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Representation of Women in Charles Dickens Great expectations - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Representation of Women in Charles Dickens Great Expectations In Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, women are represented as stereotypically Victorian where the women are often confined to the house and raised to be the objects of men’s entertainment…
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Representation of Women in Charles Dickens Great expectations
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Download file to see previous pages The women who influence Pip are not good role models for him and others around them. They have set standards for him that are unattainable and lead to an empty, unfulfilled life. Charles Dickens represents the majority of the women in Great Expectations as cruel, hard and domineering. Pip, a young boy living in the marsh country in South East England, has never had a mother figure to nurture or guide him. His formidable sister raises him ‘by hand’; Mrs. Joe Gargery who is a dominating force in both Joe and Pip’s lives (Dickens 7). Pip had the general impression that she must have forced Joe to marry him by hand (Dickens 7). Mrs. Joe is represented as being a cold and cruel woman who threatens Pip and Joe with her cane that she has nicknamed the tickler. Mrs. Joe is unhappy as the blacksmith’s wife construed to illustrate the notion that women in the Victorian era assumed the social status of their husbands. She is resentful of this and longs for more an emotion that is captured in her statement “Perhaps if I warn’t a blacksmith’s wife, and (what’s the same thing) a slave with her apron never off, I should have been able to hear the carols’ (Dickens 20). Perhaps her resentment, for her present social status, is the reason for her attitude towards her husband and her brother. Her constant abuse towards him and unhappiness in her station greatly influences Pip. Mrs. Joe is brutally attacked by an unknown attacker, and this attack eventually leads to her demise. This brutality and justice are representative of Charles Dickens’s portrayal of women in Great Expectations. Ms. Havisham is another authority figure in Pip’s life, also meets her demise in a brutal way, but unlike Mrs. Joe, she dies after being caught in what appears to be a fire she started herself. Each death is punishably slow which can be construed to mean that Dickens meant to illustrate the atonement of their cruelty and evil deeds in life. Ms. Havisham is a scorned woman living in a decaying moldy house, and she could still be suffering from the shock of her fiance leaving her on her their wedding day. This left her with everything in its original place, including the time on the clocks, which is a good illustration of her denial and refusal to accept what had happened to her. Her denial and difficulty in accepting her position is echoed by Mrs. Joe who metes out her frustrations on her husband and brother. The generational inheritance of unattainable goals in life from their mother’s makes the Victorian era woman a dissent and unsatisfied woman. The pain in their lives is compensated for by their hard stance in life, cold and cruel behavior and attitudes towards people around their lives. Ms. Havisham’s rejection by her fiance leaves her mentally unstable and terrorizing her adopted daughter, Estelle and Pip. On Pip’s first encounter, he saw that everything within his environment, which used to be white long ago, had lost its luster, and was faded and yellow. He saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress and the flowers, and had no luster left, but the brightness of her sunken eyes. Pip saw that “the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman and that the figure upon which it now hung loose, had shrunk to skin and bone” (Dickens 52). Ms. Havisham and Mrs. Joe are represented as domineering forces in the lives of people close to them, which brings a lot of pain and suffering to these individuals. Ms. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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