Theme Of Symbolism In Great Expectations

Decent Essays

Charles Dickens's Great Expectations contains a lot of symbolism throughout the book, there are symbols of isolation, manipulation, and people wanting to be something they are not. The names of the characters in the story Great Expectations symbolize who they are and how they act. These are all seen in the book through the characters of Estella, Abel Magwitch, Miss Havisham, Pip, and Biddy. Estella, French for star, implies radiance and exquisiteness like a star, likewise, Dickens’s character, Estella, in Great Expectations is inaccessible and cold like a star, too. Also, like a star, men love to gaze upon her, but cannot touch her because she has been trained by her adoptive mother, Miss Havisham, to have no feeling and no empathy for others. She has been taught to be cold and calculating and to break the heart of any man who makes the mistake of falling in love with her. Additionally, Estella symbolizes isolation and manipulation; she has been locked away for years in the impenetrable prison of Miss Havisham’s making, far away from the carefree and caring life a young girl deserves. She teases and manipulates boys and later, men into loving her only become ice cold and break their hearts. Estella tells Pip, “that I have no softness there, no—sympathy—sentiment—nonsense.”(Chapter 29) Estella manipulates Pip as a young boy and plays with his feelings as she leads him on to make him believe that he has a chance of loving her and being loved in return when she allows

Get Access