Symbolism Of Charles Dickens ' Great Expectations

1017 Words5 Pages
Michael Whalen

Mrs. Bernadette Luebberst

07 August 2014

Ap English 12

Symbolism used in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens follows the life of the orphan, Pip. We first meet him as a tiny, terrified child in a village churchyard. Years later, through the help of an anonymous benefactor, Pip will travel to London, full of expectations to become a gentleman. But his life is already inextricably tangled in a mystery that surrounds a beautiful woman, an embittered recluse, and an ambitious lawyer. (barnesandnoble.com, Great Expectations) Symbolism is predominate throughout with numerous examples. Symbolism, in layman 's terms, is the practice of representing things by symbols, or of investing things with a symbolic meaning or character. (dictionary.com, symbolism) There are many examples of symbolism used in Great Expectations. The rising mists, Miss Havisham’s shoe and wedding dress, The Satis House, Miss Havisham’s garden, the stopped clocks, Bentley Drummle and the upper class, light and darkness, locks and keys, bugs and insects, Joe Gargery, statues, weather, and shadows.

The first example of symbolism is the rising mists. Charles Dickens uses pathetic fallacy by the mists to demonstrate clarity of thinking. Whenever the mists rise, Pip, one of the main characters, is able to see things around him with no problem. However, when the mist is present, they symbolize danger and uncertainty like when
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