charles dickens great expectations essay research paper

Charles Dickens Great Expectations Essay, Research Paper

Great Expectations and Oliver Twist

During his life-time, Charles Dickens is known to hold written several books. Although each book is different, they besides portion many similarities. Two of his books, Great Expectations and Oliver Twist, are representatives of the many sorts of differences and similarities found within his work.

Possibly the ground why these two novels portion some of the same qualities is because they both reflect painful experiences which occurred in Dickens yesteryear. During his childhood, Charles Dickens suffered much maltreatment from his parents.1 This maltreatment is frequently expressed in his novels. Pip, in Great Expectations, talked frequently about the maltreatment he received at the custodies of his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery. On one juncture he remarked, “I shortly found myself acquiring to a great extent bumped from behind in the scruff of the cervix and the little of the dorsum, and holding my face ignominously shoved against the wall, because I did non reply those inquiries at sufficient length.” 2

While at the orphanhood, Oliver from Oliver Twist besides experienced a great sum of maltreatment. For illustration, while enduring from famishment and malnutrition for a long period of clip, Oliver was chosen by the other male childs at the orphanhood to bespeak more gruel at dinner one dark. After doing this simple petition, “the maestro ( at the orphanhood ) aimed a blow at Oliver s caput with the ladle; pinioned him in his weaponries; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.” 3

The whole beginning of Oliver Twist s narrative was created from memories which related to Charles Dickens childhood in a shoe polish mill ( which was overshadowed by the Marshalsea Prison ) .4 While working in the shoe polish mill, Dickens suffered enormous humiliation. This humiliation is greatly expressed through Oliver s escapades at the orphanhood before he is sent off.

Throughout his life-time, Dickens appeared to hold acquired a fancy for “the bleak, the sordid, and the austere.” 5 Most of Oliver Twist, for illustration, takes topographic point in London s lowest slums.6 The metropolis is described as a labyrinth which involves a “enigma of darkness, namelessness, and peril.” 7 Many of the scenes, such as the cutpurse s hideaway, the environing streets, and the bars, are besides described as dark, gloomy, and bland.8 Meanwhile, in Great Expectations, Miss Havisham s house is frequently made to sound depressing, old, and lonely. Many of the objects within the house had non been touched or moved in many old ages. Cobwebs were clearly seeable every bit good as an copiousness of dust, and even the nuptials frock which Miss Havisham invariably wore had turned xanthous with age.9

However, similarities are non merely found in the scenes. The novels two chief characters, Pip and Oliver, are besides similar in many ways. Both immature male childs were orphaned practically from birth; but where Pip is sent to populate with and be abused by his sister, Oliver is sent to populate in an orphanhood. Pip is a really funny immature male child. He is a “kid of intense and hankering fancy.” 10 Yet, Oliver is good spoken. Even while his life was in danger while in the custodies of Fagin and Bill Sikes, two conniving cutpurses, he refused to take part in the larceny which he so greatly opposed. All Oliver truly longed for was to get away from rough life conditions and evil milieus which he had grown up in.11 However, no affair how alluring the immorality may hold been, Oliver stood by his beliefs.

Therefore, he can be referred to as “ideal and incorruptible innocence.” 12 “It is Oliver s spontaneous and self-sustained love, conferred it would look from Heaven entirely, that preserves him from catastrophe and death.” 13

Unfortunately, many critics have found it difficult to believe that a male child such as Oliver Twist could stay so guiltless, pure, and good talk given the long period of clip in which he was surrounded by immorality and injustices.14

Pip, on the other manus, is a dreamer. His imaginativeness is ever assisting him to make state of affairss to cover up for his difficult times. For illustration, when questioned about his first visit to Miss Havisham s house, he made up along luxuriant narrative to do up

for the awful clip he had in world. Alternatively of stating how he played cards all twenty-four hours while being ridiculed and criticized by Estella and Miss Havisham, he claimed that they played with flags and blades all twenty-four hours after holding vino and coat on gold plates.15 However, one particular quality possessed by Pip that is seldom seen in a fresh s hero is that he wrongs others alternatively of being hurt himself all of the time.16

Another similarity between Oliver and Pip is that they both have had interactions with inmates. Fagin the caput of a group of immature stealers, spends most of his clip seeking to “corrupt and pervert Oliver and prevent him from of all time coming into his inheritance.” 17 To Oliver, he is seen as an flight from all old wretchedness. He besides helps Oliver to ease any frights about famishment and loneliness.18

Merely as Fagin is Oliver s agencies of flight, Magwitch, an at large inmate, is Pip s. However, as Fagin provides Oliver with an flight from wretchedness, Magwitch tries to supply Pip with an flight from poorness by going his anon. helper.

Obviously, flight is an of import subject in both Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. Even though they both have different ends in head, Pip and Oliver are seeking assorted signifiers of flight from conditions which make them unhappy: Pip from his poorness, and Oliver from his solitariness and famishment.

Since covering with escape, it is non surprising that decease besides plays a major function in both narratives. In the two novels, decease and caskets typify a happy and peaceable mode of escape.19 In Oliver Twist, it is suggested that merely solitariness and ferociousness exist on Earth. Purportedly, there is no holiness on the planet, which is a belief that goes against the thought of a Heaven on earth.20

Another of import subject within the novel is the subject of the “two separate and conflicting dualisms: one, societal, between the person and the establishment; the 2nd, moral, between the respectable and the criminal.” 21 Most of Oliver Twist seems to connote that “it is better to be a stealer than to be alone.” 22 This tends to do the reader think that Dickens favours the condemnable facet of his novels over the moral side.

However, the struggle between the person and the establishment leads to Dickens unfavorable judgment of societal unfairnesss such as unfairnesss towards the poor.23 Besides in the signifier of sarcasm, Dickens attempts to “dispute the pleasurability of fortune.” 24

Aside from sarcasm, Dickens uses assorted other devices in composing these novels. one of the most common is that of happenstance. For illustration, in Oliver Twist, Oliver merely happened to stop up, foremost, at the house of Mr. Brownlow, who at one clip was a truly good friend of Oliver s male parent. Then, subsequently on, Oliver ends up at Rose Maylie s house, who, as it turns out is his aunt.

In Great Expectations, the usage of happenstance is besides noticeable. For case, Pip finds out that Magwitch and Molly, Mr. Jagger s servant, are the parents of Estella long after he foremost met them. Then, subsequently on, Pip merely happens to be sing Satis House ( Miss Havisham s old place ) at the same clip as Estella.

“Written in abrupt, truncated chapters,” Oliver Twist took the signifier of a new type of English prose.25 Both Oliver Twist and Great Expectations depend to a great extent on the usage of abstraction, or the turning away of assorted facts.

In contrast, when reading Great Expectations, the position is given through the character of Pip. So, since we merely know about Pip s feelings and what he tells us, our sentiments of the other characters are extremely influenced by what he thinks of them.

However, they besides differ greatly from one another. For illustration, Pip hunts for money while Oliver hunts for security, and while Pip was raised in a place environment, Oliver was raised in an orphanhood. Yet, both books have a batch to offer society in footings of indicating out many jobs which still exist today, such as kid maltreatment and unfairness to the hapless. In order to suppress these immoralities, they must foremost be understood, and explicating the badness of these experiences seems to be a occupation which Charles Dickens is really good at.

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