Great Expectations Of the major themes from Charles Dickens novel "Great Expectations" to be discussed as to their importance concerning its structure, I have selected "Love" in the context of human relations, "Isolation"and finally "Redemption." The loneliness isolation brings can only be redeemed loving associated of our fellow man, this is a two-way thing. "Had grown diseased, as all minds do and must and will that reverse the appointed order of their maker. "In isolation the greatest sin we commit against ourselves and others, are to dodge human companionship as Miss Haversham did. After her betrayal in love she hardened her heart toward her fellow man. By hardening her heart suppressing her natural affection nature, she committed a crime against herself. Miss Haversham love for Compeyson is of a compassionate kind, this concealed her to his true nature, as Herbert remarked, "too haughty and too much in love to be advised by anyone." At Compeysons desertion her anger and sorrow became extreme and he threw herself and Satis House into perpetual mourning and a moment to her broken heart, shutting the world out and herself from the world. Her only advantage is her adoption of Estella. Miss Haversham has hidden motives in adopting Estella, but this is not a loving action on her part, but a calculated manoeuver to turn the child into a haughty, heartless instrument of revenge against men. Estella is encouraged to practice her arrogance on Pip and to break his heart. Unfortunately, Miss Havershams greatest sin, is against herself. By hardening her heart she loses her generous, affectionate nature and becomes withered inside emotionally. Her punishment is that the heartless young women she has made, uses her lack of feelings against Miss Haversham. Estella herself is isolated, as for most of the novel she takes pleasure in her role of an avenger. Her isolation is in part responsible for Pips snobbery and his break from Joe and Biddy. Like Miss Haversham she becomes a victim of her own plot. She enters into a loveless marriage to Drummle, who is cruel to her. This shows that no matter how heartless one tries to be, there is always someone more heartless. The instrument of revenge punishes the avenger and is punished in return. Pip feels emotionally and geographically isolated on his arrival in London. Jaggers isolation is his deliberate rejection to human involvement, and he substitutes these with the mechanical process of law. Jagger uses the legal system to avoid personal responsibility for the fate of his fellow man. This profession has imprisoned his better instincts, leaving him isolated within the system. Magwitch, however, is isolated by the system, he uses Pip as his agent of revenge. Magwitchs’ reason motivation is not only revenge, but also gratitude for the food Pip gave him in his hour of need. He develops a fatherly affection toward Pip, who in the end returns his affection. It is Magwitch who has the best reasons for disbelieving in human companionship. Love in the next content of human relationships is best shown through Pip. The relationship between Pip and Joe changed as Pip grew up. As a child, Pip regarded Joe as an equal, though he loved him, "I had a new sensation of feeling conscious that I was looking up to Joe in my heart." Though there is love, the snobbish Pip is critical of Joe, not verbally, but in his thoughts. When Pip attains his "Great Expectations," he is embarrassed by what he regards as Joe’s commonness and avoids his company. Pip’s grace makes him realize, Joe has more gentlemanly qualities than he himself possesses, his remorse however is short lived. When Pip’s fortunes take a fall he is too ashamed to approach Joe and Biddy, their love is too strong however and therefore Pip in his hour of need. In Pip’s relationship with Biddy, he is very patronized, and shows disregard for her feelings, "If I could only get myself to fall in love with you," is a prime example. Pip compares Biddy to Estella and over looks her obviously good qualities. After his loss of fortune, Pip decides to honor Biddy by marrying her. "I would go to Biddy." Pip still snobbishly thought Biddy would be glad to marry him. However, Biddy has married Joe. Though she was once half in love with Pip, Biddy recognized his obsession for Estella and wisely sought a partner elsewhere. Biddy and Joe share the same values and are ideal partners. Herbert and Clara, Mr. Wemmick and Miss Skiffin and Mr. and Mrs. Pocket have loving steady relationships. Pip’s sexual attraction toward Estella is more romantic in his mind than genuine love. He envisions Estella as a captive princess and himself as a heroic knight, only he can awaken love in her heart. Even though Estella tells him, "I have no heart," he does not believe her. Does Estella believe what she says or is she trying to convince herself? Is she using her unattainability to corruptly keep Pip’s interest? Redemption is attained by Miss Haversham when she humbles herself to ask Pip’s forgiveness. After the cruelty she has endured at the hands of Compeyson, Estella emerges a more compassionate person. Pip’s forgiveness and love from Joe, Biddy and Magwitch. He endures hardship and triumphantly emerges a mature, thoughtful person. The themes of Love, Isolation and Redemption all are the structure for the other thing hang for. The loneliness of isolation is the beginning; Love is the food that starves it off and redemption is the final cleansing. Love is the backbone of a novel, the thing that binds the others together, redemption is it’s conclusion. There has to be love or the characters would not be able to interact, if there were only isolation each character’s tale would be a separate piece of work. All good novels have been meaning to relate and involve love and redemption.
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