In life, symbolism is present all around us. Whether it is in the clothes wewear, the things we do, or what we buy, everything has a meaning. Symbolism isalso present in literature and it is shown in Charles Dickens GreatExpectations. The symbols of isolation, manipulation, the tragic hero, andwanting to be someone else are seen throughout the book through the charactersof Estella, Magwitch, Miss Havisham, and Pip. The character of Estellarepresents the symbols of isolation and manipulation. By acting as an adult whenshe was still young, she separated herself from Pip and others.
This was due inlarge part to the way Miss Havisham, her stepmother, raised her. She had noemotion, as Miss Havisham used her for revenge on men. On his first visit to theSatis House, Pip overheard Miss Havisham tell Estella “Well? You can breakhis heart.” 65. By doing what Miss Havisham tells her to, she shows sheis just as heartless as her stepmother. She also represents manipulation in howshe played with Pip’s feelings, who has strong feelings for her eventhough healso cannot stand her.
She tells Pip “Come here! You may kiss me if youlike.” 102. Although the kiss may have meant a lot to Pip, it did notmean anything to Estella as she was just playing with Pip’s emotions. Thecharacter of Magwitch represents the symbols of isolation and the tragic hero.
In this case, he was physically isolated from society because he was a convictand was looked upon with disgust. When Magwitch confesses and apologizes to Joefor stealing the food, Joe replies “poor miserable fellow creatur.”43. Magwitch also illustrates the symbol of the tragic hero. Throughout mostof the book, Magwitch is looked down upon by Pip. Magwitch talks about hisgratitude for Pip when he helped him as a convict many years ago. “Youacted noble, my boy,” said he. 356. “Noble Pip! And I have neverforgot it!” 356. He shows why he is a hero when he explains to Pip thathe was the benefactor and the one responsible for making him a gentleman andhelping him achieve his great expectations. “Yes, Pip, dear boy, I’ve madea gentleman on you! It’s me wot done it!” 359-360. After his death,however, Pip feels guilt and sadness when he learns what Magwitch spent most ofhis life trying do. As a result, he shows the readers why he was the tragichero. One character who represents the symbols of isolation and manipulation isMiss Havisham. For most of her life, she has refused to let go of her past asshe continues to wear her wedding dress and keep her wedding cake. Her decayingdress and cake are symbols of how her life rotted away. It also depicted thestate of the Satis House, where she was isolated from the rest of society. Thehouse is used as a metaphor to show how they decayed and crumbled as time passedon. Miss Havisham also illustrates the symbol of manipulation. She had raisedEstella as a heartless stepdaughter whose main purpose was to seek revenge onmen. This central motivation of revenge resulted from the fact that she was arejected lover. Her plan is shown when she tells Estella to go play with Pip.
“Well? You can break his heart.” 65. As a result, she made Estellainto a human monster with no emotion. Near the end, Miss Havisham dies ahopeless neurotic. The one character who shows the symbol of how people alwayswant to be someone else but than decide they are better off with whom they areis Pip, the story’s protagonist. As a boy, Pip wishes to be a gentleman. Withunknown help from Magwitch the convict, Pip’s dreams come true. After attaininghis fortune and his expectations, Pip is miserable. “As I had grownaccustomed to my expectations, I had intensibly begun to notice their effectupon myself and those around me.” 305. He noticed the negative effects ashe was in debt because of his lavish spending and he also realized how much heneglected Joe and Biddy, his two best friends as a kid. In the end, Pip changesas he becomes a loyal friend to Magwitch in his time of need, tries to repairhis relationship with Joe and Biddy, and goes from almost total destruction tomoderate business success. He also shows how people gain from giving. The onlygood fortune from the money he received from his private benefactor, Magwitch,was giving it to Herbert. As shown from the examples above, symbolism plays animportant part in Charles Dickens Great Expectations. Many symbols such asisolation, manipulation, the tragic hero, and wanting to be someone else arepresent throughout the novel and are brought to life by the characters. Peoplein today’s society must realize that a lot of what we do symbolizes somethingabout us and helps explain who we are as people.
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Great Expectations And Symbolism. (2019, Mar 21). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/great-expectations-and-symbolism/