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Great Expectations Essay

1283 words - 6 pages

Belonging doesn’t just mean a sense of place: its being at home with yourself and knowing who you are. Belonging is not just a sense of place, it is derived from acceptance and contentment with oneself and the relationships developed with others. It is this way that to belong is to be at home with oneself and possess an understanding of who you are. The texts Great Expectations By Charles Dickens, Neighbours By Tim Winton and the poem ‘Alone’ By Edgar Allen Poe show that through acceptance of oneself and their relations with others that one can develop a sense of belonging to a group or form an independent notion of belonging not based on connecting with others. ...view middle of the document...

There persona is so out of touch with society that he is determined not to conform to its expectations which would entitle him to be untrue to himself. He accepts the inadequate feeling of not being able to belong to society “The mystery that binds me still –“ and embraces it to transcend the traditional idea of needing connections with others to belong as Pip eventually feels about Joe and to find personal contentment. He’s inability to make connections with others have allowed him to be true to himself, “All I lov’d, I lov’d alone”. He is an enigma to other but not himself as through personal acceptance he is able to find an independent sense of belonging beyond the oppressive frameworks of society. This highlights how personal contentment and knowing who you are is what is truly fundamental to belonging. Upon the death of Magwitch, Pip realizes the true value of having connections to others. He sees how Magwitch’s personal integrity and truly genteel nature juxtaposes his own “I only saw a man, who had felt affectionately, gratefully and generously towards me with great constancy” Pip is lead to rediscover the value of morality and relationships with those whom he is closest to and how his own sense of belonging is connected to them. He affirms that “It is a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home”. Pip finally accepts who he truly is and that in endeavoring to become a gentleman he was in fact been becoming the converse as those who possess truly genteel attributes are those that he is truly content with accept him for who he is. “As I had grown accustomed to my expectations I had insensibly begun to notice their effect upon myself and those around me.

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Their influence on my own character, I disguised from my recognition as much as possible, but I knew very well it was not all good.” Pip’s lack of Social status and parentage is fundamentally what forbade him from being accepted into the strict frameworks of the upper class. However an exception to the strict frameworks lies in Estella’s case. She is adopted by Ms. Havisham and forced to conform to them. She is shaped by her cold hearted benefactor into an instrument to seek vengeance upon men. She is told that love consists of “blind devotion, self-humiliation and utter submission”. She is given no chance to develop her own notion of belonging or an identity. She is trapped in a life of which she feels she must conform as in the poem alone as the persona feels that he is so different to those with which he exists with. Personification of nature used as a metaphor reflects on...

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