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It Is A Final Product On Charles Dickens, Mostly About Great Expectations. Great Paper With Quotes.

1123 words - 4 pages

Charles Dickens' novel, Great Expectations is the story of a village orphan namedPip, who struggles throughout the novel to find his place in society. Dickens explores thetheme of guilt in the narrative by means of the main character Pip. Dickens strikes thereader , however, with the various forms of guilt throughout his life. Each stage of Pip'slife represents a different stage of guilt and an evolution of his morals. During hischildhood, Pip experiences the guilt of conscience when he helps a convict. As hebecomes an adolescent he feels guilty for being poor (also linked to his guilt of beingrejected by Estella for being poor) and for once being ashamed of his lovedones. Through Pip, Dickens explores the meaning of morality through Pip's guilt andsocial advancement. This idea is also shared in a critical literature survey:What strikes one most powerfully about this compact andstreamline narrative- technically, perhaps Dickens' best-isthe excessive and apparently unmotivated guilt of its hero.The author, Dickens, shows the change of Pip's view of crime within his encounters withthe justice system and the characters Magwitch. The image of crime and criminal justicepervades the book, becoming an important symbol of Pip's inner struggle, as a youngchild, to resolve his own inner moral conscience; whether criminals are right in theiractions or the justice system is wrong in its actions. Just as social class becomes anoutward standard of value that Pip must learn to look beyond in finding a better way tolive his life, the external trappings of the criminal justice system (police, courts, jails,etc.) become an exterior standard of morality that he has to look beyond to trust hisinner conscience. Magwitch, for instance, frightens Pip at first simply because he is aconvict, and Pip feels guilty for helping him because he is afraid of the police. It wouldhave been easy for Pip to run to Joe, his brother in law, or to the police for help ratherthan stealing the food and the file, but Pip honors his promise to the suffering man,causing his conscience to feel even more guilty.Conscience is a dreadful thing when it accuses man or boy...the guilty conscience that I was going to rob Mrs. Joe- I never thought was going to rob Joe, for I never thought of any of the housekeeping property as his- united to the necessity of always keeping one hand on my bread-and-butter as I sat, or when I was ordered about the kitchen on any small errand, almost drove me out of my mind (13)As Pip has learned to trust his conscience and to value Magwitch's inner character, hehas replaced an external standard of value with an internal one.In Pip's adolescent stage, Dickens surveys the social caste system and Pip'sconflict with his poverty. The stage in which Pip meets Estella and Miss. Havishamsymbolizes Pip's new awareness of his poverty. With the introduction of Miss Havishamand Estella, the themes of social class guilt become apparent. Pip's hopes that MissHavisham intends to...

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