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Great Expectations

Review for the book

Elyse Lance

on 22 March 2010

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Transcript of Great Expectations

Great Expectations By Charles Dickens "Ilooked at those hands, I looked at those eyes, I looked at that flowing hair; and I compared them with other hands, other eyes, other hair, that I knew of, and with what those might be after twenty years of a brutal husband and a stormy life. I looked again at those hands and eyes of the housekeeper, and thought of the inexplicable feeling that had come over me when I last walked -- not alone -- in the ruined garden, and through the deserted brewery. I thought how the same feeling had come back when I saw a face looking at me, and a hand waving to me, from a stage-coach window; and how it had come back again and had flashed about me like Lightning, when I had passed in a carriage -- not alone -- through a sudden glare of light in a dark street. I thought how one link of association had helped that identification in the theatre, and how such a link, wanting before, had been riveted for me now, when I had passed by a chance swift from Estella's name to the fingers with their knitting action, and the attentive eyes. And I felt absolutely certain that this woman was Estella's mother. "
Favorite Passage (Dickens,391 Chapter 48) Plenipotentiary Definition Adj- Invested with or conferring with full powers, diplomat with full authority, Example A homeless Peruvian man ,who had once been ruling with plenipotentiary powers, sold me a box of mangoes on the side of the road. This is my favorite passage because I think is shows a very interesting revelation Pip has about Estella's past. It also sets the scene for the rest of Stage III. I also enjoy the way it was written with the " I looked" and "I compared" because this shows his thought process when her compares Estella to Molly. Original "This led to Mr. Wopsle's (who had never been heard of before) coming in with a star and garter on, as a plenipotentiary of great power direct from the Admiralty, to say that the Swabs were all to go to prison on the spot, and that he had brought the boatswain down the Union Jack, as a slight acknowledgment of his public services."(Dickens,383) Estella Estella is an ice queen, with a frigid heart and a beautiful exterior; she was bred to destroy mens heart's because, her tyrannical adopted mother was jilted on her wedding day. Her beauty and her frozen soul were Estella's downfall; she is now married to a man who uses her, and he has all the money but, no love for her; much to her mother's terror, she no longer breaks men's hearts. Estella symbolizes a stunted climbing rose. She is undoubtably beautiful but she is harsh and thorny on the inside. She was taught not to love and her heart became the thorns. Estella is a social climber, she passed off men who could not elevate her social status and lifestyle, like Pip for example. Now because of her loveless abusive marriage she is stunted and a shadow of her former self therefore becoming stunted. After what has happened in her life she will never be able to regain liveliness she once had. Theme First perceptions do not always ring true to reality. "It was not in the first few moments that I saw all these things, though I saw more of them in the first moments than might be supposed...I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung loose, had shrunk to skin and bone...Now, waxwork and skeleton seemed to have dark eyes that moved and looked at me. I should have cried out, if I could." (Dickens,57)
"To see her with her white hair and her worn face kneeling at my feet, gave me a shock through all my frame. I entreated her to rise, and got my arms about her to help her up; but she only pressed that hand of mine which was nearest to her grasp, and hung her head over it and wept. I had never seen her shed a tear before, and, in the hope that the relief might do her good, I bent over her without speaking. She was not kneeling now, but was down upon the ground."(Dickens,398)

"But, again ,there came upon me, for my relief, that odd impression that Herbert Pocket would never be successful." (Dickens, 183)
"We owed so much to Herbert's ever cheerful industry and readiness, that I often wondered how I had conceived that old idea of his inaptitude, until I was one day enlightened by the reflection, that perhaps the inaptitude had never been in him at all, but had been in me."( Dickens,480)

