Forgiveness In Dickens' Great Expectations Essay

2690 words - 11 pages

Forgiveness In Dickens' Great Expectations          

 
    Miriam A felt completely choleric. She just could not forgive her husband's apologies anymore. Almon B was a drunkard. When he came home intoxicated, he was always extremely apologetic and told her that he'd never get drunk again. Miriam now knew that Almon was not really repentant. She could forgive him until she was blue, but unless Almon truly repented, their marriage would not work. Forgiveness is an important aspect in the family as well as in society, which is built on the family. In Charles Dickens' peerless novel called Great Expectations, many characters find it easy to pardon others, but some have to learn to ...view middle of the document...

.."3 In Great Expectations, Joe is definitely the most magnanimous character.

Throughout the novel, Pip wants to be a gentleman. It is easy to see, however, that Pip does not understand what a true gentleman is. Pip thinks a gentleman is a man of fine breeding with a good education, wearing fancy clothes, and showing good manners. If anything, Joe (a man of humble breeding with no education, wearing blacksmith's clothes, showing poor manners) is the best example of a gentleman in the whole book! He is a gentleman on the inside - at the heart. He is able to forgive and loves Pip unconditionally. Joe's great love for Pip can be compared to our Heavenly Father's love for us. Both loves are unconditional. No matter how many times we turn away from God, He is there every time to take us back, forgiving us completely.

Just as we sometimes turn away from God, Pip turns away from Joe. When Pip meets Estella and the "glittering alternative to life at the forge that she and Satis House represent, he can't ever again enjoy the idea of working with Joe at the forge."4 When he acquires his fortune, Pip totally pushes Joe out of his life. Because Great Expectations is written in first person (and Pip is a very honest storyteller), we can observe that "while Pip the narrator recognizes Joe's goodness..."5 and great love for him, "...Pip the character goes on treating him badly. Joe forgives Pip for this; we can admire that or wish he had more gumption."6 Common sense would tell Joe that he should not forgive; but Joe unconditionally loves and is magnanimous to Pip.

He keeps on forgiving Pip as the novel continues. An excellent illustration of this is the time when Joe goes to London after hearing that Pip is ill. In London, Joe nurses him to health. "Joe is gentle and tender to Pip, as if [he] were still the small helpless creature to whom Joe had so abundantly given the wealth of his great nature." 7 After Pip is well, though, Joe goes back to being formal with him (even though at this point in the story Pip is just as poor as Joe is - but Joe does not know this). Thus, their relationship changes back to what Pip had created it to be. Although Joe holds no resentment towards him, he never again is able to treat Pip as an equal. "The cause of [the change] was in me..." Pip says, and "...the fault of it was all mine."8

Not only is Pip at fault for the "stiff' relationship he created with Joe, but his is also to blame for the lifetime he wasted loving Estella. "In choosing Estella, Pip alters and defines the entire world, and gives it a permanent structure pervaded by her presence. He is true to the determining choice of his life, the choice that lie made when, 'humiliated, hurt, spurned, offended, angry, sorry,' he reacted to the taunts of Estella not by hating and rejecting her, but by accepting her judgment of him, and by spontaneously rejecting all pieties of the forge."9 He felt that Estella was capable of repenting and making her...

Other Essays Like Forgiveness In Dickens' Great Expectations

Analysis of Realism in Great Expectations

898 words - 4 pages Analysis of realism in Great Expectations Opening chapters; that crucial alchemy of an author’s writing skill and narrative force which may cause us to either close the book or turn the page, must have impact. My own preference is for realism and this is which I wish to discuss. By ‘realism’, I mean, how we, the reader are drawn into a narrative, perceive it credible and empathise with characters. This, I consider, to be the hallmark

Parental Figures to Pip in Great Expectations

696 words - 3 pages In the novel Great Expectations, written by Charles Dickens, he uses three characters that act as the “Parental Figures” in the life of the main character Pip. These three characters use vastly different methods in their parenting styles, all of which influence Pip, whether in a positive, or negative way. Joe Gargery, Able Magwitch, and Miss. Havisham all play very important roles in Pips life, although each have there own styles in parenting

Women's Role In The Influence Of Pip In Great Expectations

1957 words - 8 pages Women's Role in the Influence of Pip in Great Expectations Throughout the novel “Great Expectations”, we meet several interesting characters, each with their own unique way of affecting the life of the character in which the story is circulated around. This very character, known as Pip, has the displeasure of having to deal with three of such characters from a very young and vulnerable age. The fact that these three

The Role Of Social Institutions In Great Expectations

1778 words - 8 pages Social institutions are established for the purpose of benefiting society. The benefits of such establishments, by definition, should be directed towards the entire society in which they are in place. In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens portrayal of the educational, religious and legal systems demonstrate that these establishments certainly do not benefit the majority of society. Dickens makes a mockery of social institutions by way of

