Essay on Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations is a novel written by Charles Dickens that illustrates a strong relationship between parents and children. Dickens himself had a very tough life, his father was imprisoned and he had to work starting at a very young age. The title “Great Expectations” fits him well as Dickens always wanted to go far in life and break out of the working class. The novel is set in Victorian England, where major social changes were taking place within the country. Many children would work up to sixteen hours a day trying to earn enough money to help support their parents. The main theme that Great expectations seems to suggest about parents is that they are not always there, and if they are there they may be unsatisfactory. Several of the…show more content…
Magwitch is another character that grows up without his parents. Magwitch is forced to fend for himself by stealing whatever food he could find. “Thieving turnips for a living.” (366) “Tramping, begging, thieving” (367) This illustrates the fact that without the stability from parents, children can be driven to the point of becoming a criminal. For the characters that do have parents or parental figures they are unsatisfactory for their children. Herbert Pocket has a kindly but lacking father, and a mother who is so absorbed in social impressions that she neglects her children. Clara Barley's father is never really seen, he is a harsh person who keeps Clara trapped at home. While at the same time not supplying Clara with legitimate parental stability. Estella grows up without her real parents, but is taken care of by Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham’s unaffectionate and cruel behavior seems to rub off on Estella. As Estella begins to grow older and progress she illustrates a more cruel and discerning relationship towards her substitute parent. “What!” said Miss Havisham, flashing her eyes upon her, “are you tired of me?” “Only a little tired of myself,” replied Estella.” “Speak the truth you ingrate!” cried Miss Havisham passionately striking her stick upon the floor; “are you tied of me.” (324) The weak relationship between Estella and Miss Havisham is presented well within this scene in the novel. Estella can no longer tolerate the cruelty and lack of

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