"He ate in a ravenous way that was very disagreeable, and all his actions were uncouth, noisy, and greedy... and turned his head sideways to bring his strongest fangs to bear upon it, he looked terribly like a hungry old dog. If I had begun with any appetite, he would have taken it away, and I should have sat much as I did - repelled from him by an insurmountable aversion..." (Dickens,331)
"Do what he would, and love me though he did, the light left his face ever and again, and a film came over the placid look at the white ceiling.
"Are you in much pain to-day?"
"I don't complain of none, dear boy."
"You never do complain."
He had spoken his last words. He smiled, and I understood his touch to mean that he wished to lift my hand, and lay it on his breast. I laid it there, and he smiled again, and put both his hands upon it."(Dickens,460)
"... Mr. Wemmick...to see what he was like in the light of day, I found him to be a dry man, rather short in stature, with a square wooden face, whose expression seemed to have been imperfectly chipped out with a dull-edged chisel. There were some marks in it that might have been dimples, if the material had been softer and the instrument finer, but which, as it was, were only dints. The chisel had made three or four of these attempts at embellishment over his nose..."(Dickens, 167)"
" ....Never seen the Aged. Never heard of him. No; the office is one thing, and private life is another. When I go into the office, I leave the Castle behind me, and when I come into the Castle, I leave the office behind me. If it's not in any way disagreeable to you, you'll oblige me by doing the same. I don't wish it professionally spoken about."(Dickens,208) Symbol- Fog In Great Expectations the fog or mist always comes when and important event is about to happen. It symbolizes suspense and foreboding. This can be seen in the beginning in the thick fog of the cemetery, then it is shown through the mists on the marshes both when the convict and, Orlick are there. The fog also brings a gloomy, dreary, melancholy mood to the story. It is as if the whole story is told on an overcast day. This symbol is important because the mist also symbolizes the metaphorical fog that some of the characters shroud themselves in. For example, Miss Havisham's cold deathly exterior compared to the pain she feels inside. Setting Imagery "The marshes were just a long black horizontal line then, as I stopped to look after him; and the river was just another horizontal line, not nearly so broad nor yet so black; and the sky was just a row of long angry red lines and dense black lines intermixed. On the edge of the river I could faintly make out the only two black things in all the prospect that seemed to be standing upright; one of these was the beacon by which the sailors steered - like an unhooped cask upon a pole - an ugly thing when you were near it; the other a gibbet, with some chains hanging to it which had once held a pirate..."(Dickens,7)

The dark, ominous words paint a picture of Pip's fears and his foreboding about the convicts. It builds on the scene of little Pip being threatened by the horrid prisoners and foreshadows the danger yet to come by the word choice. One of the words that gives the scene this stark atmosphere is black which is used repeatedly in this passage. "...angry red lines..." Also gives reader a sense of fear and uneasiness. The picture this last piece paints, sets the mood for a good deal of the novel. I'm most like Biddy I believe that I am most like the character Biddy from Great Expectaions because she is level headed, witty and, very bright. She also has dreams that she knows she can fulfill and, I believe the same thing. Biddy is not affected by the class system and, doesn't believe that being wealthier is always better. I am also like Biddy because I don't believe that being of a higher class makes you a better person. We are different though, she married a man more that twice her age and, I don't know if I could do that. Biddy also never loses her temper and sadly I'm not that easy-going. Lastly, I believe I'm like Biddy because her loyalty to people she loves and her honesty. Dickens to Today The way Dicken's shows Pip's obession with what he believes Estella to be is like, modern day people who fantasize about celeberties. Dicken's showed amazing insight into human nature by the way he portrayed Pip's lovesickness with the beautiful and, horrid Estella. He showed that people tend to romantize other people to make them live up to their standards. This directly correlates with modern day people becoming obbsessed with stars, merely because they are beautiful and, not loving them for what kind of person they are. A direct example, are those "lovesick" Twilight fanatics who fantasize about imaginary people, book characters, as if they were real. Acceptance Acceptance is a value represented countless times in the relationships between Pip, Biddy and Joe. This value is showed the strongest at the end of the story when Joe nurses Pip back to health and, pays off his debts. This is astonishing because Pip has shunned him and Biddy for years. The way Pip treated his family and friends was disastrous. Pip called them common and, treated them like lower humans. That both Biddy and Joe were able to forgive Pip for mistreating them for so long shows, the love and acceptance that both of them have. By showing this value, it also proves that these were the better people for Pip all along, his common folk and family.
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