An Analysis of Great Expectations: Pip’s Encounter with Miss Havisham A British scholar and novelist, C.S. Lewis once remarked, “Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become. ” (Holmer, 1978). Indeed, the purpose of literature is not simply to amuse us or make us while away our time. It makes us be open to reality. It teaches us more about the lessons in life that we must learn so that we will grow in wisdom.
It is in this context that we are going to analyze a certain part of Great Expectations, a classic novel written by Charles Dickens in 1860. In order for us to fully analyze this part of the novel, let us first review a short summary of what Great Expectations is all about. The story is about the life of Pip, a young orphan who met a convict on the village churchyard one Christmas Eve. He was threatened by this man to steal food and to free him from his shackles.
Pip does these two things and the convict delights in him and escapes. Pip continues on to live a poor, battered life. One day, luck finally came to him, when he was invited to the house of a rich old woman named Miss Havisham to work. His family members have high hopes for him, considering that he would soon change his life while he lives in better surroundings. Pip also seems excited at this part of the story. However, his expectations soon changed when he was greeted by her sight after he opened the door to her house, “This was very uncomfortable, and I was half afraid.
However, the only thing to be done being to knock at the door, I knocked, and was told from within to enter. I entered, therefore, and found myself in a pretty large room, well lighted with wax candles. No glimpse of daylight was to be seen in it…. . In an arm-chair, with an elbow resting on the table and her head leaning on that hand, sat the strangest lady I have ever seen, or shall ever see. ” “She was dressed in rich materials, --satins, and lace, and silks-- all of white.
Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white. Some bright jewels sparkled on her neck and on her hands, and some other jewels lay sparkling on the table. ” This is a very remarkable and vivid presentation of Charles Dickens. Upon reading this, we have a clear picture of a bride in a lacy dress with riches all around her.
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