forced to develop some simple and realistic outlooks and learns how to be content with the modest life he makes in the mercantile house. Pip learns that societal category is non indispensable for felicity ; that strict appellations of good and evil, and even of guilt and artlessness, are about impossible to keep in a universe that is invariably altering ; and that his intervention of his loved 1s must be the steering rule in his life.

Great Expectations and Victorian Age

Dickens ‘ Great Expectations is one of several brooding books of Victorian age. It is a really successful representative of its ain clip. Written in 1860 and following the narrative of Pip from childhood to adulthood, the book represents the common Victorian elements like societal category difference, industrialisation, Victorian houses, Victorian values and adult females.

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At the really beginning of the book, we encounter with a typical lower-class household. They live in a small town among fens. Mr. Joe is a blacksmith and his married woman ( the sister of Pip ) is a typical Victorian low-class homemaker. She sinks under the family responsibilities and ever complains about non being able to take off her apron ( chapter 1-2 ) . Because of her rough responsibilities, she is ever frustrated and frequently beats Pip. Then, we encounter with high-class, well-groomed, well-dancing adult females like Miss Havisham and Estella through the onwards of the book.

These two different households are besides the first signals of the being of societal categories in the society. On the one manus, Gargery household is a hapless, uneducated, populating in a small town. On the other manus, Miss Havisham lives in a sign of the zodiac called Satis House. The Pockets ‘ house is full of retainers. Estella is a immature lady who dances good and educated abroad. Besides the other adult females in Pip ‘s clannish life in London represent the typical high-class Victorian adult females. Having seen the two different lives in early old ages of his life, Pip wants to switch to the upper category. He expects to go a ‘gentleman ‘ who has all the values appreciated by the society in order to hold Estella and an upper category life style.

Pip ‘s early feelings about London remind us the effects of Industrial Revolution and in-migration. When he comes to London, he is amazed and displeased with the incredible crowd ( ensuing from in-migration for occupation ) and atrocious odor ( coming from sewerage due to the mills ) : ‘I was scared by the strength of London. I think I might hold had some swoon uncertainties whether it was non instead ugly, crooked, narrow, and dirty. ‘ ( pg. 138 ) The glooming streets of Smithfield disturb him.

It is easy to see Victorian architecture and Victorian houses in the book. Satis House, Wemmick ‘s house ( like a palace ) , and other ornamented houses tell us the gustatory sensation of architecture of those yearss.

It is really sad non to see some of of import subjects of Victorian epoch like kid labour, harlotry, colonialism etc. in Great Expectations. But, Dickens uses colonialism in Great Expectations as a narrative device. ‘A transported inmate precisely meets the demand for a helper who can do a significant luck yet who has to stay anon. , and of whom Pip will finally be ashamed. The capital jurisprudence against returning from transit sharpens the impact of the ulterior chapters, when Pip sheds his pretenses every bit good as his wealth. ‘ Therefore Dickens, like so many Victorian writers who used the settlements as topographic points to reassign burnt-out characters or from which to recover characters, uses this facet of colonialism as the dramatic basis for his novel. ‘ ( Jonah Raskin in The Mythology of Imperialism ( New York: Random House,1971 ) )

In other words, colonialism is used non as a subject but a narrative device in Great Expectations. Besides, Dickens used the other subjects mentioned above in his other plants. For illustration, Oliver Twist – kid labour, destitution etc.


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