God's Law Vs Human Law In Great Expectations

1365 words - 6 pages well supported thesis, good flow. watch for dangling modifiersIn his book Great Expectations, the problematic nature of moral judgement and justice that stems from a conflict between God's law and human law is one of several topical themes that Charles Dickens addresses. This paradox regularly surfaces in his treatment of plot and setting, and is more subtlety illustrated in his use of character. To facilitate the reader's awareness of such a

Great Expectations in Film and Television, 1917 to 1998

3043 words - 13 pages bulk of radio and television plays were yet to appear. Frances Jolly's “Great Expectations" received notice in the Dickensian [4]. Alec Guinness [who later reprised his comic interpretation of Herbert Pocket in the 1946 film, which was his cinematic début] could sense stage possibilities in the novel in 1939; but World War II intervened.[Philip Bolton, Dickens Dramatized (1987), 416-417] Produced by Cineguild, England, the 1946 version starred a

Great Expectations: Changes in the Character of Pip

946 words - 4 pages Changes in the Character of Pip   Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens is a fascinating tale of love and fortune. The main character, Pip, is a dynamic character who undergoes many changes through the course of the book. Throughout this analysis the character, Pip will be identified and his gradual change through the story will be surveyed. The main character, Pip, is a gentle character. His traits include humbleness

Comparing relationships in Romero and Juliet and Great Expectations

1110 words - 5 pages mocking the society, family and wealth because he arranges for this to take place. Capulet tells Paris that although she is "free to choose" her own mate, it must be from a narrow pool that he has approved of, and what's more, he has already selected Paris. He sees no reason why his daughter would object. A familial relationship is also evident in Great Expectations between Abel Magwitch and Pip. From when they first meet on the marshes, their

Proof Of Why Money Has Had A Detrimental Factor On The Lives Of Characters In Charles Dicken's Great Expectations

1204 words - 5 pages thing are not always as good as they seem. Money is often the root of unhappiness. Throughout Great Expectations, the predominant cause of unhappiness and malicious behaviour conducted by Miss Havisham, Estella and Pip is pride because of an accumulated wealth. Without money, they would not have led miserable lives without satisfaction and therefore have been cruel to others. Consequently, the entire plot line would have ceased to exist. Miss

Fairytale Mode in Great Expectations

541 words - 3 pages Luminous Lives – Theme Introduction Good afternoon and welcome to the theme introduction for the months of August & September. The theme for these months is Luminous Lives. The spotlight will be on great people who have illumined the lives of those around them with their exemplary lives. These are people who have changed the world around them for the better. They showed people what courage is. They showed us what hard work and

CCTV; Great Expectations, Minor Protection Final Paper: The Deployment And Failure Or Success Of Public CCTV Systems In The United Kingdom Against Crime, Terrorism And Overall Public Opinion

1942 words - 8 pages as to whether or not CCTV is effective, as well as "citizen friendly". Through research, no adequate proof has been found that the United Kingdom's use of CCTV matches their country's expectations in crime prevention, because there is no agreement on the validity of crime statistics.Although CCTV seems promising in the regard that it can stop terrorist attacks before they occur, this is not always the case, as in the London bombings, which

Related Papers

Symbolic References In Great Expectations By Charles Dickens

1280 words - 6 pages replaced by a sad kindness, and the two leave the garden hand in hand, Pip believing that they will never part again. In Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, symbols are used ubiquitously throughout the novel. The character Miss. Havisham, herself, is a symbol of insanity. When Miss. Havisham learned about her betrayal by her ex-fiancé, Compeyson, she entered into a very difficult situation: severe depression. She wore her wedding dress for the

How Dickens Engages The Reader In Great Expectations

753 words - 4 pages How Dickens Engages the Reader in Great Expectations The text is created in an intelligent way so that it interests the reader from the beginning. The title itself stimulates the inquisitiveness of the reader. We are led to think that the novel promises a certain amount of drama or action. The text from the novel 'Great Expectations' is structured in a deliberate fashion to encourage the reader to read on. Great

Great Expectations Vs. Oliver Twist By Charles Dickens

1848 words - 8 pages experiences which occurred in Dickens' past. During his childhood, Charles Dickens suffered much abuse from his parents.1 This abuse is often expressed in his novels. Pip, in Great Expectations, talked often about the abuse he received at the hands of his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery. On one occasion he remarked, "I soon found myself getting heavily bumped from behind in the nape of the neck and the small of the back, and having my face ignominously shoved

Pip In Charles Dickens' Great Expectations And Jem And Scout In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

1422 words - 6 pages Both Pip in Charles Dickens Great Expectations and Jem and Scout in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird have deep fears in early childhood. How do the authors create these fears and vulnerabilities? Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations' and Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' are two very different books. 'Great Expectations' tells the story of a young boy growing up in Kent at the beginning of the 19th century, and 'To Kill a Mocking