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Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Essay

1287 words - 5 pages


People treasure their houses and most often houses become homes filled with

love. This makes it very difficult to leave their houses in which they have lived all their
life. This happens to the elderly a lot when they can no longer take care of themselves and are forced to leave their homes and move to a nursing home. Houses can represent the family who lives in the house. If the house is poorly taken care of then the people poorly take care of themselves. If the house is beautiful with lovely blossoming gardens then they are compassionate loving people. Unless of course they hire someone to take care of the garden. Then they just appear to be loving, compassionate people. Really they are paying someone else to do the hard work to make the family seem loving on the outside but nobody will ever really know how those kind of people are on their dark
mysterious inside spirit. Dickens also supported the belief that houses represent people. In Great Expectations, Dickens used the houses of the characters to represent the state of the characters spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
Mrs. Havisham has been frozen in time just like her house has been frozen in time for the past twenty years. "Mrs. Havisham’s house of darkness, decay, and frozen time …. is a symbol of the spiritual condition of Mrs. Havisham. "(Miller 192) Dickens has been known for using houses as symbols of the characters that lives in the house. "Satis house is an elaborate example of a figurative technique constantly employed by Dickens: the use of houses to symbolize the state of the soul. "(Miller 191) Mrs. Havisham’s house is called the "Satis House". It could also be called the Satisfied house.
Mrs. Havisham is satisfied with everything she has and everything she doesn’t have. Estella knew what she was talking about when she told Pip "It meant, when it was given, that whoever had this house ,could want nothing else. " (Stange 186) She is happy being the victim of the cold-hearted, back-stabbing Compeyson. Her morbid revenge is to freeze time so that she is the innocent victim for the rest of her life because this allows her to be guilt free about creating Estella’s heart of ice towards all mankind. "Mrs. Havisham has two motives for her attempt to freeze time. She wants to make certain that her betrayal will be the whole meaning of her life"(Miller 189) The Satis house has no sunlight entering it and is only lighted with candles. This represents her shutting herself off to the world. She does not want any goodness to come near her. The clocks are even stopped at twenty minutes till nine which represents the time she ended her social healthy life and was drawn into a life of seclusion and lonelines. "In turning her back on time and the light of the sun Mrs. Havisham is rejecting life and nature." (Susksmith 210) Mrs. Havisham does not want goodness or at least she does not want people too see her eating. Food...

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