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Great Expectations 5 Essay, Research Paper


The major themes from Charles Dickens novel “Great Expectations” are discussed to their importance in life while concerning their structure.Out of these many themes I have chosen love in the context of human relationships, isolation and finally redemption. While in the state of isolation the loneliness that you bring upon yourself can only be redeemed by the opposite sex.

The greatest sin we can commit against ourselves and others while in the state of isolation is by shunning the human companionship as the old lady Miss Haversham had already done.After Compeyson,her fianc , left her standing at the alter Miss Haversham felt she had been betrayed in love and hardened her heart towards man.By hardening her heart and suppressing her naturally affectionate nature,she committed a crime against herself.Miss Haversham s love for Compeyson was one of the compassionate kind that blinded her from his true nature.At Compeysons desertion her anger and sorrow became extreme and she threw herself into perpetual mourning.The Satis House was a monument to her broken heart.It shutting the world out and herself from the world.

Her only concession was now in her adoption of Estella.

In adopting Estella, Miss Haversham has some hidden motives to turn the child into a haughty,heartless instrument of revenge against men.Estella is encouraged to practice her disdain on the garden boy Pip and to break his poor heart. Unfortunately,the only one being affected by this scheme is Miss Haversham herself.She has lost her generosity and has become withered inside emotionally.Miss Haversham only punishment is that the heartless young woman she has created will use her lack of feelings against her.

For most of the novel Estella takes pleasure in her role of avenger, but Estella herself is isolated.She is partly responsible for Pips estrangement and snobbery to Joe and Biddy.Like Miss Haversham Estella becomes a victim of her own plans.She gets involved with a loveless marriage to Drummle,who is cruel to her.The use of revenge punishes the avenger and is punished in return.

Pip feels emotionally and geographically isolated with his arrival to London.Jaggers isolation is his deliberate rejection to social involvement.His profession has imprisoned his better instincts, leaving him isolated within the system.However Magwitch is isolated by the system, he uses Pip as his source for revenge.Magwitch s motives are not only revenge,but also gratitude for the food Pip gave him in his hour of need.He develops a fatherly affection towards Pip, who in the end returns his affection.Out of all the characters in the novel it is Magwitch who has the best reason for disbelieving in

human companionship.

Love in the context of human relationships is best shown through Pip. The relationship between Pip and Joe changes as Pip grows up. Though there is love,the snobbish Pip is critical of Joe not verbally,but mentally.When Pip attains his “Great Expectations,” he is embarrassed by what he regards as Joe’s commonness and avoids his

company.Later Pip’s conscience makes him realize,Joe has more qualities than he himself possesses,his remorse however is short lived.When Pip’s fortunes takes a fall he is too ashamed to approach Joe and Biddy, their love is too strong however and are there for Pip in his hour of need.

In Pip’s relationship with Biddy,he is very condescending,and shows disregard for her feelings.Pip compares Biddy to Estella and overlooks her obviously good qualities.After his loss of fortune,Pip decides to honor Biddy by marrying her.Pip still snobbishly thought Biddy would be glad to marry him.However,Biddy has married Joe.Though

she was once half in love with Pip,Biddy recognized his obsession for Estella and wisely sought a partner elsewhere.Biddy and Joe share the same values and are ideal partners.Herbert and Clara,Mr. Wemmick and Miss Skiffin and Mr. and Mrs.Pocket have loving steady relationships. Pip’s sexual attraction towards Estella is more romantic ideology than

genuine love. He envisions Estella as a captive princess and himself as the heroic knight,only he can awaken love in her heart. Even though Estella tells him,”I have no heart”,he doesn t choose to believe her.

Redemption is attained by Miss Haversham when she humbles herself to ask Pip’sforgiveness.After the cruelty she has endured at the hands of Compeyson,Estella emerges a more compassionate person.Pip endures hardship and triumphantly emerges a mature,and thoughtful person.

The themes of love,isolation and redemption are the structure the other themes hang from.The loneliness of isolation is the beginning; love is the food that staves it off and redemption is the final cleansing.Love is the backbone of the novel,the thing that binds

the others together, redemption is its conclusion.There has to be love or the characters would not be able to interact,if there were only isolation each character’s tale would be a separate piece of work.All good novels have a moral to relate and involve love and


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