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Essay about The Volatile Role of the Women in Great Expectations

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The women in the novel, Great Expectations, are not given the ample opportunities that they would have liked in order to live out their lifelong dreams and hopes. Instead, they have some type of devastating impact that has been brought upon them through a situation that they themselves cannot help. This is evident in the lives of Mrs. Joe, a mere teenager who is forced to raise her brother in a time that is hard to support herself, and Miss Havisham, an elderly woman who’s dreams were torn away when she was left at the altar. Dickens’ female characters do not fit into the ideals of Victorian society as a wife and mother, which causes them to be destructive to themselves and/or men. Mrs. Joe, a character in the novel, Great…show more content…
Mrs. Joe’s demanding ways on how her husband runs his shop is just another example that reflects how she runs their relationship as a couple. Although Mrs. Joe does portray this masculine life very exact, she also takes care of the domestic things in their household; however, it becomes evident throughout the book that she does so not by choice. For example when preparing the evening meal she displays her hostility about making supper. “First, with her left hand she jammed the loaf hard and fast against her bib - where it sometimes got a pin into it, and sometimes a needle, which we afterwards got into our mouths” (Dickens 7). Not only does Mrs. Joe show a sense of physical harm to the men in her life, but it becomes evident that she is hurting them mentally as well. Throughout Pip’s life, he is faced with struggles to be better and improve himself as a person, as we know his great expectation throughout the book was to become a true gentleman. Although Pip is forced to deal with his sister treating him badly and making it seem as though he were nothing, Pip relives his injustices from his sister at Miss Havisham’s by explaining that “…I had known, from the time when I could speak, that my sister, in her capricious and violent coercion, was unjust to me. I had cherished a profound conviction that her bringing me up by hand, gave her no right to bring me up by jerks” (Dickens 48). Showing just one way that Mrs. Joe demonstrates a type of built in hatred
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